Dear Special Needs Parent…Please find time to cry

Dear special needs parent,

I can see behind that false smile, the reply of ‘I’m fine, thanks’ and your happy photographs you post on social media. I need you to know something very important as a parent to a child or children with additional needs: it’s ok to cry.

When you pick that child up from school to go to yet another appointment but you feel you are not getting any closer to answers; please find time to cry. I know you want to ‘brush it off’ as just another day and get on with things. I know you need to ‘keep going for the sake of the children’ as you add another outpatient appointment in your diary for a time you know will clash with the school pick up of your other children but you just don’t have the courage to say so.

It’s ok to admit it’s all draining and never ending.

You don’t have to be strong all the time.

Please find time to cry.

When you feel you are the worst parent in the world dragging your crying child to school because they are not coping and you want to help them ‘sort it out themselves’ because you know ‘this is just another incident and tomorrow there will be something else’ but deep down you still doubt if you are doing the right thing. When you worry about their mental health every bit as much as you worry about their physical wellbeing but you struggle to get anyone to take you seriously.

Don’t let the parent guilt consume you.

Don’t ever feel you are alone.

Please find time to cry.

When your child with communication difficulties is attacking you and won’t stop screaming. When you have missing hours you know nothing about and continually worry something has triggered or stressed them but no-one has communicated that to you so you can’t ‘sort it out’ and ‘make it right again’ like you always do. When you feel like you daren’t breathe incase one of your children has another meltdown and you can’t even use the bathroom without an audience.

It’s ok to want privacy.

It’s ok to feel you have lost control and you can’t make everything right for everyone.

Please find time to cry.

When the system grinds you down. When you feel scrutinised and judged by schools, professionals, and the general public. When you are heart sick of writing forms about your child’s struggles because you are trying to see a brighter future than everyone forecasts. When you no longer have any control over where you child can be educated or what therapies they can get because your child’s needs mean someone else feels they should make these decisions for you. When you feel robbed of everyday life experiences and see reminders of this everyday in social media posts and family occasions, please find time to cry.

It’s not a weakness to cry.

There is no shame is saying ‘this is hard’.

In fact by ‘holding it all together’ you are actually falling apart more than you realise.

So find time to cry.

It doesn’t mean you don’t love your child.

It doesn’t mean you are not accepting their condition or diagnosis.

It doesn’t mean you are any less.

It doesn’t mean you are not coping.

It means you are human.

Dear parent if a special need child or children: do yourself the best favour you possibly can today; find time to cry.

I promise you you will feel better for it.

16 thoughts on “Dear Special Needs Parent…Please find time to cry

  1. I do my crying in the car driving
    Most weeks. I always feel better for it but the “I’m Fine” answer back I’m all too familiar with.
    I’m sorry you feel like this and I’m sorry I do too, but in a funny way it makes me feel less alone. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post, so true, being a Parent to a child with Special needs is so hard and I struggle everyday with him, after he gets picked up for school is when I have a cry, I’m all alone and in peace. Thank you for this post for reminding me I’m not alone. xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish other people would understand this, not just special needs parents. I didn’t cry for a long time. My son was sick and in the NICU for a month at birth. Then he developed severe reflux and allergies which still persists at age 3, then at 18 months autism became part of our world and SPD and communication issues. I’m so tired. I’m so alone and it’s so hard. I only started crying about 8 months ago when my cycle returned and I fell pregnant with our second child, a long-awaited plan but also a scary and frightening prospect too. Everyone likes to say ‘it will be fine’ but no one knows that and it’s so invalidating. I’m so tired of having to nod and say ‘I hope you’re right’ when I want to say ‘shut up’. Thank you for this post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely post! We are going through the system at the moment (And have been for two years) it’s so refreshing to see that other people are in the same frame of mind as me. Thankyou so much for helping me realise, I am not alone xx

    Liked by 1 person

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