5 Reasons Why Special Parents Are Feeling Guilt
One of the negative feelings that special parents are dealing with is guilt. Sometimes we are aware of it, and sometimes it comes in suppress form like anxiety we cannot explain or frustration.
Here are the five most common reasons why special parents feel guilt and why they should stop feeling like that.
1. Did I do everything right in my pregnancy?
After the first shock that our child will live with mental and/or physical challenges, we start to run through our minds every little detail of how the days of the pregnancy went by. I personally did that, and I was trying to think to find out if maybe I caused it somehow so hard, that I was able to remember almost every day of those 9 months.
Its natural reaction, first to think that it’s your fault. Maybe that is something in our programs that says that we are responsible for making everything great. If things are not perfect, it is somehow our fault.
However, as long as we surrender to this sense of guilt, we are wasting precious energy.
It’s not your fault. Unless you did something on purpose to damage your child (which you didn’t), it’s not your fault. I decided not to investigate why this happened, but to go with a little faith, and know that I am given the opportunity to live my life from this perspective. If I move my focus from the negative exhausting feelings, I can see the beauty in it.
2. When I found out that my child has challenges, did I react soon enough?
This one is very common. I can say- “been there, done that” 😊. This question always hangs around us, especially if the child makes very little progress.
There are always questions like:
Maybe we should have to go to that therapy or give a bit longer that vitamin or ask a bit more about surgery options… There is no way that we will ever find out with 100% certainty that if only this one thing was made that the results would be different. But the thing is, you should not feel guilty because I am sure you did best you can, with the information and possibilities available to you.
And let’s not forget about the parent intuition that is guiding us always when regarding our children. I am sure that you’ve got many ideas about where to take your child and how to handle it over the years. Whether that brought the results you were hoping for or not, you still did everything you can.
This is regarding whether you reacted soon enough as soon as you found out about your child’s condition, or whether you took all necessary steps until today. Finally, our job as parents is not to fix our children, but to love and support them and appreciate them from where they are.
3. Do I spend enough time with my child?
This is a widespread reason for feeling guilt. Maybe both of the parents are working full time. Or you have other children you need to take care of. Or you need to do something outside of your home and be absent for hours. We tend to believe that we have to be by our children’s side all the time because only we know how to react in a specific situation.
The truth is, that’s right. No one except us knows how to calm our crying children or react fast and adequately in a particular situation. But we don’t need to stress that we sometimes have to be away from our children. We have other responsibilities in our lives too. And it’s a good thing for the child to be away from us for a while. As long as it is well taken care of, there is no need for us to feel guilt.
4. Did we accept our child’s condition as it is too soon, and now we are passive in finding the solution?
Even if the parents managed to accept their child’s situation, now there is guilt if they are too passive. First, I want to say that it’s not really helpful and useful for the child if you constantly take it to different hospitals, doctors, or too many therapies, and so on.
And second, I am reminding you again that your intuition is enough. You should relax in knowing that you’ve accepted your child’s situation, and now you are focusing on how to spend the time together in the best possible way. If there is something you should be doing more, you will know.
5. The guilt of being happy and try to find joy in life.
Can you imagine our children to stay Infront of us and say: “Mom, dad, please be sad for me and suffer.”? No, they don’t want that. And you are not showing extra responsibility if you worry all the time and feel under stress, sad and frustrated.
This is one of the reasons why parents are holding themselves back from personal development. Let’s say that you are not supposed to feel happy and joyful because your child’s disabilities ever again. And? What is that bringing to you, your child, and your family? Is that proof that you are worried enough, and you are a responsible parent? There is no need to feel guilty if you want to be like every other human being and enjoy life’s beauty.
Plan your time, see where you stand. Look what your priorities are and make your “self-time” a priority too. We have to recharge our batteries, or we won’t be able to continue to give.
Look at the children and notice how joyful and happy they are. They show us that it is our natural state. That’s why, regardless of the difficulties in our life after some time, we come back to feeling optimism, hope, and then happiness and joy. There is no need for guilt. It’s in our human nature to want to feel good.