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Bad Days

By Pat Linkhorn

Who said life had to be fair? I realize my life did not come with a guarantee stating I would be guaranteed happiness and success. But even knowing this, I still have days when I resent other people's "normal" lives. I rant and rave about the injustice of having two atypical kids and the way my life has turned out.

I long for that "normal" life, and I wish my biggest problem of the day was which dance studio to choose for the girls' dancing lessons or what dress to wear to the church social. On these days I wish my kids belonged to anyone but me. I did nothing to deserve this!

But then, after I've ranted and raved it all out of my system, I stop and think back to when my life was normal. I still had bad days then, but the things I worried about! Was my car clean, and were all the weeds pulled out of the cracks in the sidewalk and why hadn't so-and-so returned my call?

In retrospect, they were all so trivial. At least now I have legitimate reasons to be upset. We're talking about social injustice, poor professional attitudes and no health insurance. These are issues that mean something and the decisions I make will have some pretty far reaching effects for my children.

My good friend, Jennifer, is so upset because the hair stylist cut her hair too short and it doesn't flatter her. She's sure people will be staring at her for weeks. Me, I could shave my head and people would still notice my kids first. I might be a tiny bit upset if it happened to me, but I wouldn't have the time to agonize over it like she is doing. There really are more important things to consider in my life.

I suppose I should be thankful that there is more depth to my life now and some days I am very aware of how the abnormal has changed my perspective and priorities for the better. I don't have time anymore to make life miserable for my husband, and I'm too busy to worry about the social structure in my community. (I don't even have time to keep up with DAYS OF OUR LIVES anymore.)

Some days I am very aware of my change in attitude about some of the more important things in life and I thank God that I've come this far in this evolutionary process called life. But the biggest fact I realize about all this is that I am NOT a super mom. I can only do so much and the days when I do rant and rave are normal. I am allowed to feel this way occasionally and I'm not a bad mother because I do feel this way. It's a normal reaction to the stresses that a developmentally or physically handicapped child places upon a person. I'm not a bad person because I feel this way sometimes. I'm only human and I really think I am the best mother my kids could have.

Copyright 2001 Pat Linkhorn


Pat Linkhorn is the Editor of Special Education at About.com and a professional advocate for families with children who have special needs. She is also an experienced parent and has two girls with special needs - autism and blindness due to prematurity. http://thelinkto.com/linkhome
 

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