A mom posted on Single mothers who have children with autism’s facebook page about feeling like a failure because her son was being pulled from mainstreamed classes, and placed into a special education classroom. My heart breaks when I read things like that.
I think every Special Needs Parent has those moments, hours, days, weeks, or even years, when we feel like we are the biggest failures on the planet, and we feel that pain so much more deeply because we know how much our kids need us not to fail. But. We can not allow ourselves to feel that way for too long, for that very same reason – our kids need us to pick ourselves up and keep rolling that rock up the mountain. It’s OK to fall, to stumble, to crawl into bed and lock the door once in awhile (assuming everyone else is relatively safe). But we can’t stay there, and we definitely can’t get into the habit of pointing fingers at ourselves too often.
Maybe it would help to remember those naysayers we have all encountered. The ignorant, mean-spirited people we have come across. And then in our weakest moments, imagine what kind of a job they would do in our place. You see, no one is perfect, and none of us were prepared for this job. And there was certainly no manual. But we are some of the quickest studies on the planet. We can read our children’s faces down to the slightest waggle of an eyebrow, and be able to interpret emotion from it. We can come up with backup plans on the fly, salvage nasty situations, and calm our children when no one else can. In the eyes of our children, we are MOM (or DAD), the one and only. Learning from mistakes is part of the game. It’s not learning from them that is a failure.
Be nice to yourself, parents. Try not to beat yourself up too bad. It’s a waste of energy, and you’ve got too much other stuff to do!