Ever had one of those days? You know what I’m talking about. A day where everything goes wrong? Where your 2 year old somehow got hold of a butter knife and plugged it into your bedroom wall socket and you now have a giant scortch mark up your wall, kind of day? Well if you have, and I know ALL moms have, then read this. Bc we all tend to judge each other sometimes, intentionally or not, it happens. Some of us moms have. A little extra going on you might not be able to see. Here are eight things those of us would love to hear and NOT hear you say:
1. THAT IS NOT NORMAL!
Most of you would never say this to a fellow mom unless it was in jest or an inside joke. But when it’s said to a mom who’s spent half her child’s life figuring out exactly WHY his behavior isn’t “normal” and she still doesn’t have any difinitive answers, well it just makes her therapy bill bigger, ok? What that mom wants to hear is I SEE YOU STRUGGLING, I CAN’T IMAGINE WHAT YOUR GOING THROUGH. LET’S GET COFFEE SOMETIME
2. WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIM?
I dunno…. what’s wrong with you? Oh wait. Do you mean “I DON’T MEAN TO BE RUDE, BUT MAY I PLEASE ASK WHAT YOUR CHILD’S DIAGNOSIS IS?” That’s a better way to ask. We know your curious, we see you staring. It’s ok. It’s ok to be curious, it’s ok to ask questions, but please, have a little tact.
3. YOU KNOW…THAT STUDY WAS DEBUNKED, VACCINES DON’T CAUSE AUTISM…
I know this is a hot issue lately, the whole Vax vs anti Vax debate. But really? If your child was a happy typically developing child one day, went in for his shots and less than a week later was non verbal, and a completely different child. or worse yet, didnt wake up less that 3 days after getting 8 shots all at once. What would you think? Instead try WHAT’S YOUR POSITION ON THE VACCINE DEBATE? If you even want to open that can of worms.
4. MY HUSBAND’S COUSIN’S NEIGHBOR’S MAILMAN HAS A KID WITH SPECIAL NEEDS SO I KNOW WHAT YOUR GOING THROUGH…
I know you mean well. You want to relate to me, your again, curious and feel awkward and not sure what to say. You know what? It’s ok! It’s ok to not say anything. It’s ok if you don’t verbally acknowledge that you see my son is wearing braces on his legs or that he doesn’t speak like his peers or that his brother only plays by lining up hot wheels in giant lines for hours. It’s ok if we just talk about you or your latest battle with the terrible two’s. We’re MOMS TOO 🙂 Try : HI, I’M NEW IN THE AREA AND HAVEN’T MET ANY OTHER MOMS YET, CAN WE EXCHANGE INFO? or whatever other honest ice breaker topic you have.
5. YOU KNOW, YOUR KID REALLY SHOULDN’T BE DOING THAT AT HIS AGE HE’S TOO OLD…
I know many who if they see even a 3 year old with their thumb in their mouth tell them to take it out or mention it to the parents. And if you see a 9 year old doing it you may verbally chastise the child. Pleas dont. This would he a great moment to use self control and BE QUIET. Some kids have only one self soothing skill so if that’s all we got to get us through this shopping trip alive, then by all means little Jimmy, suck your thumb!
6. WOW THAT’S SO RETARDED!
This one speaks for itself. Many of us grew up using this word, innocently, as slang. Most of us don’t use it like it’s what it is. A horrible, demeaning and dehumanizing descriptor. If you can’t be politically correct it’s ok, but there’s all difference between not knowing the right term and asking a polite question for direction and flat out using the “R” word. Think of it this way… would you say a certain 6 letter word to certain people of color? No you wouldnt. Bc it’s hateful and offensive, and we believe in equality for every person, right? RIGHT. Everyone. No matter what their difference is. Some better choices are “non typical” “typically developing” and “developmentally delayed”.
7. YOU KNOW OTHER PARENTS AT THIS SCHOOL ARE SCARED OF YOUR KIDS. THEY’RE CLASS SHOULDN’T BE NEXT TO THE KINDERGARTEN ROOM…
If you have safety concerns, that’s great. Take it up with your school administrators. Do not tell me why you think my child is a danger to the other kids. Sometimes we do have to broach really sensitive topics with eachother. If my child socked yours, please let’s talk about it. We are working on this with him all bd his team and I am so sorry it happened. But we can do it with grace and tact. So we can still walk away peaceful. Let’s all be grown ups ladies. Again WE ARE ALL MOMS HERE.
8. DO YOU EVER WISH YOU KID WERE NORMAL?
Do I ever wish my child didn’t have to struggle? Sure! Do we as special needs parents wish we could aleviate our kids stress so we can make their quality of life better? Yes! But do we wish they were typical? No. At least not this mom. That’s like me asking you if you ever wish your kid had a disability.
A lot of this is really basic self explanatory stuff. Bottom line is we are all mothers. We all have strengths ad weeknesses, just like our children. Let’s build each other up, build community together and make this world a better place.