Left Out… Forgotten…
Not Wanted… Unimportant…
These are all feelings that special needs parents eventually feel.
We used to hang out with friends weekly, catch up every other day, go to all the weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, etc.
But once you have a child with special needs you quickly find yourself having to say you can’t go to things. You even have to pass on the important family get togethers. You have to turn down volunteering for things that you’d really like to do.
People begin to think you don’t want to attend. That you don’t want to help.
They begin to forget to ask for your help or to send out an invitation. Thus leading to the emotions listed above.
In reality we DO want to do all these things. Our child just needs special attention and they come first to us.
Please don’t count us out though.
Yes it’s likely we may have to decline, but it means the world to us to be asked. We may surprise you (and even ourselves), we may actually be able to attend or help.
If we do commit please know that we will do our best to follow through. Especially if it’s something we’ve volunteered for. If we offer to help please take us up on our offer. Yes we have our hands full. But we wouldn’t offer if we didn’t want or think we could follow through.
Please don’t count us out.
This doesn’t just apply to special needs families.
It applies for:
Widows with weddings and bridal showers.
Baby showers for those struggling with infertility, pregnancy or infant loss.
Even birthday party invite for someone with a special needs child.
Please don’t count us out because you think it will be to painful for us to attend.
We know you’re trying to spare our feeling but in reality it hurts more to be left out. Let us make the decision for ourself if we will or will not attend.
Lily has a 10 year old friend who also has cerebral palsy. It broke my heart when I read in the birthday card after Lily’s party that she has never been invited to a birthday party before this one. At 10 years old! Why? Unfortunately it’s probably because she has special needs, can’t speak in words like we use (yet is great in communicating in her own way) and possibly because people didn’t want to make her parents feel bad that their child was meeting milestones that their child wasn’t.
Yes we grieve about our child not meeting those milestones. That just means we celebrate even more when they meet their own ‘inch’stones (as we call them). But you know what we LOVE, celebrating any child’s ‘mile’ or ‘inch’ stones!
So before second guessing about inviting your family member to that baby shower because they are really struggling with infertility, or thinking twice about inviting that little girl who is in a wheelchair to your daughters birthday party, remember…
Please Don’t Count Them Out!
Let them make the choice.