Raising a child with an exceptionality is the most difficult thing to do. This is life long, this is your forever baby, this is your forever job, this is your forever.....forever! As my children continue to grow up, my worries are so different with each of them. With my oldest I worry about him making the right career decisions. My youngest has me worrying about how he manages his education and sports (and all the drama that comes with that- that will be an interesting blog in the future. lol) My middle child..... my child with special needs, I worry about his every move, his safety, the people that surround him, his daily schedule, his upcoming doctor appointments, his therapy appointments, keeping him happy, making sure he continues to thrive, his future, how we will support him forever, and the list goes on and on. Parents that walk in my shoes completely understand where I am coming from. In addition to all these worries, we all have relationships to maintain and sometimes that can be challenging.
I already wrote about marriage and thankfully my husband is amazing and deals with my craziness. I must say that I have fabulous friends as well that I think understand my life but again, unless you live it you really don't get it. Through the years, my clients and I become pretty close and at times they come to me just for advice. I often see on their social media posts, specifically "Fakebook", that they go through some challenges with their friendships and relationships. This is what I tell them.
You need to surround yourself with people that are going to be understanding and sensitive to your situation. You need to surround yourself with people that have your back 24/7 and if you can't call them regularly and they get upset, time to wish them the best! You need to surround yourself with people that if you were ever in a situation that you need them to be there, they will be. You need people in your life that are not embarrassed by your situation and that embrace and love your children as if they are family. You need friends that if you are too exhausted and have a last minute change of plans, they will understand. You need people in your life that even if you don't see them for a year, when you do see them it seems like it was just yesterday and you can pick up where you left off from. You need to surround yourself with people that accept your dreams, your life goals, and your reality as it may be very different then theirs. In my opinion if you have to work at it, it's time to move on. We need our energy for our children as this is our "forever".
Social media can be great for keeping up with family and friends but it can also be very stressful. We see our friends take these amazing trips, beautiful family pictures, celebrating milestones, and everyday activities. Although we of course want to celebrate with our friends, this can be very painful to many. Why? Because it may never be a reality that we share those same experiences. I do enjoy social media and I share my vacations, celebrations, and fun nights as well but if I posted when my son had another meltdown or sleepless night then my friends would just feel sorry for me. Who wants that? You may look at my page and think I have this perfect life, it is far from perfect! We have to always remember that social media only shows us 1/2 (or less) of what happens in our friends lives. We can't get caught up in it and we need to always focus on all the good and the team of people we have in our lives. There are good days and bad and I only hope that the good outweigh the bad. Pick your friends wisely and set them free if they are not meant to be. Life is to short and our forever babies need us to be happy and healthy 😊