The Fine Line
There’s such a fine line between being connected, finding community and not comparing ourselves to one another.
What I mean is that all that people do online is share their experiences in order to receive support and comfort or to inspire and entertain others.
That’s certainly fine. Neither is right or wrong. Everyone has the right to share what they want in order to do or receive one of the aforementioned things.
The inevitable is that we compare ourselves to someone else’s life that he or she posts online.
For example, this week in a FaceBook group for parents of kids with autism, a Mom had posted that her son’s behaviour had actually improved since they had been home in self-isolation. Well, this triggered me immediately, and I thought to myself sarcastically, “Well, how frigging lucky are they!”
And then I immediately compared her huge win to my situation with my daughter (you see, the truth is that my daughter’s behaviour is sporadic and some days are good and some days are really not good at all).
Then, I felt jealous for a second before I reminded myself that I could not and should not compare my daily struggles with someone else’s huge win.
The fact that one Mom is crushing self-isolation and I feel like self-isolation is crushing me, doesn’t mean that I’m a bad parent or that the other Mom is a better Mom.
It simply means that every child with special needs is different; that every caregiver lives a difference experience and that we must never compare.
We can learn from one another. We can cheer one another on and celebrate each other’s successes. We can inspire and entertain.
That’s why we share our stories.
Don’t let yourself be fooled like I was this week to believe that you’re anything less than an amazing caregiver. Because we all know that we’re doing our very best to care for these beautiful souls.
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I am grateful that I get to spend this time with her and her brother. I will honour this time of a more relaxed schedule.
Whichever route a family chooses, what matters is knowing when to ask for help and how to get the right help to care for any family member that needs an additional helping hand.