As a Parent of a Child With a Disability, Sometimes I Feel Defeated
For us, parents of children with disabilities, defeat is one word we would never want to hear. This is because defeat is a negative word. It is the very opposite of victory. So, why would anyone want to accept defeat?
In caring for our beloved child, we have victories and we celebrate those endlessly. But, let’s admit it, we also experience defeat.
We get defeated by uncontrolled seizures. We get defeated by hypotonia or hypertonia. We get defeated by the unpleasant side effects of medicines our child has to take. And there are times when we are momentarily defeated by our own limitations as parents.
There is only so much we can do for our child. We are not superheroes who have a steady and unlimited supply of energy. We are human beings. We get tired physically and emotionally. We get sad. We get lonely. We get depressed.
I can understand most of us feel we have to be positive 24/7. That we can’t show even the slightest hint of discouragement or negative thoughts. We feel we have to be the parents who exhaust all options just to find reprieve for our children’s ailment. We convince ourselves any progress or regress in development our child shows depends only on us. That it is our fault if he or she hasn’t sit up yet. Or that we’re not doing enough to massage his muscles to make them stronger.
We have to admit we will not win all the time. We will not be celebrating victories always. There will be times when we will have to sit down, take a moment and accept we can only do so much. We should not be ashamed to accept defeat from time to time.
After all, it is not about winning, but it is about giving our children all the love we can give. And for them, it is always more than enough.
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Getty image by Kerkez