The Invisible Mom
NOTE: Today is the start of periodic guest posts on Born Just Right to try to offer additional perspective and support to parents of special needs kids. If you're interested, check out this post and fill out the form at the bottom!
Many of you are about to be very jealous because I am happy to say that Jen is real life friend of mine. We met through our obsession with social media and quickly bonded over everything from our kids to our secret love of chick flicks. What I sometimes wish we didn't have to bond over is being parents of special needs kids.
Jen in person and Jen on her site has been a huge source of inspiration for me on staying positive and embracing what life brings us. It's something I admit that I need a lot of help with. My kids' special needs are very different. They have what has been termed "invisible disabilities". I liken our life to a Monet painting: from far away we look perfect but as you get closer it all starts to blur.
My four year old twins combined have a "typical" speech delay, apraxia, OCD tendencies, hypotonia, hypermobility, torticollis, fine motor delays, gross motor delays, sensory issues and social anxiety. Amazingly there is no official diagnosis, no overlaying cause, no disease that causes these issues in them. Instead just several strokes of genetic bad luck and who the hell knows.
When I think back to my pregnancy, I can't find anything wrong with it. It was amazingly easy, especially for twins. Besides bad nausea early on, I had no issues and in fact had to be induced at 39 weeks. The girls spent no time in the NICU and came home after two nights at the hospital. Every time I recount all of this to another therpists, doctor, school system, I wonder what went wrong.
So yes, I stuggle with acceptance. I have a hard time explaining to our family that yes, there are delays and causes for this, because I sometimes question if there really is something wrong or if I am just jumping on the bandwagon of putting labels on every kid. Their struggles break my heart and sometimes make me impatient and short with them. And then I look at my beautiful kids and remember that they are perfect, that there are all kinds of perfect. And I resolve that I will do anything to make sure that these challenges, whatever the cause, don't hold them back.
I want to thank Jen for letting me share her space. On Tuesdays I plan to tackle the practicalities of parenting special needs kids as well as the highs and lows. And just plain funny moments. I hope you will join me on the journey.