Maybe you’ve seen that mom at the playground or in the halls at school. Maybe you’ve passed by her many times and thought of saying something, but you haven’t. Here’s why I think you should befriend a special needs mom.
She needs you.
It’s tough being the mom of a child with special needs. She needs allies, laughter, and support. She also needs a break from time to time.
It’s lonely when the other moms exclude you. It’s not usually done intentionally. Perhaps, the other moms aren’t sure what to say. They may not want to offend.
Be that brave woman who walks over to the other side of the room and invites that special needs mom in.
You have more in common than you may think.
Moms are moms. Whether they are parenting a “neurotypical” child or a child with special needs, all moms fiercely love their son or daughter.
You both want what’s best for your child. Both of you worry and wish. And you do the very best that you can.
You can learn from her.
There is so much you can learn from her. She’s probably an expert in advocating for a child. I’m sure she’s got pointers she can share with you when it comes time for you to talk to the school or a doctor about your child.
If you’re looking for someone who can model patience, chances are, she’s it!
Here are just a few of the other things she can probably teach you:
- celebrating the small wins
- being in the moment
- stretching a dollar
- accessing resources
- finding joy in little things
It will give you new perspective.
Listening to a mom with a special needs child share her heart, her worries, her struggles with you will give you a new perspective for your own.
It’s not that your problems aren’t still valid. In fact, be sure to share those with her as well because chances are, she has built a lot of compassion over the years and may also have some wisdom to share that could help. But growing your awareness of the challenges others face, it will give you a different perspective on things you face in your own life. It will help you not to “sweat the small stuff” and to appreciate what you have.
She’ll be a loyal friend.
Chances are, she lost her share of friendships after her child was diagnosed. Some because they weren’t sure what to do or what to say and some because they didn’t want to put in the effort. Others out of guilt that their children were healthy. And many because she could no longer attend events or because their child was considered “difficult”.
Losing those friendships was painful. It was another hurt she wasn’t expecting at a time when she most needed support. But it taught her to appreciate the friends that stuck by her. It showed her the value of true friendship. She doesn’t take that lightly.
You’ll be inspired.
Special needs moms aren’t perfect. They fail as often as you do. But it’s the getting back up every time that is inspiring. When all the odds are stacked against them, they only seem to grow stronger.
It will make you a better mom.
After spending time with your new friend, you’ll find yourself appreciating the little things with your kids. Her compassion and patience will rub off on you.
Every friendship enhances your life and contributes to your self care which makes you able to give more to your children.
The moms I know who are parenting special needs children are determined, inspiring, committed, loving, generous, giving, and smart. I am better for having them in my life.
As a special needs mom myself, I’m also undeniably grateful for the “regular” moms who I can call friends. They have blessed me abundantly by making me feel included and reminding me what it feels like to laugh.
If you are a special needs mom, I encourage you to befriend both other special needs moms and other moms. You can learn so much from both.
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