When you have a child with special needs, you hear some interesting things come out of the mouths of other people. Sometimes it's unsolicited advice, which every parent gets; sometimes it's a comment or statement that is completely asinine and rude; sometimes it's advice that is well intended, but can't be applied to your situation, and can sometimes lead to hurt feelings; sometimes it's a statement of awe or wonder.
"I don't know how you do it!"
"You must be a supermom to handle everything!"
And the above statements are sometimes followed with "I know I certainly couldn't do it!"
Have I ever made these statements? Absolutely. These days I often say it jokingly with my friends who have 2 or more kids. Personally, I don't see anything harmful in the first and last statements, either as a stand alone statement or combined. Even the middle statement is relatively harmless compared to other things that have been said to me in the past. But for some reason, the whole "supermom" sentiment bugs me a bit.
Dear readers, I want to say that I am not a Supermom. I'm a mom just like the countless other moms in the world. I make mistakes, just like every other mom in this world. Sometimes a treatment is missed. Sometimes housework sits and waits for a while because there just aren't enough hours in the day to do enough treatments while on sick plan. Sometimes I'm constantly getting up and down to deal with poop and mucus, and sometimes I'm getting snot or the latest haul from the nose mine wiped on my shirt because she "forgot" to go get a tissue.
How do I do it? I just do. Which is exactly what every single other parent in the world does with their child, special needs or no special needs. I don't possess any magical powers that help me soldier through. I know that because of Judith's special needs, I'm required to wear more hats than a parent who has a typical, healthy child. Some days are hard. Really hard. And those are the days when I may wish I had some super powers, or at the very least had some extra sets of arms to help with a few more things. But at the end of the day, I know this is our reality, and I do the best I can with what I have.
The first year with a new baby can be overwhelming for anyone, but when you throw special needs into the mix, it really can make it that much more challenging and overwhelming. You adjust and adapt, though. Routines are established. When you think you have this little human figured out, they go and throw you for a loop and you have to go back to square one and figure things out again. That seems to be the typical pattern, and even with the special needs thrown in, we went through that entire process. Some of the differences were trying to figure out treatment processes, getting ourselves organized in the best way possible, and learning to cope with the emotional aspects of this disease (which can still get you at any given time, but you get better with it not hitting as frequently).
I have to say that even though I was pretty organized in the past, I became almost fanatical about it shortly after she was born, and am still an enthusiast. That is one of those things that almost has to happen until you can do the new routine in your sleep. Doing that doesn't require anything special; you figure out what's going to work best for you so you don't go crazy trying to track and remember everything.
I am not a Supermom. I'm just a mom who has a different reality, doing the best I can to give my child as normal of a childhood as possible, all while working through and with her challenges.