Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

Special Needs Parenting: The Worry. Maybe, It’s More Like Regular Parent Worry Than Not.

Years ago, when I was eight or nine years old, I read the words that parents will always love their children more than children love their parents. The realization that I meant more to my mom and dad than they meant to me immediately made me feel both treasured and guilty. I made a conscious effort to love them better and bigger, but – as happens with most young children’s intentions – my attempts were eventually forgotten, I focused on myself, and I attempted to make sure that they both knew that when I was a parent, I’d be way cooler and better than they were.

Gonna be a cooler parent than my parents and I miss the 70

Surely, once I became a mother, I’d be the favorite one on the block. The mom that got it. The one who doesn’t worry unnecessarily, hover, or embarrass her son with in-public kisses or by licking her finger to remove a bit of breakfast from his face.

It feels nice to know that I had all of the parenting answers before becoming one myself. Remembering the certainty that I’d be the coolest mom ever feels like putting on an old college sweatshirt whose days weren’t that glory-filled even in the late 80’s. It feels good, and familiar, and provides comfort, but part of you has to wonder why you bought that ugly sweatshirt (or borrowed it and never returned it) in the first place.

Today, I’m a special needs parent and I worry.

I get that all parents worry. I also get that licking my finger to remove food from my son’s face before he boards the bus in the morning may feel embarrassingly awful to him, but is certainly less awful than me allowing him to show up at kindergarten with literal egg on his face would be.

Today, Tucker’s youth allows me to imagine that my guidance, support, and boundless love for him will help to smooth the pain he’ll face. Boo-boos are mended with kisses and bandaids, and the “It’s not fair!” injustices are mostly forgotten.

But what about the bigger stuff?

What do I do when my usual tricks to understand Tucker’s incomprehensible words fail? What do I do when we’re driving home, and my little boy says something that I can’t understand no matter how hard I try?

What do I do when my little boy tells me that he needs to go to the doctor so that the doctor can give his mouth a check-up, and fix it because something’s wrong when he tries to say his words?

It feels as if that’s a special needs worry. It feels bigger and scarier and less hopeful than the worries that other parents have.

And, in a lot of ways, it is.

Special needs parents deal with IEPs, therapies, health scares, too-large diapers, judgement from people who assume behaviors are due to bad parenting, and worries that no parent should ever have to experience. Some special needs parents need to create trusts so that their children will be cared for by somebody who might care once they’re gone. Some deal with much more difficult issues than most of us can imagine.


What if the worry part isn’t all that different?

What if ALL of our problems feel like special needs problems to us, in our own lives? What if we take a minute to remember that we’ve each and all stared at our ceilings, too late at night, convinced that we are broken? That other people must know what they’re doing way better than we do?

What if somebody we trusted promised us that whatever we feel within each moment is more alike what other people feel than different? What if I told you that the really cool popular mom has felt like a failure and a reject and that she’s just doing it all wrong?

I don’t have any data to back this idea up. In fact, I tentatively go to and from the bus stop each morning wondering if there’s something wrong with me because these other moms seem to find brainless chatter and camaraderie so much more easily than I do. Each morning, I rush away. I don’t liniger and I only tentatively reach out. Most of them don’t even know that I’m a special needs mom, so how much am I sharing? How many of my worries for my son are based on my own childhood insecurities and failures and dreams both forgotten and realized?

What if I told you that whether special needs is a part of the equation or not, that we all feel like freaks sometimes, and like The President of All The Things at others? What if you knew, without a doubt, that whatever thoughts are in your head at night – the worries and the triumphs, that you weren’t alone? What if?

What if.

I’m going to go ahead and say if.

I’m going to go so far as to say That.

I’m going to say that I will try to remember each night, once my son is in bed and I feel the weight of all of the undone things, forgotten tasks weighing on me, that the fact that I am an imperfect parent is okay, and that you feeling the same makes it even more so.

While the memory of my mother licking her finger to wipe forgotten breakfast from my face still disgusts me and makes me want to hide my face, me repeating her behavior is still better than my son entering school with literal egg on his face.

