There are a lot of things you really shouldn't say to a special needs mom. I've read many blog posts where the writer has been right on and a few where I really didn't see the big deal. But there's one thing that I've never read on any of those lists. Maybe the writers have never heard this themselves. But I think it should be the number one thing. It doesn't matter how you word it, it'll never come out okay nor will it be any less damaging. Don't ever say-
"The child's/baby's (enter what makes said child "special" here) aliment has to be her (meaning mother's) fault somehow."
Yes that's right, there are those out there ignorant enough to make a comment like that. Doesn't matter if it's said to the mother or another. And it doesn't matter IF it was the case. JUST DON'T SAY IT!
Why not? Let me tell you why. It's completely insensitive first and foremost but also this...
Being a mother to a special needs child I have feelings you'd never dream about. The moment you find out your precious little baby is "different" than anticipated the thoughts start creeping in. The feelings of guilt overwhelm you, wash over you every time you look at her or think of her or her future. You ask yourself numerous times what you did or could of done differently. How come she is like she is? Is she paying for your mistake?
These questions can be abated. When answers are found the feelings subside some, but never go away. In your logically mind you Know You are not to blame. But feelings aren't logical, they're from the heart. They're from that tender spot, that sensitive spot, that always hurting, aching spot. That spot that wishes things were different. Just a bit easier for her. And the feelings can still be there, hiding just under the surface, waiting for the perfect moment to make its appearance and sink it's ugly teeth right back into you.
I don't need your reminder of how I feel regularly. Nor do I need to know that someone else thinks that way about me- that someone else thinks I'm less than I am, because of how my baby was born. That someone else sees me as I see myself sometimes. I don't need you to blame me, for I blame myself more than you'll ever realize. And adding to my guilt won't work, won't make me better. You only take away what little I can build up for myself. I am not an errant child in need of a good scolding, or guilt trip, I am a mama always hurting for her little one.
You'll never know how that feels to live in that. Unless you too are a special needs mom. And to judge someone so harshly and put it out there for the world to know, accomplishes nothing but shows how ignorant you really are. So my piece of advice- first: keep your mouth shut. Second: if you really think that then find a way to be helpful, whether to that special needs mom or to someone else who also deserves it. Because all your doing by saying it is causing harm, to everyone around you.
It sickens me and holds heavy on my heart. The tears today will not stop. I am again reminded of the feelings of inadequacy I have often. The waves of guilt crashing upon me. Today I feel it all again. Tomorrow it will pass and I will remember I am a strong mama. I am a good mama. And I did nothing to be blamed for. I will remember, tomorrow, that life's difficulties are given to us for a reason. And I will more forward. I will be able to hold my head up again. You on the other hand have to live with yourself everyday- do you really want to live like that?