Special Needs Parents: Stop Blaming Yourself
Humans always want answers. We ask questions like, “why is the sky blue?” or “why do good people die?” and want immediate answers. Problem is, sometimes those answers are hard to come up with or are just plain unanswerable.
When my child was first diagnosed with his delay the questions immediately began to run through my mind. The very first question I asked myself was why it happened to him. Why my son? The only answer I could come up with was me. I was the reason my son was delayed. Besides, I was a stay-at-mom, his primary caregiver, and I carried him in my womb. Who else could be the blame?
For the last five years I’ve battled blaming myself for the issues with my son’s development. To be frank, I felt as if I broke him. He was delayed because of something I did or didn’t do. If only I had read more books to him, maybe if I gave him a little more fruit, if only I had never let him watch television, or if only I hadn’t forgotten to give him his vitamin that day. If only I had done a better job of raising him.
His delay was my fault. Mine and mine alone. Or at least, that’s how I felt.
The truth of the matter is that parenting is difficult and I haven’t gotten everything perfect. Yes, I’ve made mistakes along the way, but those mistakes are not the reason my son was behind. I did not break my son. I didn’t. And the same goes for you.
If you have a special needs child, please do not blame yourself. We don’t know exactly why kids develop these types of issues. At the end of the day, blaming yourself isn’t going to make your child better. It is only going to make you worse. Instead of putting your energy into playing the blame game, harness it into loving and caring for your child and connecting them to the proper resources to help their development.
I won’t act like accepting that it isn’t your fault is as easy as it sounds, because it certainly is not. Hardship seems to be easier to endure when you’ve got something or someone to blame. It is difficult to not know the source of a problem. However, it is even more difficult to bear the guilt of damaging your child upon your shoulders. Do yourself a favor and set yourself free from the bondage of blame. I did. I can’t even begin to tell you the weight that has been lifted off my shoulders.
So, mothers or fathers of special needs children, if you’re reading this, please know that you did not break your child. You are not the blame. Stop beating yourself up and set yourself free. Read these words and let them penetrate your soul: Its. Not. Your. Fault.
Briana McCarthy is a lifestyle, beauty and culture writer, blogger, speaker, social media strategist, and an advocate for special needs children. Check out her blog at www.themanesource.com