There are several other things that help me not commit myself to the loony bin. A great husband who has my back. Hanging out with other moms who are living similar lives. Hanging out with friends of typical kids so I can pretend to be normal once in awhile. My blog friends and on-line supporters. Exercising, which I need to start doing again regularly. The occasional chocolate binge (too occasional). Random people who offer to help from time to time (a friend who has taken Akila for several hours on a Saturday, a friend who took her for an overnight, a friend who sent their housecleaner to my house once, etc.). I am so appreciative of all the support we receive. We would be emotionally wrecked without the support.
There are also the people, who are almost all well intended, who say things that are just not helpful. There is often a lot of blame behind their words, even if they did not intend it to come off this way. What people need to know, is that most of us parenting challenging kids, have tried everything. There are very few things that actually work with a child with FASD, and that is the honest truth. I don't want to scare people off, but I want you to think about the things that you say to a parent like me before you say it.
Here is an example of some of the things that can be really frustrating:
- After telling someone about Akila's physical aggression, and going quite in depth about it and all that we have tried, I received an email asking me if I remind her that hitting and kicking will result in a loss of privileges. Really? Really???
- After telling someone about some behavior or something that Akila did, they tell me that it is normal and that their child did that once also. Really? Really? Big difference.
- After telling someone that Akila has very ashy skin and refuses to put lotion on and I am kind of over battling with her, they suggest that I get her a nice smelling lotion or lotion with glitters. Yeah, cuz I have never thought of that or tried that. Not to mention, it is not about the lotion, or being unique with the lotion. She is going to fight it no matter what.
- My personal fav: Being told to pray to caste out the demons and stronghold that the devil has over her.
- You got the bad luck of the draw. Really? Really?? Would you say that to someone who birthed a child with a disability? (have heard that one monthly, just this morning from our dentist)
I don't write these to make any of you feel bad. And I certainly don't mean for any of you to have to feel like you need to be soooo careful when talking to mom's like me. I'm also not saying that I don't value your advise or support. All I am saying, is please think about some of the things you say, or the advise you give. I also admit that I am guilty of doing and saying things like I have listed above, especially 6 years ago and prior to that.
So friends, feel free to post comments of other "things not to say" or things that drive you nuts when people say them. It is important to try to share these things as sometimes, they can even sting when we receive them, especially when you are new to this life, or are just figuring it out. I pretty much laugh a lot of these things off now-a-days. Julie and Dorothy and I have had a great time lately whenever one of us says something that one of our kids have done that is wacky, one of us is sure to ask if the mom has reminded the child that the behavior could result in a loss of privileges if they do it again. Cuz that will stop them.