Friday, January 17, 2014

Parenting is Hard

You know what's hard? Parenting. Parenting a child who's autistic, who has ADHD, who is bi-polar, who <insert diagnosis or lack thereof here>.... just parenting. This parenting gig is damned hard.

Life is hard. Being a parent is hard. It's okay to admit that, I promise.

You find joy where you can, happiness where it is, and you try not to lose your crap.

You march on.

And on.

And on.

 And on.

I hear from autism parents a lot. We discuss our lives in person, calls, texts, forums, groups, and private messages. Some of them ask me for answers to questions about their children and sometimes I can give them answers. But when they ask what they can do about themselves and the feeling of guilt like they aren't doing enough, I get stuck and feel fake. How can I answer something for someone when I don't have the answer myself?

I'm genuinely a happy person. However, life is hard. That's the thread that keeps coming up whenever I think about what's bothering us all. We do hard things. This parenting gig is rough and God help us if we say so openly, because if we do, we'll be crucified. We get compared to people we are not like. Or that our kids don't deserve us. We are told to suck it up, this is what we signed up for, to figuratively lace up our boots and get to it.

But God forbid we get it wrong.

I know that's what drives my anxiety, what makes my hands shake and even flap and keeps me up at night- getting it all wrong. My perception of "wrong" is probably not the same as some else's, but my idea of "right" or "good" is probably some non parent or sanctimonious parent's  idea of hideous.

So I, and others, keep marching along to my own tune with the help of some input from advice, hoping that I'm getting it right and not traumatizing my children too badly. I keep doing hard things. Because that's what parents do: hard things. 

Sometimes, the hardest thing to admit as a parent is that parenting is hard. You're not a failure if you admit it. I swear.

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