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Please Don't Assume This About My 'Bad Days' as Mom to a Child With Down Syndrome

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I am allowed. I am allowed to have bad days. Terrible days even!

Sometimes it’s a spilled cereal, lost my favorite shoe, dog ate my stuffed animal, I don’t want peanut butter and jelly for lunch, don’t make me wear my coat in 20-below freezing weather, 6-year-old girl tantrum kind of morning.

Sometimes it’s a stubbed toe, cat puked on the carpet, flat tire, traffic jam, coffee stain on my new shirt, scuffed new boots, forgot my wallet, long lines full of annoying people kind of day.

Sometimes it’s a forgot to take the trash to the curb because I work night shift and can’t remember what day it is, mountains of laundry, neglected dishes, overstimulated, hopped up on McDonald’s children, piles of homework, too much on my plate kind of night.

Sometimes it’s all those things and more. Let’s face it, life isn’t always sunshiny days and happy rainbow pooping unicorns. Things happen. Horrible, no good, terrible, very bad days will come. Sometimes it’s not even something that happened, we just wake up on the wrong side of the bed! It’s just part of life.

I am allowed to have bad days. I am allowed to have days where I don’t smile all the time. Where I can sigh and roll my eyes when I want to. I am allowed to have the kind of day you know was awful just by looking at me. I am allowed to have those kind of days without people assuming they’re bad because my child has Down syndrome.

I shouldn’t have to pretend like I live in a world where bluebirds always sing and pancakes don’t make my thighs get fat. A world where I’m afraid if someone sees so much as a chink in my mommy armor, they’re going to think it’s because of the number of chromosomes my son has in each of his cells.

Because you know what? On those bad days, the little extra dose of joy and laughter I find in my son, the little extra understanding and compassion he shows to those around him, the little extra tolerance and patience he allows me, the unabashed silliness that spreads like wildfire from him, can make those bad days all better.

Sometimes, it is my child with Down syndrome who makes the bad days good. Not vice versa. So guess what, I’m allowed to have bad days, and they’re not his fault.

This story was originally posted on Hand Me Downs.

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Originally published: December 13, 2016
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