I tell a true story of when I was beginning this journey special needs parenting.
My husband and I went to a series of support group meetings with other parents for neurobiological disorder education and upon leaving one night I just broke down sobbing. My husband tried to comfort me hugging me and telling me it would be ok “We will get her better, I promise you we will never give up” I remember looking up and saying “That’s not why I’m crying, I know we will get her better but did you see those mothers… they look like hell” (embarrassing to admit I know but hold your judgement for a few minutes)
I remember listening to how hard their roads have been, how unresolved, how toll taking and feared that I would inevitably be navigating this very difficult path. Emotional pain and stress can take its toll both physically and emotionally and special needs moms get more than their fair share. Who has time to take care of their appearance when they have so many demands on them? Who has the thought of how they look when their hearts are breaking? Who has the money to spend on hair dressers, make up, manicures and pedicures, facials not to mention skin products and clothing after all the out of pocket expenses we as special needs parents lay out? Not many, but there are ways to take care of yourself without a huge expense.
I’m a firm believer that if you look good…. you feel good. I’m no raving beauty…. I’m never going to look like celebrity….. it’s not about looking like a supermodel… it’s about the way you feel when you put a little effort into yourself. This is not a vanity issue, its about not losing yourself. I often talk about the process, the stages we all go through on this journey. We all go through them at different times and for different durations and I personally feel we NEED to go through it to come out whole…. but come out we must. Becoming swallowed up by our children’s disorder’s is not an option… in fact… it is counterproductive.
Often special needs mothers feel they are being selfish or will be judged for making themselves a priority in their lives. Making yourself a priority does not take away from your child in fact it does just the opposite. With so much judgement put upon us for our parenting the last thing these women need is to feel pressured to look like they are going through a war to somehow validate to others the difficulties they are enduring.
Over a decade has passed, the years are beginning to show, but that moment, that night leaving that support group inspired me to get up…. get dressed… put on some lipstick and not lose sight of the woman behind the mom.
If that woman is lost…. go find her! Brush her off…. polish her up ….. I promise you…. she is worth it.
Wishing you strength and calm,
For all Marianne’s writings to go The Life Unexpected
Here is a video sent to me today by a celebrity make up artist that made me remember that night and thought it may inspire you too