First and foremost, we just want to say Thank You.
We don’t think you hear those words enough. Thank you for standing beside your child despite the incredible adversity, the frustration it places on your marriage or partnership, and the financial toll it takes on your lives. Thank you for being an emotional support to your wives, partners, or husbands. Thank you for not giving up when so many other Dads walk away. Thank you for being the man that your child needs you to be, and providing the love and support to them to help them thrive.
Thank you for not taking the easy way out and abandoning your family.
Raising a child with disabilities or chronic illness is challenging for any family. Divorce rates for children with disabilities are higher than the national average. We have a lot of adversity in our lives, and it’s hard to find time for our marriages. You stay with your partner despite the fact that your marriage or relationship may take second place to your child. For many men, it’s hard to manage the emotional toll of seeing their child suffer, the financial impact causes them immense stress, and they can even resent the mother for not having time for them. There is a pocket of you that refuse to give into those temptations, and you refuse to take the easy way out.
Thank you for standing up, buckling down, and not giving up on your family because things are hard.
Marriages take a lot of work, and the fact is children with disabilities also take up a lot of time and resources. Your wives may be so exhausted at the end of the day that they have no time to talk to you, cuddle with your, or to be intimate with you. Your compassion and understanding of the stress and toll it takes on your wife is what keeps her going. Most of us feel guilty we can’t give you more of ourselves. We are drained. We long for intimacy and to feel connected to you, but after a day of caregiving, we need time to ourselves to recharge. Thank you for understanding that even though we don’t always show it that we love you tremendously, and we are grateful that you support us as much as our children.
We know we talk about our kids a lot, and we know that our kids have a way of taking over our marriages. Our nights out can often consist of talking endlessly about what is going on in their lives, the appointments they have, or the items we need to do for them. Sharing our feelings about our experience and caregiving of our children helps us process our grief, work through our frustration, and understand the impact it is taking on our souls. While it’s not always ideal that we talk about the kids, we are so grateful that you allow us to dump and vent to you. Most of us have no one else in our lives that get it – and you are the one person that gets what is going on.
Thank you for being our go-to, our rock, and our person that has our back on our hardest days.
Thank you for not being too much of a man to be vulnerable, cry, and share with us your fears and frustrations. We know this is not an easy road, and as much as you are our rock, we want to be yours too. Thank you for entrusting your secrets and feelings in our hearts, and thank you for not being afraid to bare your soul. We’ve seen you cry and fall to your knees, and we know as a partner and mother your heart hurts as much as ours to help our child.
Thank you for not giving up on our children when so many others in the world walk away.
Raising a child with a disability isn’t an easy road for any parent. Mothers seem to get all the accolades. However, you are the silent warriors in our lives. You don’t ask for recognition, and you don’t seek approval from anyone. You are the rocks we need, the glue that keeps our families together, and the role model we want our children to see. Every child with disabilities requires a dad that will love them and adore them. Thank you for being that dad.
Mothers of Children with Special Needs