Friday, March 14, 2014

You Feel Exposed

Today I got a little hot under the collar after reading a blog post by someone I admire. The author did nothing but support me and explain his post and why he posted it. The crazy thing is that it wasn't so much the intent or his thoughts that upset me, it was the feeling of being exposed and vulnerable. I think it is similar to the way you feel as a new parent, you don't really know if you are doing everything right and you tend to pick up on what other people are doing and feel like you are maybe failing at some aspects of parenting because your child doesn't: sleep like that, breast feed successfully, has not toilet trained or taken their first steps. The thing is, when you parent children on the spectrum you have information, advice, ideas, and research shoved at you 24-7. It makes you feel exposed. It takes a long time to not feel like you are doing it wrong because you have never put your child on a gluten-casein-blah-blah diet. No you haven't tried the new snake oils, sensory technique, therapy, or read the latest blog opinion piece. I liken it to having a baby with a sleep problem, but it is permanent. That is the kicker! I think it was a line that started with "parents need to...." sure there were other meaningful words there, I'm sure there was, he is a great writer, he is a kind man, but I couldn't really read on with any objectivity. Sometimes all we need is for someone to say, "How are you" and follow it up with "You are doing a great job". Everyone weighing in with their opinion stings at times, regardless of the intent. Spectrum or not, every parent that manages to love, nurture, and support their child is doing a great job.

2 comments:

  1. Let me say that first...you're doing a great job. But thing is, that's not really for me to judge. That's only for you to judge because you're the only one walking in your shoes. I know what you're talking about. Two of my three are raised now, but my first is on the spectrum and my second is ODD/ADHD/Conduct disorder alphabet soup. I've spent years in therapist, psychiatrist, doctors, school counselors, teacher's offices, hospitals and even inpatient facilities. I know how hard it is. Oh god do I. And yes, everyone has an opinion about what you should be doing or shouldn't be doing or how they would do it better. As if you're not the one who knows the situation best. And there is always this feeling somehow that others think the "problem" exists because you've somehow created it or contributed to it or allowed it. Like somehow YOU magically have control. (Gosh, if you had that much control, do they think you'd chose to have it this way??) Well anyway, I hear you loud and clear. And there's nothing I can do to help except to say that if it were my place to say so, I know that you ARE doing a fantastic job. Raising children is the hardest thing in the world. Adding a "problem" to the mix makes parenting a superhuman feat. Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ginger, words of encouragement from parents who truly understand are always welcomed here :-).

      Delete