The topic of this week’s blog comes directly to us from a Mom in the Champions for Our Children Facebook Group. If you are not already a member PLEASE JOIN HERE!!
Her question is a heavy one – “How do you deal with friends who have children that do not have special needs complain to you about how stressed they are AND in your head you just want to slap them?”
BOY do I know how this mom feels! You are at home about ready to pull your hair out cause your kid won’t try one friggin bite of broccoli and is screaming and crying, and you got Suzie Perfect over here complaining about her overachiever 4 year old not finishing the Sushi she made for dinner last night.
OR how AWFUL her life is that her 2 year old was potty trained in one weekend but still wakes up occasionally wet and she has to change the sheets 2x that week, while you’re sitting over here struggling to teach your non verbal child to potty train and they wet the bed nightly.
OR how her little boy is invited to all these birthday parties on the same weekend when you’d throw a party for a stranger’s kid just to get your kid on an invite list.
If you know what I am talking about then you’ve been TYP Momed! What’s TYP Momed you ask? When a mother of a “typical child” complains to you, a mother of an “atypical child” about her 1st world parenting problems.
First I want to say that most of the time, these moms are so OBLIVIOUS to what they are saying or who they are saying it to, that the TYP is usually not intentionally done to hurt anyone. When anyone is talking about their problems, they have tunnel vision and are just focused on dumping their bucket. They aren’t really thinking as they do it, hey is this going to hurt someone else’s feelings that might be listening? And They are after all our friends, and as such they feel they are welcome to share these troubles with you, another mom friend.
Frustration can pop up in us atypical moms, but it will MOST DEFINITELY boil over, when we might be keeping our feelings and our own parenting problems to ourselves.
So, I ask.. Does your Typ Mom friend know what you are going through?
Have you shared with her that your child is on the spectrum? Or you suspect something is wrong? Does she even know how hard this is for you? Does she understand you are grieving the typical childhood you thought your child would have? If not, we really can’t be too hard on Typ Mom. I know a lot of us Parents “in da club” so to speak, keep to ourselves. We don’t share because we might be ashamed or afraid of feeling someone’s pity. But this is your friend. This is not doing you or your friendships any favors. A REAL friendship is a 2 way street. Let her support you, like she expects you to support her.
By doing this one of 2 things will happen, it will either strengthen your bond or she’s going to fade into the background. If she’s a true friend this will strengthen your relationship with her. She’s going to stop and feel compassion and love for you, more than she already has, AND She’s going to be honored you went deep with her. She will become your ROCK! Love this Mom!
She might also be intimidated by your share, it’s heavy. I’ve had this happen too. Where when I am being my most vulnerable, sharing the troubles I am going through as an atypical mom, and she can’t handle it, and kind of organically, she disappears. As difficult as this 2nd scenario might be, honestly, it’s for the better. You see you need a strong support system in place to help you with your battle moving forward. If you are here, reading my blogs, and you are in my group, you know that I am an action taker, so I need people like me or STRONGER than me in my inner circle. If I have a friend that can’t handle it, in the long run, she’s doing me a favor by stepping away. AND She’s making room for me to meet a Friend who can be that ROCK I need.
Now for the TYP Moms that stick, she still should be able to share with you when she’s had a bad day, but I guarantee that if you are also communicating what you are going through with her, it wont bring you to the point when you want to “slap her”. 🙂
Till next time my fearless warriors!