Guest Blogger, Mom life, Parenting, Special needs parenting

You Might Be a Special Needs Parent If….

By: Heidi Hess Saxton

When I’m in a mood, Jeff Foxworthy can always find my funny bone. (Pair him up with Ron White and a generous glass of chardonnay, and I have to pull out my emergency stash of Depends.)

Foxworthy’s “You Might Be a Redneck” shtick always gets me going … While poverty and ignorance, by themselves, are no laughing matter, he represents a segment of the population who genuinely need a good laugh, and like to laugh at themselves. And if you can’t beat ’em … well, you know.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer this little Foxworthian tribute to another segment of the population who sorely needs a good laugh: moms, and in particular moms of special needs teenagers. When surging hormones (theirs) meets depleting energy (ours), it can be a volatile mix. If we don’t find a way to laugh — well, we just HAVE to find a way to laugh. Perhaps with a little help of a friend, and a generous glass of chardonnay.

So … YOU MIGHT BE A SPECIAL-NEEDS PARENT (SNeP) IF…

· If the dog dives for cover when the school bus pulls up …

· If you count the Xanax like you were doling out jellybeans in grade school (one for you and one for me, one for you and two for me) …

· If you sign the school paper, put it in the folder and backpack, remind your kid six times to deliver it to a teacher … then take it out to scan and send it yourself …

· If you open the mailbox and get more excited over a birthday party invitation (for your child) than the Publisher’s Clearing House guy …

· If you’re beginning to worry that “independence” is just a city in Missouri …

· If your calendar is so full of therapists, doctors, teacher conferences, and psych evals that your dentist plays double duty as your gyno …

· If your child’s psych eval and nocturnal wanderings both keep you up at night …

· If the only thing that scares you more than your child getting asked to prom is the thought that she might not …

· If you settle the question who did the dishes last night by rewinding the safety cameras …

· If your kids’ shenanigans have ghosted more friends than a serial killer …

· If your child’s notebook has more violent artistic renderings than Scotland Yard …

· If your idea of a hot date night is to stay awake long enough to find out Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? or Shall We Dance? (or really, anything that doesn’t have a Disney princess in it) …

· If you blow out the candles on every birthday cake wishing that one day you will get your life back … and hoping that they will launch successfully into theirs …

What would you add to the list?

Heidi Hess Saxton is a writer of spiritual nonfiction and a mother of two teenagers with “invisible” special needs that she and her husband foster-adopted in 2003. Her books include Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta and Raising Up Mommy. She blogs for parents of adopted, foster, and special needs children at the “Extraordinary Moms Network,” and about the rest of life at “Life on a Road Less Traveled.”

Her sites:
Extraordinary Moms Network (for parents of adopted, foster, and special needs kids).
Life on the Road Less Traveled (for those whose lives have taken an unexpected turn, more spiritually oriented).

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