I’m lucky to say that I have wonderful friends in my life, however, the path hasn’t been always this easy. My real friends have been always honest, have always asked how do I feel about this or that, or how do I want to handle certain situations they don’t feel comfortable with. I could always reply just by saying: “My kids are just kids, don’t make a big deal out of their disabilities,” but the truth is that sometimes we need to talk, face and answer certain questions, in order to be clear about the expectations that we have from the people we love the most, and from society in general.
These are 12 Things I Want My Friends To Know About Our Friendship After Becoming The Mother of Two Children with Special Needs
1. Please educate your children about my child’s condition. Don’t ask them to be nicer to them because of their disability. Ask them to treat them like any other child. That’s what I teach my children about yours.
2. For my birthday don’t bring me flowers or presents, just give me a break and let me have some time for myself. Help me take care of my children for a couple of hours. I trust you like nobody else.
3. Don’t feel sorry for me. I’m growing, learning and celebrating my kids’ abilities and blessings, just like you do with yours. There’s nothing really different between you and me. We both do our best every day, and we both love our kids as nobody else.
4. Take me out! Don’t let me say no. Let’s wear high heels and our best make up. I need to enjoy myself.
5. Don’t worry if you see me crying. Let me be alone, and please, understand that sometimes I need to fall to get up stronger than ever. Nothing different than in the past.
6. Don’t be shy about sharing your children’s achievements with me. I’ll celebrate this special time along with you. My children have their own achievements and I’m thankful that you are always there to celebrate simple things with me.
7. I know you want to help but please don’t tell me how to do things better. As mothers we have plenty of things in common, but we have also some different challenges and prizes in this task. Just understand that there are things about my child that you would probably never understand, and that’s okay. You don’t need to understand us, just accept us. I’ll do the same for you.
8. Please remind me to have faith. I know sometimes I’m over protective and I get easily scared of simple things.
9. Call me anytime when you need to talk, or stop by if you need a hug. I know my life seems complicated sometimes, but I’ll always do my best to be there for you, as you are always here for me. I feel proud and happy to be able to help you.
10. Let’s laugh and have fun. Call me whenever you need to talk bad about your mother in law, enjoy the latest magazine cover of William Levy, or discuss Angelina Jolie’s legs. I’m here for the important stuff but I’m also here to share some laughs and “girl talk.”
11. Please excuse me if I talk too much about therapies, inclusion, and stuff that’s foreign to you. Sometimes I have nothing else to share. I’m not obsessed, I’m just trying to understand.
12. Finally and the most important: Love my child in his ups and downs. I swear I’ll love yours the same.