Why Special Needs Mums Don’t Make Good Friends!

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...

She was trying to explain and apologize to her friends because she was, “In the weeds.”
She was too busy caring for her little ones who required so much of her to be a good friend.
She felt bad for not responding to emails or phone calls. And she reminded her friends that it won’t last forever.
My immediate thought was, ​"It will for me."

The season of our son requiring everything of me isn't going to end anytime soon.

He will need me to tie his shoes year after year.
He will need me to change his diapers or help with toileting forever.
He will require supervision always.
He won’t move out and move on.
I’m going to be in the weeds forever.
And let me tell you that the weeds can be a lonely, scary, overwhelming place to be.
I know every mother has been here. You’ve been exhausted from countless sleepless nights.
Or worried about an illness going around your house or community.
You’ve been pulled in every direction known to man, and have no time for yourself.
You go to bed too late and wake up counting the hours until bedtime.

You have had to cancel an event that you’ve looked forward to all week because of a sick kid.

Haven’t we all been there?
But for some of us the season of being waist deep in caring for our child won’t end.
For parents like me, the weeds are where we live.
One thing I can say about the weeds is that although it can be extremely lonely, I know I’m not alone.
Every moment I feel grief wash over me, I know another mother is feeling the same.
Every second I feel out of place or that I don’t belong, I know there’s a mom who gets it.
When the day is long and I’m tired of fighting for what our son deserves I can hear another mom telling me “you got this.”
When I’m feeling so isolated and exhausted that I start crying while wiping the crumbs off of my stove, I know that unfortunately there’s another mom sitting on the bathroom floor crying with me.
Every dream I let go of I know another mom has done the same.
I know I’m not alone in the weeds, and oddly enough, that brings me some comfort.
Another thing about the weeds. There’s joy. And a lot of it.
I know that every moment I’m pushing our son to be stronger, there’s another mom enduring hours of appointments to achieve another goal.
Every time I’m over the moon about something seemingly insignificant I know without a doubt there is another mom crying tears of joy with me.
Every smile is cataloged into my memory.
Every giggle is recorded in my mind. No moment is wasted or taken for granted, and I know with every fiber of my being that there are other moms who feel the exact same way.
There are far too many moms who know that each and every day is a gift.

You may be here. You might be, "In the weeds", too. It may be a season or a lifetime.

But just know that I’m here. You aren’t alone, I’ll be here for awhile.


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