To all the mothers who parent a child with a behavior disorder on this glorious Mother’s Day,
I see how hard you work.
Your mind thinks about more in a five-minute span than most parents have to think about in a whole hour.
It takes more effort for you to discipline your child every day than sometimes your body allows.
You spend most of your free time reading blogs, reading books, going to therapists, asking for professional advice, visiting medical doctors, and crying to your friends, which leaves no time for you to be your own person.
You have to get up before your child does in the mornings so that you know they’ll be safe.
You have to get their medications right EVERY TIME, and they always have to be ON TIME. If you forget them, everyone loses.
I know how tired you are.
You can’t take a nap on the couch while your child watches a tablet next to you.
You can’t send your child to sleepovers with friends.
Sometimes, even family gets tired from your child, and you know you have to use your babysitting “tokens” carefully.
I know the judgment you get.
To parent your child well, you have to be “stricter” than other parents. People think you’re mean.
To provide your child what they need, you have to keep them on a schedule that doesn’t change very often. People think you’re unable to go with the flow.
If your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, they’re going to make impulsive decisions that often result in messes. People think your child is a brat.
If your child has highly functioning Autism, you might need to provide your child with quiet space during the middle of a party. People think you’re babying your child.
If your child has Reactive Attachment Disorder, you have to watch your child “prefer” other people all day long. They think it’s because they’re nicer to your child than you are, but you know it’s because they’re giving your child access to something they want. People think you’re heartless.
If your child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, their brain tells them they MUST argue with whatever you say, even if it’s the color of their own eyes. People think your child needs a spanking.
If your child has Conduct Disorder, they might damage property when they’re at school. People think your child is a “bad seed” who needs parents that actually discipline them.
If your child has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, they probably have a system for everything that can only be disrupted very slowly and very carefully. People think you let your child get away with whatever they want.
I know you see things in your child no one else can.
While other people see your child losing it in the checkout lane, you see that your child lasted ten minutes longer than usual in the store.
While other people see your child get their fifth office referral this month, you see that by this time last month, your child had already gotten ten.
While other people see your child jump off the top of a bench and knock over a smaller child, you see your child snap out of their “trance” right away to apologize.
While other people saw your child arguing with you about a toy inside the store, you heard your child say, “I don’t want to be such a bad kid,” as soon as you got in the car.
While other people see your child steal all the dinosaurs from the library play space, you see your child creating a rainbow display in color order, without yelling at anyone.
When other people see a behavior, you see potential.
When other people see a diagnosis, you see a person.
When other people see a child that is different, you see the most beautiful little human being that was ever created.
I see you, moms. I know the work you do is hard, and I know that people don’t understand, but you’re changing history right now.
Keep up the good work, and may the Lord have blessed you with a restful moment at some point today.
Happy Mother’s Day.