One of the most deceptive white lies also happens to be one of the most beautiful white lies ever told.
It often comes from the parents of disabled children, and most of them mean it from the heart- even though their hearts tremble to say it, they vocalise it with such strength and confidence that anyone hearing these words would believe them to be true…
“Being a parent of a disabled child is extremely rewarding!”
10 little words, so powerful, so beautifully genuine sounding that when you hear them you desperately want them to be true- but are they? Or could they simply be one of the greatest offerings of hope and optimism one parent can give to another?
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Challenging Vs Rewarding
As the mother of disabled children I can tell you that changing a grown child’s diaper is more ‘challenging’ than what it is “rewarding”. The physical stain on one’s back from having to undertake such a task, several times a day, can be physically damaging let alone exhausting.
Feeding a grown child and watching as the food spills out of their mouth is another task I am yet to see the “reward” in. All parents want their children to eat well. And this is a task that can be mentally exhausting meal after meal.
Guessing what a child needs can be grossly exasperating especially for children who are unable to communicate in any way and especially once a parent’s energy sources are all but diminished.
All your materialistic goods which a disabled child can’t help but destroy don’t compare to the utterly devastated hopes and dreams you once held so dear for your child’s future. In some cases, parents of disabled children are lucky to see them reach adulthood let alone tie their own shoelaces or feed themselves independently.
Keep Powering Through
It’s our responsibility though… we owe it to our children, disabled or otherwise to keep powering through. And perhaps that’s where the “reward” comes from- fulfilling one’s obligations.
Being able to go to sleep knowing that you gave the day your best. That you held it all together. Maybe you cried, maybe you didn’t, but you ensured your child’s needs were met – often above your own… and at the end of the day isn’t that all any parent can do for their child?
It’s A Choice
Whether being a parent of a disabled child is “rewarding” or not isn’t a decision I can make for you. It’s a choice you have to make for yourself.
It’s not the same as walking out of a fitting room in a ridiculous outfit and believing the salesperson as they tell you tongue-in-cheek how incredible you look in it.
This is real life. And just like with any other real-life situation- it is what you make of it.
Becoming a parent might mean having to let your heart walk outside your body for the rest of your life. However becoming a parent of a disabled child means never being able to die in peace.
Being a parent of a disabled child is extremely rewarding, or not- the choice is entirely up to you! Do try not to impose your ideals of what parenting a disabled child ‘should’ be like on to other people, because each case is unique. Every situation has different severities.
And until you have cooked in their kitchen you have absolutely no idea how hot it is in there!
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