Parents with Children Who Aren’t Special Needs Don’t Understand.

I have a lot of friends.

That’s probably because I’m loyal to them and true to myself, but that’s a blog post for another day.

Some of my dearest friends aren’t understanding my current position, and that hurts.

“Why can’t Josh watch Tori while you go out to my late-night birthday party?”

“Why can’t you just leave Tori to cry herself to sleep and get her out of your bed?”

“Why don’t you ever go out to visit anyone after 6 pm?”

I’ve been faced with a lot of those questions lately, especially as Tori is getting older.

Here’s the thing: Tori’s sensory disorder makes things different. There’s a difference between catering to your child and making sure your child feels secure and continues to trust you.

Since Tori was six weeks old, the only way to ensure she slept soundly is to make sure she’s cuddled around Mama. At first I did this because it made breastfeeding easier. I was also doing it because I needed to sleep more than twenty minute stretches at a time in order to go to work in the morning.

As time went on, both Josh and I realized that the only time this child would get any actual sleep is when we held her.

Yes, I tried leaving her in her crib. (No, I don’t believe in cry-it-out methods). I tried putting her down drowsy, doing things in the room . . . the way this child would cry was *not* a normal cry. No, folks, she was truly distressed.

In the meantime? Yes, it’s disappointing I can’t go out and party with my friends on occasion (although I’ll readily admit I’m ready to leave that part of my life behind). Yes, I’m disappointed that if my friend is having people over at 8 pm that I can’t be there because I’ll be in bed. Yes, Josh feels terrible that he’s unable to help me nighttime parent.

But you know what? Tori will only be this age so long. Before I know it, this time in her life will be a distant memory. It won’t be long before she’s cursing me and wanting to move out of the house with one of her boyfriends.

:: sigh ::

What will last a lifetime? The sense of security and love that I’m giving her.

Simply put, the next time someone gives me shit about staying in and cuddling with my daughter instead of hitting the town, spending money I don’t have, and getting drunk . . . they can kiss my ass.

About McApril

Wife, mother, administrator.

Posted on March 12, 2011, in Parenting, Rambling, SPD, T. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. When I had my first child I dealt with a lot of these same issues. I was in my early 20’s and none of my friends got that I could not go out and party anymore, blow money on stupid stuff or even stay out late. I had a child at home that depended on and needed me home taking care of her. Your friends will just have to accept the fact that your child comes before anything else, even them.

    • I’m not trying to ignore my friends. I don’t want to put my children above the years of great friendship we’ve had. Far from that, you know? I offer to meet them at different times . . . but they just don’t go for it. I’m not sure why. And you know what? I can totally understand that from my childless friends because they just don’t know. What frustrates me so badly is when my friends have kids of their own and still don’t understand. Maybe because their kids don’t have sensory issues, maybe because they have grandparents living nearby with whom they can drop off the kids . . .

      I don’t know. I just don’t know how else to explain myself, so I give up.

  2. While we may not always share the same parenting ideals, we both do what is best for our families. Shiloh is 3 and I’ve only left her with Jeremy at night so I could go out once. Granted, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to leave her with grandparents but only after she was set and secure in her routine, and it still throws her off sometime. Next time they say something, politely invite them over for coffee at 5am!

    • I *love* this idea! I think I’m going to start doing that. “So, um, how ’bout Saturday? We get up at 5:30 or 6 am; what time works for you?”

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