I mean what if? What if we’re all just…

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, where writers and bloggers get together and each publish an ending to the week’s sentence. This weeks was “When my kids go to bed I…”
Kristi (me) Finding Ninee
Kerri Undiagnosed but Okay (and this week’s sentence thinker upper)
Stephanie Mommy For Real

  • Dana - I think you are right. It’s not If, it is That. Parenting is hard, and it can make you feel very alone. But we are not, even if our challenges are different. Our love for our kids is the equalizer.January 15, 2015 – 10:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - You nailed it again, Kristi. I worry. I worry all the time. I worry about when my son will notice that people look at him a little different. I worry about him succumbing to his diagnosis because it’s too present or too hard. I will worry about him for the rest of my life, but I will also love him for the rest of my life. With that love comes great embarrassment, not always intentional, but it happens.January 15, 2015 – 11:01 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw my Ride the Lightning friend… Carpe Diem Baby!! And the bell tolls not for us just yet thank goodness 🙂
      Ugh to the people looking at our sons differently.. and yay for us for getting it and getting them… here’s to loving them the very best, because you do. I do. We do. We deserve some whisky in a jar every day.January 16, 2015 – 11:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Oh Kristi, I said all the time when I was younger that I wouldn’t sound like my mom or turn into her, but still and all, I open my mouth or do something now with my girls and there she is – my mom and as Billy Joel says, “And so it goes!” But I guess it is just a mom thing and yes I do get it in spades here, my friend.January 16, 2015 – 3:11 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle AKA Crumpets and Bollocks - You know if you don’t lick breakfast off your kid’s face, the school will think you are neglecting him. Total time out for mom. Meanwhile, don’t worry so much. I can tell you give parenting your 100% all, and it doesn’t matter what comes at you, and what you mess up for a minute, because you care. And that caring is what makes you fix your mess ups, it’s what helps your child grow and overcome his obstacles eventually, and it’s the very reason you don’t need to worry about being imperfect. The smartest person knows that he doesn’t know, and he still needs to learn. The wisest person knows that we parents are only human, and mistakes are part of it, and that’s ok. A person with great understanding realizes flaws are what makes us unique and beautiful in our own way. You are on the right path and doing the right thing. Sleep at night, because you earned it.January 16, 2015 – 3:37 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Michelle. Fuck time out for moms for not licking our kids’ faces! And yeah, here’s to being wise and dumb and human and all of it, because you’re right. It’s okay! We’re unique and beautiful. xxooJanuary 16, 2015 – 11:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly McKenzie - Such a cute picture Kristi. Do you have a huge cache of photos from when you were little? Wonderful post. I can remember breasteeding at 3:00 AM and thinking, no hoping, that somewhere nearby another mother was doing the same.January 16, 2015 – 4:19 amReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Yep, it’s part of the human condition to feel uncertainty alternating with being the President of All The Things. We all share that, regardless if we are popular or not (BTW, you are a popular Mom!). I don’t think that this is limited to being a special needs parent or a special needs child. What is important is developing a sense of self-awareness and forgiveness that tides us through whatever challenges (including egg on the face) are our lot that day. Hugs!!!January 16, 2015 – 4:32 amReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - There are things I do which are like my mum, definitely. And (less lovely) things I do which are like my dad. I guess in ways it’s absolutely inevitable – they are our first role-models and they leave a lasting impression.

    BUT. You’re doing good parenting, so don’t worry too much.January 16, 2015 – 7:27 amReplyCancel

  • Marcia @ Menopausal Mother - Great post, and one that would truly benefit new moms in particular. It’s interesting, because when I became a first time mom, I had the same thoughts—-that I’d be the cool mom, the popular mom, the Martha Stewart of the group. And for awhile, I fooled myself into thinking I was with the first three kids. Then came #4, the wild child, and even though he is 19 now, I still feel as if I have failed this boy. I keep looking back, wondering what I did wrong, what I might have missed. I’ve learned over time that no matter how many kids you have, you can’t parent them all the same way. Some take a different kind of parenting. I wish I had known that when my son was young. All I can do now is strive to keep the bridge of communication open between us, to make sure he knows every day how much I love him no matter what he does, and to be here for him whenever he needs me.January 16, 2015 – 9:09 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much, Marcia! It’s funny how different parenting really is from what we thought it’d be huh? I’m convinced, too, that you definitely did not fail your youngest – every kid is different and honestly I was a tool when I was 19 years old and I turned out okay!! xxooJanuary 17, 2015 – 3:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerri - What if….see that is where I trip up. I think WHAT IF (insert most outrageous and untrue thing that might happen here). I need to stop the what if and begin living this is the way it is. Yet I so get where you went with this prompt.

