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6 Reasons Being a Single Special Needs Parent Rocks

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Being a single parent is a tough task on its own, but being a single parent to a child with complex medical issues just makes it even tougher. I’ve always felt sad I had to handle everything on my own — until I realized it just makes me even more badass! I’m OK being single for the rest of my life, and I kind of look forward to proving I can do as well as any two-income home with or without a child with special needs. My confidence level has taken me almost three years to reach, but it’s a wonderful feeling to be where I am today with just my son and me. I believe if I can do it as a young, single mom, anybody else can, too!

Here’s a list of why I think being a single parent to a child with special needs rocks:

1. I get to make all of the decisions.

In my situation with my son, he does not and has never had a “father” in his life. Luckily, that means I’m the only one who chooses what I believe to be right or wrong for my son. I get to chose the school, the medication, the daycare, the respite worker and the discipline style. Plus I can co-sleep with my son without any complaint.

2. There’s twice as much love.

My son is the biggest cuddler ever. So I get all the hugs, snuggles and sometimes kisses I want without having to share. (I know… I’m selfish.)

3. The one-parent-only policy for hospital rooms isn’t a problem.

In all the hospitals my son has been admitted into, they have a strict policy about only one parent being in the room with the child. Luckily, I can be the one with my son the entire time to comfort him.

4. I’ve learned how to become an advocate on my own.

I thought my son and I would be treated better if I had a husband with me. Luckily, I’ve learned how to get taken seriously, and I’m constantly praised by medical professionals for how well I do as a young, single mom, given my son’s complex medical problems. I feel like being Ben’s mom is what I was born to do.

5. I’ve learned how to juggle.

Not literally juggle, but you sure have to learn how to do things without any help. I can take him to all his therapists, specialists, get medical supplies, basically be my kid’s secretary and manager, and then work and go to school full time on top of it all. But just to bring my cockiness down, I will throw in that my house is only ever clean for as long as one day a week.

6. I do all of the heavy lifting.

Literally. I can lift my 50-pound kid without flinching. I can also fold and pack my sons wheelchair in the trunk about 10 seconds. I’ve seen people’s jaws drop when they see how quick I am. I have wicked arm muscles and win arm wrestling matches all the time.

I know this list will not resonate with every person who may read this. But if it does reach out to one person feeling down about being a single parent, I hope I’ve helped you see there is so much positivity, even in situations that feel hopeless!

Originally published: August 4, 2015
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