Mom Shares How She Found Light In Becoming A Parent Of A Child With Special Needs

By Olivia Marithe Spencer, Parent Herald December 01, 10:08 am

A mom of two penned a piece sharing how she found her value as a mother of a child with autism, and each of the words she wrote exuded hope for every tireless parent raising kids with special needs. The mother said that her life might not be as Pinterest-worthy as other parents but it does not mean her struggles doesn't worth to anything at all. 

Ashley Washington, a self-confessed exhausted mom, shared to Scary Mommy that she thought parenting will be such a breeze, considering she has been taking care of kids even before she got one of her own. The mother behind Walking In Quicksand blog said she has been confident as she attended and even led several parenting class. But when she had her first-born, she realized everything she experienced from the past is far from her current reality.

Taking care of a child with autism entails a big responsibility, let alone take care of a normal child. Washington said that she has become depressed that half her friends can still have the time of their lives despite being parents, while she and her husband are battling along their child's mental disorder and immunodeficiency disease with no apparent chances of taking a break and replenish.

The responsibility that comes with parenting a child with special needs takes a toll on marriage as well. Washington shared that she and her husband, amid the tiring duties as parents, had their own share of marital problems. As they juggle priorities as parents, they were once at the brink of divorce, too, as she shared anonymously in a separate piece, all because of their family's arduous day-to-day situation.

Expenses were problematic. The mom-of-two shared they went to a point when they had to borrow money from their parents just so they can afford their child's therapies. Still not enough, they had to use their own retirement funds in hopes of giving their child a quality life.

At one point, however, she realized she has been wrong all along in waiting for a far-fetched outcome, when her day-to-day struggles can already be considered trophies in disguise. "Years passed before I recognized that as the parents of a child with special needs, our success cannot be measured by any outcome," Washington said. "Our success is measured by the process."

She said it took her too long to realize that bliss comes with the nitty gritty. Success as a parent of a child with special needs can be seen with the depth of their love for their children. All the times they painstakingly choose a harder option for themselves are the moments that make parenting worth it -- just so their child can, paradoxically, live a beautiful life.

Finding worth in becoming a parent of a child with special needs can be seen during times of sleepless nights and tireless days. It takes endless patience to become this kind of parent and to be one is a feat on its own.

"The depth of your love will be shown as you complete all the tedious and thankless tasks required of you," she said. "Quietly and without fanfare, you'll succeed once again in the most meaningful and noble of ways."

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