    Awesome job my friendJanuary 16, 2015 – 11:14 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Kerri! I can let myself get so dang carried away with the what if (horrible awful bad bad thing here) but I’m really trying to not let myself do it…January 17, 2015 – 3:43 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - ——Kristi,
    every single time I read your words, my heart fills up with joy, hope, and abundant love.

    xx kisses and appreciation from MN.January 16, 2015 – 11:19 amReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - I had two healthy babies and I worried constantly but 2 1/2 months ago I had my first granddaughter is she has special needs. She wears a heart monitor and breaths through oxygen every second. I’ve never seen her little face without it. I worried about my babies but it wasn’t the life and death stuff that we have to worry about with my granddaughter. I could walk out of the room while my children slept but somehow because she is so little and helpless I can’t leave her alone for a second when she is in my care. There is to much at stake and I think after I have done this for awhile that weight that comes from every single decision being life or death will definitely be a lot bigger weight than whether or not I embarrassed my son by licking my finger. It’s like a worry on top of a worry sort of way.January 16, 2015 – 12:25 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - That makes sense, Rena. When it’s a true life of death worry, that’s something much much bigger than the usual worries. I get so many people who say things to me like that they don’t know how I handle things that I feel like they feel that they’re not allowed to worry just because their kids don’t have special needs and I want them to know that I understand that their worries, in their own homes, are as big to them as mine are to me, if that makes sense. Hugs and prayers for your sweet granddaughter!January 17, 2015 – 3:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - Beautiful and heart felt,as always. but I hate that you feel that way at the bus stop. We need to get you hooked up with some of those moms, because I think you’re right. We’re all scared. And I do know what you mean about the mindless chatter. It can get on the nerves when you have bigger things to worry about – but sometimes that’s a defense mechanism, because they don’t want to let anyone know they’re not perfect. Give them a couple glasses of wine and I am sure you will go home and be grateful worries.

    Miss you!January 16, 2015 – 1:27 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I do need to find a way to drink wine with some of the moms in the neighborhood but I dunno – they’re younger than I am and it seems that they already have established friendships. Plus I am a dork!!January 17, 2015 – 3:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Asd-Dr - I think most kids have things their parents did that they swear they will never do as parents, until we do them. However as an adult I realized that turning into my Mom may not be such a bad thing.January 16, 2015 – 1:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - I agree with the person above that you should reach out to the moms at the bus stop. Yes, some of them may be rude – then you will know. The others could be people you like, invite over, your kids get along because they accept each other, and the next thing you know your son has a cadre of friends that can help carry him through the difficult social issues of childhood.

