Single parent dating with special needs child
When you’re a single parent of a special-needs child, your partnered friends of typical children will say that, over and over again (with great enthusiasm). On the one hand it’s a compliment, but part of me wonders if they are they throwing salt over their shoulder and thanking the gods that they are neither single nor the parent of a special-needs child.The simple answer is that you “do it” because, well, what else would you do?I would get angry with these platitudes or the all-knowing sentiment that “everything will be just fine.” Since I saw no one with a crystal ball, I pretty much summarily dismissed these comments.It has taken a long time for me to realize it, but the friends and family who made these comments simply did not know what else to say and they really did think they were offering up helpful or kind wisdom.Some delays, disorders or disabilities didn’t show up until early infancy, the toddler years or in some cases, not until the kids are school age.Regardless of how or when you became aware that you had been inducted into this select group of parents, there are a few pieces of advice that universally apply: (Okay, it is going to take lots of deep breaths or possibly you may need to be reminded to actually breathe). You may be surrounded by family and friends (or not) but at the end of the day, the decisions are yours alone.As a single parent you likely do not have the luxury of quitting your job so that you can attend to all of this. What helped me was getting a really unattractive and enormous whiteboard that I mounted to the front door.
Not having a third trimester in utero causes a whole bunch of things to go awry and despite the mantra of some organizations that “support” parents of premature children, they don’t all magically “catch up” by the age of two.
From books and magazines, to television and movies, you can’t escape the sights and sounds of couples in love.
You can hear them dedicating sappy love songs to one another on the radio (do people REALLY do that?
As I was researching the mystery of love and relationships, of what drives couples apart, and what holds them together, etc., I found myself talking with relationship and family counselors, therapists, married couples with special needs children, divorced couples with special needs kids, a pastor, a rabbi, families I didn’t know but who I encountered at various events I attended, etc. Even though we are all so busy with work, with running our kids to various therapies, with maintaining a home, helping with school work, etc., both parties in a romantic relationship MUST find the time to BE in the relationship.
I will share the highlights of what I learned from these experts about making a relationship work—whether you have typical or non-typical children—and maybe, just maybe, you will find yourself inspired to hop on your own path toward true and permanent love. And that includes time for the two of you AND time together with the children as well. You vowed in the beginning of a relationship to always be open and honest with one another. If something within the relationship or something about the other person or the child is an issue, you don’t just disappear or refrain from talking about it.