It's Not About You. It's About Me and My Son.


It’s not about you, it’s about me and my son.

Please understand I am beyond grateful for the kind gesture of goodwill or wishes you send our way. However there does come a time when I stand up for my son and myself. A time when I say enough is enough. Or a time when I say no thank you, we are fine. While I am sure you have the best of intentions, please know that while I always welcome trying new things, I will always put my family first.

When I don’t accept your invitation to a party, please know it’s not about you, it’s about me. You see, large crowds are tough for us. It takes a lot of strength for my son to take all of the sensory information and process it in a manageable form. At the party, being around food my son cannot eat is tough because it can quickly set off a meltdown. It takes a lot of preparation for such a party. We prepare food for him, and we may even ask to coordinate with you. We may complete his scheduled therapy and medications at alternate times just to be there. Don’t get me wrong, we want to be there, but sometimes we need to say no. We have a lot going on, and our family downtime has become essential.

When I turn down an idea you may have for my son, please know it is not about you, it is about me. I am not trying to be difficult. Please know the idea you recommended makes sense, and the reason I am turning it down probably does not. But I know my son, and I know the idea you have suggested will more than likely not work out the way you see it going. While I want my son to be included more than anything, I need him to be in an environment where he has a fair opportunity to learn the same as every other child.

When I say no to helping you on a certain day, please know it is not about you, it is about me. I was up until midnight last night working and up at 4 this morning with a screaming child. I just cleaned up for the fifth time before noon today. I have dirty dishes in the sink, three therapy appointments today and a child who needs me. I want to come help you and be available, but I also need to take five minutes to breathe and take care of myself.

There was a time when I said yes, when I said yes it was about you and not me. I learned that by taking care of myself I am better able to take care of my family, and part of taking care of myself is saying no.

Image via Thinkstock.

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