    Pick the parents of the kids you genuinely like. 🙂January 16, 2015 – 2:32 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I have tried a little to reach out to the bus stop moms – maybe I need to just try more often or something. Because you’re right – having more friends in the ‘hood would be nice for me and for Tucker… thanks, Elizabeth!January 17, 2015 – 4:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Scott Hansen - We all have our own unique worries as parents because we all have our own unique children. I have no doubt you’re doing the very best for Tucker. You love for him shines through your words clearly and brightly.January 16, 2015 – 3:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Little Miss Wordy - I’ll always remember an Ally McBeal episode where she’s in the restroom at work crying over something and Georgia walks in, rolls her eyes, and asks her, “Why are your problems so much bigger than anyone else’s?” Ally responds, “Because they’re mine.” That line has stuck with me for years. It’s so true. As parents, our challenges are as big as the next parent’s simply because they are ours and we are the ones living it. This is a great post and if I haven’t said it lately, Tucker is darn lucky to have you for his mommy. Hugs!January 16, 2015 – 3:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Deb - I liked the line about knowing it all before you did it. So true. And for all the people saying you should try to talk to the moms at the bus stop, I totally get why you wouldn’t want to. I wouldn’t want to, either, and there are no special needs in my family. xoJanuary 16, 2015 – 3:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Maybe you could say it for me too. Until I believe it.
    Lovin those pigtails.January 16, 2015 – 4:50 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Ok let’s make a deal – we keep saying it to each other over and over and over until it sticks. I can do that.January 17, 2015 – 4:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Kim - I have gone out of my way to try and be as different from my mom as I can – the worst thing anyone could say to me is, “You are just like your mom.”
    I hope with every part of my being that my boys don’t one day feel the same (except they will be dads:)!!
    I can’t think of a day since I had my first son (over 16 years ago) that I haven’t worried – some days and some situations are worse and harder but it is always there.January 16, 2015 – 6:39 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Well I can tell you that you’re awesome so I’m sure your sons won’t feel like they don’t want to be like you! Truly! Thanks, Kim!January 17, 2015 – 4:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Ack, exactly what Dana said! Our love for our children is our great equalizer.
    We are all scared, and we all struggle. It’s not just about what our kids are, but what we are. And I have anxiety so I just assume parenting is hell on earth for me, but my kids.. they don’t struggle. And if they did, would I be different? I don’t even know.January 16, 2015 – 6:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Smith Sprenger - If I didn’t love you so much, I would be totally mad that you just busted out all this wisdom at the 11th hour. You are so right, and the points you made are really humbling. Thanks for the reminders.January 16, 2015 – 7:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - Oh Kristi… how I just adore your every word, always. They speak to ME and to EVERYONE who reads them.

    What if… oh how I know that looking up at the ceiling wonderings and awful dread of ‘what am I doing??!!!”

    I can’t recall all that my mom did. I think that is a good thing actually. I believe that truly, I am beginning a new generation of parenting from a new perspective. Coming from a very broken home, I thank GOD for guiding me in this new and endless arena of what ifs and I can only hope and pray that THAT is exactly on purpose. But we all worry. We ALL worry.

    Special needs moms, broken moms, moms with sick kids and moms who ARE sick… just trying to navigate this motherhood journey as best we can.

    *I bet those moms would hug you if you told them your story.*

    Sometimes what seems so detached and isolating and waaaay out of our realm of connecting is just that. It seems. I’ve been there, oh so many times. Afraid to approach, to engage… and most often it turns out- JUST how you so beautifully describe.

    We are ALL in this together.January 16, 2015 – 11:40 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Chris,
      Your comments never ever fail to uplift, comfort, and inspire me. Thank you for having such love and for putting it out there. You’re amazingly wonderful and you know – I’m pretty sure we’re doing just fine in the parenting stuff. It’d be weird if we don’t worry right? Also, I know what you mean about rising above the broken home…
      We truly are all in this together. Truly and completely.January 17, 2015 – 5:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Ripped Jeans & Bifocals - I don’t think the worry part is different…but yet not different. Does that even make sense? I think there are just so many different degrees of worry just like there are so many different degrees of special needs. And, I just gotta say, you rocked those 70’s ponytail! XXXXXXXOOOOO.January 17, 2015 – 4:29 amReplyCancel

  • Sammiches & Psych Meds - I think I can completely feel you here. My son has special needs, and the part where you mention not understand what your son says? Yep. And the part where you mention worrying at night when you’re trying to sleep? Yep. Worry is part of the territory. I may worry more about my son who had a stroke in utero and has cerebral palsy, but I also worry about my typical sons as well. Worry comes with the territory. And you’re right that we’re not alone. Parenting seems like the one thing that can break your heart and make it soar simultaneously.January 17, 2015 – 4:47 amReplyCancel

