To the Moms Like Me Who Have Limited Support in Their Lives
“In case of emergency call…”
I get stumped by that question every time I see it. I always put my husband and his information down, and I’m sad to say that I don’t have a back-up.
I don’t have anyone to talk to about how hard my life can feel. I struggle with my own illnesses and disabilities while raising two beautiful little girls, the youngest also living with disabilities.
I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m scared every single day that I’m screwing it up. What I do directly affects my children. I believe the people they will become rests in my hands, and that is a lot for one person to handle.
I don’t have anyone to come over my house and relieve me for a day. I don’t even have anyone who could do it for an hour. My kids are with me 24/7. My husband works hard to provide for us, and that means working six, sometimes seven days a week. He’s my “in case of emergency call” person. I’m pretty sure I’m his, too. It’s scary because that’s a lot to put on just one person. But when that’s all you’ve got, that is literally all you’ve got.
There are no “Hey, let’s take your kids for the night” or “Why don’t I watch the kids for you so you guys can go out to eat?” moments. There are appointments for me that I make and hope I can go to, and then I feel bad when I have to call and reschedule.
I believe being a parent is the hardest job in the world. It’s nice to have support and family to help you out when you are in need of help or just be there when you need to talk. It’s nice to know you’re not alone and that your support system has your back. And if you have that, that’s great and I’m happy for you. But I’m going to let you in on my deep, dark secret that eats at me. I try not to let it, but I just can’t help it.
I’m kind of jealous!
We have respite, but it’s not enough. We are extremely limited on who we can have care for both our children. We need to make sure each child’s needs are met, and we have to have someone who is available. That’s the hardest part.
I have to tip my hat to single mothers, military families and families like ours with limited support and resources. This is not an easy job, and no one knows more than I do how hard you work. You give me strength, and you show me that if you can do it, I can, too!
So to all the moms out there raising a child with special needs — I see you, I hear you, I feel you… and you kick a**! Please make sure to take care of yourself.
I applaud you, I salute you and I thank you. You’re my back-up “in case of emergency.”
Follow this journey on Melissa’s Facebook page.
Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images