parenting special needs

Bridging the Gap: Parenting Typical Kids and those with Special Needs

Parenting is HARD. With special needs, it’s EVEN HARDER. I want to bridge the gap. Tell the truth. Offer a fresh lens on this life we’re living. To reach families who are raising a child with special needs and those whose kids are perfectly typical, who wonder what it might be like and how they can offer support. Couldn’t we all benefit from sharing the emotional weight of parenting with honesty and vulnerability?

My “why”

My “why” for Gray Colored Glasses is pretty simple: I feel compelled to write about our life. Not pushed to do it, but pulled to do it. And not just for me but for any parent–and really any person–seeking to live with deeper understanding, more awareness, more compassion. Maybe I’m an optimist, but I think there are a lot of us out there.

When our first child was born, now eleven years ago, I knew something was different, but it wouldn’t become clear what that was for well over a year. I felt lost in the new world of parenting, my experience not at all like other new moms. I felt isolated, uncertain, angry. And a couple of years later, with a few more answers and still more questions, I felt just as lost. Who was this child? And who was I? Would I ever be ‘me’ again, or would every aspect of my life be forever altered from this point forward?

Parenting special needs

Our son was three years old before I ever considered the term “special needs,” and even then, I wasn’t sure if it fit. The resources I found on raising children with differences painted too beautiful a picture and didn’t match the conflict and heartache that resided so heavily in me. They felt dishonest, certainly not representative of the storm of emotions on my insides. I needed some real talk about the hard feelings, some companionship through the loneliness, some permission to be distraught along with the assurances it would be okay. I needed some Gray Colored Glasses.

I have grown and learned far more as Isaac’s mom than I ever expected, and it seems strange not to share it. Yet I rarely express all I have to say in ordinary conversation. Maybe because I’m an introvert (though I’m perceived as an extrovert), and maybe because our venture into parenting all those years ago was so disorienting that I’m still trying to find myself in social situations. I don’t know how to let people in to the all-consuming world of being my son’s mom. (Which in no way minimizes being my daughter’s mom. I am 100% hers, too. But Isaac’s needs and requirements set the boundaries of our life.)

My vision for this blog

These posts are the conversations I want to have, even if I shy away from them in person. This blog is my place to risk speaking freely, to crack the door open and invite people in. It is my new “job,” and truth be told, I’m loving it.

My vision for Gray Colored Glasses is to bridge families with typical kids and those with special needs, to lessen the isolation of parenting, and to build communities of compassion and understanding. If this resonates with you, please join me, and invite your friends. Let the conversations continue!

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