  • Jen - We’re all in it together. It’s a long story that will be a post next week. But I just came clean to all the Cub Scout leaders about Isaiah’s special needs and they were like, he’s fine, he’s no different than anyone else.
    I was so worried about how he was behaving, and they said he seemed like a typical 9yo to them.
    You’re an awesome mom, and you’ll never stop wondering anyway. But what matters is how fiercely we love our kids. Enough to worry.
    JenJanuary 17, 2015 – 11:25 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - WHOOT!! I’m so excited that the Cub Scout leaders were all just “he’s a kid!” That’s so encouraging and nice… I guess we “see” things that maybe are run through the fearful lenses too often, huh? Can’t wait to read the long post. TTTx10January 17, 2015 – 5:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Lily Lau - I hate all the “what if’s” that come with parenting… people think they are in the right when judging parents, when we should all respect more!January 17, 2015 – 1:22 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - We so should just respect one another more. Support one another. Lift one another up. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!January 17, 2015 – 5:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandy Ramsey - My daughter recently told me that when she’s a parent she will this or she won’t that. I just gave her a smile and said, ‘That’s nice, honey.’ I remember saying the things I would or wouldn’t do when I was younger, before I became a parent and still knew everything.

    I go to bed some nights feeling like the worst parent in the world. Hell, some mornings I feel that way before 8 a.m. So to read these words written here, as much as it pains me, I say thank you. Because in those moments that I feel like I’m failing (or at least flailing) I need to know I’m not alone. That just makes it worse.

    I just licked my finger and smooshed something off a face today. That’s just damn good parenting right there!January 17, 2015 – 4:52 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - It was nice knowing everything about parenting before we became parents, wasn’t it? I sometimes miss that. This is better though. Ultimately, this is much much better and more real even with the worry and the fear.
      You’re not alone. Which means that neither am I. We can be superheroes together. Totally.January 17, 2015 – 5:45 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - What is when we went to bed we counted all the things we did right for our child instead of year ourselves down making us weaker?

    I get it. I do it and my son doesn’t get to ride the bus. I have had bad care takers for my son and will not trust again readily. I think inherently all Mother’s worry and have way to much they have not accomplished in their lives. I am looking at my house and thinking my son needs a hazmat suit.

    But when we go things will be in out in box for certain. connecting is hard with other Mother’s because their lives are so different than yours. When I see Mothers’ of typical children it seems they neglect theirs and live life for themselves. In many ways I wish I could but then I would never giver up on my commitment to my son who has special needs. I am certainly not the coolest Mom but the Mom my son needs every day of his life and it is exhausting!!

    Great article! Hit a home run!!January 17, 2015 – 8:08 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You are an awesome mom. I think staring at our ceilings thinking about how we were right and awesome is a WAY better idea than worrying about the stuff we might have done less than perfect. I’m so sorry that you’ve had bad caretakers – that sucks. So far (knock on wood) I’ve been lucky that way. Of course, Tucker’s only five… sigh. Thanks JT!!!January 18, 2015 – 7:09 pmReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - Thank God you can read in “exhausted Mom”!!!! Great translation as you knew exactly what I was saying! Count what you got right as that list is longer especially if counting intention.

        The truth is we only know if we were right over time. No one knows what is really, right or even wrong. The parent I might think us neglectful may have a much more self sufficient child.

        Again writing in, “Exhausted Mom”, I think we need to be kinder to ourselves, stop judging ourselves so critically and really stop judging each other. The right Mom is with the right kid….I have to have faith that is true 95% of the time.

        You are the awesome Mom! Thanks for translating!

        JTJanuary 19, 2015 – 2:02 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - True that we can’t know what is right or wrong until after but I think it’s mostly right enough… You are an awesome mom and happy to translate “exhausted mom” speak anytime!!!January 19, 2015 – 10:32 pmReplyCancel

          • JT Walters - My confidence interval is 95% of the time the right Mom is with the right child making the mostly right decision. Faith Kristi…I have to have faith in that especially since we live in the world of rate disorders were very little is known. Doctors do not give advice in things they do not know. A lot of the time the Mom takes a leap of faith.

