4 things I’m Giving Up in the New Year as a Mom of a Child with Significant Needs

Melissa Schlemmer by Melissa Schlemmer Additional Needs

Melissa Schlemmer

Melissa Schlemmer

Currently I am trying to juggle life with an infant, 7 year old, and a nearly 5 year old with special needs. Life is all kinds of crazy, but we are...

1. Doing Things the, "Right", Way!

There will always be someone who thinks the way you do something isn’t “right.”

There will always be someone with a better idea or a different way to reach the same outcome.

As a parent of a child with significant needs I do what is best for my child and that may not be the best for another.

With my first son I was so worried about doing things the way others see as being the correct way, and this time around I have thrown that all out the window.

I am doing things my way, the best way I know how for my fragile son.

2. Worrying About What People Think of Me.

This will be harder to let go of for me personally.

I don’t particularly like it someone doesn’t like me.

But I’ve decided this doesn’t matter one bit.

What others think of me has no bearing on what I think of myself and how I do my job caring for our son.

I know I’m kind. I know I work incredibly hard to ensure our children’s needs are met.

And I know I’m a little crazy and controlling.

I know who I am and if other’s have a different perception of me I’m okay with that.

Having a medically fragile child will change your perspective and this is no longer important to me.

3. Surface Friendships

I don’t have very many friends, I think our life has made it difficult to keep friendships.

Making and keeping plans is not easy.

I have very little time anymore for small talk. I have little time for people who don’t really want to know about our lives.

I care deeply and invest a lot of my emotions into friendships, and as a mother who is constantly pulled in many directions, I have decided to give up trying to keep friendships that aren’t reciprocal.

I will focus on the friends I do have and build a stronger, deeper bond with those women.

4. Clutter and Mess.

Dishes in the sink.

Clothes to be dropped off for donation.

Toys. More toys.

Life is more important than what my house looks like.

It most definitely does not look like a magazine advertisement.

Actually, it looks like a family lives here. It’s most definitely lived in.

I know I will not remember or care what my house looked liked years from now, but what I will remember is spending time with our boys.

I want to soak up every moment I have with our complex son, and never take any second for granted. I want to memorize his smile and record his laugh; time isn’t guaranteed. Dishes can wait.

Having a child with significant needs has opened my eyes to a different world. Categorizing what is important to our family and what isn’t seems easier to do when your child’s future is unknown. I’m focusing on what really matters.

Happiness, love, and making memories.

Wishing you all the very best 2017.


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