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  • Juanita Simpson

Special needs parenting 

Special needs parenting changes us entirely. There is no denying that. Because the truth is -- the first few years pull you so far away from who you used to be that you don't even recognize yourself anymore.

You find yourself looking in a mirror, bags under your eyes, either heavier, or skinnier, and not recognize yourself. It looks and feels like you've aged a hundred years. Or maybe you are standing in a crowded room, feeling entirely isolated and alone, and wonder if you are invisible. You'll wonder how your world can be so different. How you can relate anymore.

It challenges everything you know. You question yourself. Your purpose. Your strength. You will wonder why. And how. Why my child? And not theirs.

It challenges your marriage. Your health. The way you parent your other children. Even your decision to have more babies. Your career and finances. Relationships. And not just with people. With God too.

You experience the greatest love on this earth. And simultaneously wonder how it can be so hard all the time. You get shamed for being sad. And for missing the almosts and the 'should be's.'

You see the unbelievable beauty that this world holds too. Almost like you've been granted access to a special club. One full of forever hugs, This Little Piggy, and smiles. You celebrate milestones long after you should. And every milestone is incredible no matter when it happens.

You also see unbelievable cruelty. And it takes your breath away the first time it happens to you. To your child. You think you'll be prepared. That you'll come back with some witty, snappy comment. Only, you probably won't. You try and shield them from evil. And then spend the next few sleepless nights wondering how you can live forever and change the world at the same time.

At first you feel like it's a race against time. Against their diagnosis. You do everything you possibly can. Your hope will be challenged. Then you find acceptance and realistic hope. Then you want time to stop. You want to keep their bodies small. Because the world is kinder to children.

You have days where you swear you can’t do it anymore. Where you are certain it will never get any easier. That it’s going to be this challenging forever. You almost be unable to picture a world where you stand still. Where you don’t have to fight for basic rights, inclusion and easy.

Yes, special needs parenting changes everything. But here is the secret that you have to learn on your own. It also puts you back together as the person you were meant to be.

That's the part that makes us pretty damn lucky.. ❤️

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