            Parenting is a leap of faith. Had I known what I was getting myself into I’d never had sex. My son has me completely wrapped and I find his humor hysterical! Never have I loved anyone so much, never have I wanted to do something so perfect…parenting, and never have I ever had so much to lose.January 19, 2015 – 10:46 pm

  • Katia - As usual I’m overwhelmed with emotion and am trying to sort out my thoughts into something coherent, because this really resonated with me for so many reasons. I’m a worrier. I constantly want to be there and act as a shield for my kids.Your worries do seem bigger to me as they involve things beyond your control and maybe beyond the control of Tucker, as well, but the way we experience our worries is probably very similar. I am that mom, too, who feels like she’s screwing it up while everyone else has got it together. I fear new social encounters.I think that while the details of our stories are different and we may be experiencing parental challenges in very similar ways. I wish there was a support group/online community for parents of “typical” (and you know how I feel about that word) and “non-typical” kids, where everyone would share their challenges. I’m sure we’d all be able to relate to each other much better than we may assume.

    You’ve got an amazing soul depth.

    xoJanuary 18, 2015 – 2:29 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I love you friend and know you’re a worrier and that you so get this and I do think that the worrying part IS very similar. I mean, ok maybe some of it’s different but when I started writing this, I was thinking that I want my son to be loved, accepted, happy, content, and then I realized that NONE of those worries were due to Tucker’s special needs… ya know? Your soul. You. You’re light and sunshine. For real.January 18, 2015 – 7:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - You ended on a note that dredged up the memory of my dad spit shining my face before going into kindergarten. He smoked at the time so I clearly remember THAT smell on me. You would think it would make me remember to clean my face good before he had to do that. But now that I’ve written that I’m thinking of my dad not wanting his little girl to go in school with crud in the corners of her mouth. Awww. But ewww.

    We all have our legitimate worries as mom or as parents to our children. Our children ‘collectively’. You are definitely not alone. (((hugs)))January 18, 2015 – 2:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL Kenya – as a kid, um yup. EWWWW. But still, as a parent? He just wanted you to look your best right? I mean AWWWW. For real. Thanks so much for the hugs too. I appreciate them. And you. And your dad spit shining your sweet little girl face.January 18, 2015 – 7:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Jen - As I read this, two refrains looped through my head:
    “Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all.”
    “If we hung our troubles out on the line, you would choose yours, and I would choose mine.”
    I think it’s true that parents of special needs children shoulder a different kind of worry than parents of typical kids. There are big worries about the future, about self-sufficiency, about acceptance, that we parents of non-special-needs kids, just don’t face.
    However, I think we do all share the BIG FEAR. The fear that we are not doing enough, that we are not good enough, the fear that we are failing our children. The fear that, whatever challenges our kids will face, we did not do all that should have been done to help them. Of course, by “shoulding” we are implying that there is someone out there who IS better, who WOULD HAVE done more. We are all comparing ourselves against an invisible and impossible standard. Moms at the bus stop and all. Rock on mama.January 18, 2015 – 10:59 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - What an awesome comment Jen! I love that line “If we hung our troubles out on the line, you would choose yours, and I would choose mine.” It’s so true. And just overall awesome. It’s true that parents of special needs kids have worries that typical parents just don’t. But yeah the BIG FEAR. So much the same. Thanks so much!January 19, 2015 – 6:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - God, you always make me think so HARD when I come here, Kristi!
    But you know what? I feel you. Completely. (Do people even say that? I’m a dork.) I really do think special needs or not, we all feel like that at some point. I don’t do idle chatter and camaraderie that well with other moms. I feel like the outsider (is my Clark showing) and I wonder why in the world they even talk to me at all. Some days I feel like my kid is so very like theirs…and other days I feel like she is so very not. Then I get all “but am I even allowed to think she’s special or exceptional? Do I want to say that? Of course I do. Or do I?”
    The truth is, I am my own worst enemy in all of this and I suspect so are we all. We worry about our kids. We worry that we are like our parents. We worry that we are not like our parents. We worry that we suck as parents. We worry that our kids think we suck as parents.
    We just worry.
    And that’s OK.
    Where it becomes bad, I think, or dangerous even, is when we let that consume us, when we let it shut us off from people who might help us, might show a little compassion, might just understand us a bit more than we think.
    In the end I think we’re all very much the same, special or regular or exceptional or whatever. And we’re all pretty normal in that.January 19, 2015 – 12:10 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa Moskowitz Sadikman - I’m so glad we’re freaks together! Everyone has their parenting and other challenges – E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. It’s so so hard to remember that though when we’re caught up in our own anxious worlds. All I know is, it’s when we have compassion for each other that we truly feel connected. Great post Kristi. xoJanuary 19, 2015 – 12:54 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Lisa! What an awesome excellent comment, Sweets! YES! What you said, exactly and completely. Also that you feel me isn’t dorky at all. I think it’s cool because you’re so right that it’s totally normal to worry and that it only becomes a problem when we let it shut ourselves off from others. Brilliant and insightful you. Thank you.January 19, 2015 – 6:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - I wonder about this too. I know Lindsey has issues but I see friends who are struggling with a daughter with a drug addiction and friends who have typical kids with other issues. And they worry. So we all worry, but just in our own way. We are probably more the same than different. But for some reason, it bothers me when someone says that raising a special needs child isn’t any different than a typical kid. I’ve raised one typical and one special needs and believe me, typical was a million times easier.

