Yes. Sometimes I do hide in closets.

3 Feb

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I find it so odd that when I first meet people and tell them that I have a special needs child their first response is either A: God gave her to you for a reason. Or B. You must be a wonderful mother.

I already explained why I find A hard to comprehend when I described me and my experience when Kekoa was born. And B, how in the hell does having a special needs child = being a good mom? I am a wonderful mom, but it is not because I have a child with disabilities.

Is it because I love, take care of, feed, water, and provide for her? Because I’ll tell you, I also do those things for my cat.

Is it because I haven’t run for my life when it gets to be too much or locked myself in a closet somewhere crying and banging my head against the wall? Because I have found myself in many closets. Just not for very long. And as for running away, I did take a 30 day hiatus one time. I just came back and I came back a better mother.

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Maybe it’s because a lot of people could just never imagine having a disabled child? I understand that. But you can’t meet me for 5 minutes, learn that I have Oli and then jump to the conclusion that I am amazing.

Maybe I just unknowingly emit good-mother-vibes?

Or maybe it’s just a pity statement and they are really just looking at me like “Boy am I glad that I’m not you!”

I understand that too.

Whatever the reason, special needs mom does not in any way equal good mom. There are many kids, disabled and not, living horrendous lives that I probably can’t even fathom. And there are plenty of kids out there in the world with disabilities that are homeless, in orphanages, shelters, institutions, and foster care with mothers who have left for various reasons. Maybe they were young, in a bad relationship, had mental health issues, or just couldn’t handle it. And some of them may in fact be horrible mothers.

But many of them are probably not. Maybe they did the best they could.

For some reason it just irks me to no end when I hear about a child with disabilities not living with his parents and people automatically jumping to the conclusion that their mother didn’t love them or that she must have been a monster. Maybe she was but, maybe she wasn’t.

Just like me loving Oli and raising her does not equal wonderful mom. Giving up a child with disabilities does not always equal bad mom either.

Back to this whole, “You must be a great mom” business, I realize that people just don’t know what to say. But, I’m not looking to hear anything profound.

I tell people about Oli because I want the people who meet me to know part of what makes me, me.

And I feel the need to give a disclaimer because they might see me again in the future crying and looking for the nearest closet.

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4 Responses to “Yes. Sometimes I do hide in closets.”

  1. Emma Duncan February 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    “Back to this whole, “You must be a great mom” business, I realize that people just don’t know what to say. But, I’m not looking to hear anything profound.”

    It’s strange but I think people really do feel like they have to say something amazing, something life changing rather than just listening or asking questions.

    • mommyhasissues February 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      And I always know that when people say those things that it comes from a good place. I’m just overly sensitive and in the begining it used to upset me because I was just so distraught over the whole thing. For some reason it just made me feel better when people would acknowledge that it sucked and it wasn’t fair. That’s not everyone and I know for a lot of people that probably would just make it worse.

  2. Dean B February 4, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Yes, most probably people don’t really know what to say… or it could also be all of the above. But whatever it is they say, I bet it’s sincere. Do you know when you posted that photo of you with your son, I said to myself, what a kind face! (hence, the “you must be a kind mom” comment(s) – although yes, you did look terrified too. All moms are terrified, especially first time moms, I know I was =)

    • mommyhasissues February 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      I do know that when people say those things it does come from their heart and I do appreciate it. And really it doesn’t bother me so much now. This was more so in the beginning. What do you say? I don’t think there is a right thing because everyone is comforted in different ways. I don’t even know what to say when someone tells me about their child. That picture is funny, huh? It still cracks me up! LOL!

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