‘There’s a fine line between pushing him to be someone he’ll never be, and supporting him in the person he’s meant to become.’: Special needs mom says ‘we can’t do it all’

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“Raise your hand if you’re guilty of trying to do it all.

Yeah, me too. Especially in the early years.

If I met someone whose child did therapy 5 times a week, I would feel like I wasn’t doing enough. So, I’d do more.

If I read the ‘pullerupperstandything’ helped a child stand independently, I would be searching online that day. Probably purchasing it, too.

If my son responded to a vintage toy at therapy, I would be at the second-hand shop hoping to score one, or asking my husband to search for it on eBay.

If someone on social media said pudding in the tub helped their child eat orally, I would march upstairs to try it.

Guilty of doing it all. (Or at least trying to.)

Things have changed over time. Goals and priorities have definitely changed. As he’s aged, I have a better idea of who he is and what he’s capable of. Which is so much—so, so much.

But honestly, we can’t do it all. It’s not sustainable. And he doesn’t have to do it all—he’s just a little boy.

I do think there’s a fine line between pushing him to be someone he’ll never be, and supporting him in the person he’s meant to become.

I’m still gonna do—I’ve just reigned it in a bit.

He’s my little boy first. We don’t have to do it all.

Is anyone else guilty of trying to do all the things?”

special needs mom holding son while both sitting on the Livingroom floor staring at each other smiling
Courtesy of Melissa Schlemmer

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Melissa Schlemmer of Forest Lake, Minnesota. You can follow their journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story hereand be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube  for our best videos.

Read more from Melissa here:

‘You can’t tell me I’m not allowed to grieve.’: Special needs mom says ‘my feelings are valid’

‘The very best thing we could have ever done.’: Special needs mom raises feeding tube awareness

‘You can do all the same things ‘so-and-so’ did and your child still may not achieve the same things.’: Special needs mom urges ‘go easy on yourself’

‘She said, ‘I know I shouldn’t complain, because as you know…it could always be worse.’ Wait a second. What?’: Special needs mom says ‘my son is not your worst-case scenario’

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