And the line I’m talking about is the one between sharing too much online and sharing just enough. And to do this all whilst still maintaining my integrity and that of my family. It’s a tricky concept for me because I’m naturally a very open person and I’ve really had to allow God to guide me in this area.
My natural instinct is to blurt out exactly what’s on my mind and then go back and mend fences later. Sounds ridiculous I know but I have only in recent years been able to recognise that split second moment between using wisdom and having a verbal diarrhea moment!
I am a lot wiser nowadays but apart from using my children’s real names and our exact location, I do try to share anything that may be helpful to another family if only to show them that they are not alone.
Because here’s the thing: When I first started out on this journey…..I had no-one to tell me what was ‘normal’ in ASD world or what to expect in the coming days, months and years and really honestly felt like I wasn’t going to make it. So I started googling and searching and finding other blogs, and realising that we weren’t the only parents ready to tear their hair out frequently.
And we weren’t the only parents who have forgotten what’s it’s like to sleep uninterrupted through the night and we certainly aren’t the only parents who would give anything for their child to just make a damn friend!
But imagine if everyone who had written these blogs had decided that they weren’t going to tell it like it really is? Imagine if they only wrote what they thought would make people comfortable and that which paints a picture of the perfect family all sailing along beautifully. Imagine if they had drawn their line a lot closer to “need to know” and far away from their honest realities.
Wouldn’t I feel like total crap then?!
It’s through relating to another person’s experiences and THEN seeing them come out the other side that we are encouraged.
I rejoice with my bloggy friends when they experience a breakthrough but I also cry with them when they are in the midst of hard times. It’s that balance of difficulties and progress that keeps drawing me back to my friend’s blogs time and time again. Because I can relate.
And she’s absolutely right! ALL kids have days like that it’s true. But where she got it completely wrong was assuming that we think that we own bad days.
We don’t think that we deserve your pity or sympathy any more than any other parent, but we do have more experience in dealing with these types of situations simply because we deal with them a lot more often.
Buy what I actually think is that whether you’re parenting 1 child or 7 children, whether you have boys, girls, typically developing or children with special needs – it doesn’t matter….parenting is rough!
But her comment to me was said in a derogatory tone that really threw me so I didn’t respond to her at all but walked away and came home and picked it apart in my head for hours.
I wondered if she is hurting herself as a mother and feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated? I wondered if she wanted someone to reach out to her and she didn’t know how to ask for help so she just launched into attack mode? It may have been the only thing that occurred to her at the time?
Either way – I’ve had enough time to process this now and try to see the situation from her shoes and I’ve got to say – it all looks very different now to how it did on Friday.
That means that 126 people are also travelling down a parallel road to us and understand exactly what it is like to live in this house. That’s 126 people that can relate to our ups and downs and that’s really REALLY humbling for me!
But this train of thought brings me back to the mother in the playground on Friday.
You see – I’ve been on Facebook (partly why I quit for now), I’ve mixed in mother’s groups and I’ve stood around and observed body language and facial expressions on groups of mothers as they interact with each other. And frankly – It’s all a big competition.
Not many women will ever dare to show their true colours to their friends. It is an unspoken rule that to show weakness is unacceptable and puts a target on your head.
I learned a new phrase by Pastor Steven Furtick at our bible study this week that has REALLY helped me to understand this concept better and has challenged me in a really good way!
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel”
And that is EXACTLY why I will continue to write about our life as it really is.
Have a great weekend all xx