    Your description of wiping egg off a face with a little spit made me laugh. I did that more than I wanted. It’s amazing what you can see in outside light that you couldn’t see while in the house. That might be why I now carry a set of tweezers in my car for my 56 year old chin!January 19, 2015 – 6:37 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Linda,
      I believe that we are all the same more than different BUT am horrified to think that somebody actually told you that parenting is the same whether our kids have special needs or not and that’s not what I was trying to imply here. Did somebody say that to you??? OMG.
      So – parenting with special needs is way way harder the end. I mean parents of typical kids may need to avoid some situations but really? I mean do they have to bring an ipad to a funeral? No. Do they have to worry about their kid getting lost and not being able to tell an adult/policeman what his mom’s name is? His own name?? NO!!! Ugh. I was just trying to say that I think that the worry is more alike than not.
      Also, the tweezers. On Saturday, I bought a new pair for my car. I’ve got really light eyebrows and don’t really tweeze them but noticed IN THE CAR (and not in the bathroom mirror) that there were these weird rogue hairs like 1″ away from the end of my eyebrow??? WTF.January 19, 2015 – 10:30 pmReplyCancel

      • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - I totally understood your post and didn’t think you were implying that at all. But yes I did have somebody say (when I told them something Lindsey did) that her child did exactly the same thing. And maybe her kid did, but her kid did not respond/act anywhere near the way Lindsey acted. It was a very long time ago. But it is still one of my pet peeves about being a parent of a kid with special needs. On the other hand, I’m not trying to whine about my lot in life. It is what it is. Anyway, your post made perfect sense and I just went off on my own little tangent. 🙂

        I think I’ll go check the mirror for rogue hairs. 🙂January 20, 2015 – 1:33 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - OMG that somebody said that to you. That’d stick with me as well because HOLYCRAP. Also I can relate to the “all kids do that” stuff. Because maybe? But um totally NOT. I need to bring tweezers into my car.January 20, 2015 – 10:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Nicki Gilbert - You know what I kept saying after every sentence of your beautiful straight-from-the-heart, straight-to-the-heart piece? Yes. Yep. That’s me. Hell yeah… Thank you for saying it all. Thank you for helping me feel less alone in this crazy scary world of parenting. And thank you for sharing that adorable photo of you that makes me smile so big!January 20, 2015 – 9:06 pmReplyCancel

  • British Mum USA - We all feel this way, if a parent says they don’t then they are lying. We all worry from the day they are born to the day they go to college, and beyond. Have I given them deep roots, and will they spread their wings???? Our youngest has dyslexia and right now I am dealing with subtle bullying at school, making fun of her, and ignoring her. It is heart breaking…. We are with you, we are all laying there at some point. We are human 🙂 *HUGS*January 31, 2015 – 3:02 amReplyCancel

  • April G - How do you not worry? This precious being came out of your body, you spend every waking hour with him or her for the first few weeks, then you’re supposed to just let them learn their own lessons? Ones we’ve already learned and dealt with and some we haven’t. It’s hard and confusing, but it’s love.February 8, 2015 – 3:58 pmReplyCancel

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