1. Not doing all of the exercises the therapists recommend.
Just not possible, even if you did nothing but therapy all day long. Ask your child's therapists to prioritize things for you—if possible, on a conference call. Encourage them to share ideas for making everyday activities therapeutic, from bicycling your child's legs as you change a diaper to making up funny noises on car rides. And then? Do your best and try not to sweat the rest. Loving your child up is plenty therapeutic right there.
2. Accidentally leaving the medication/EpiPen/other critical lifesaving treatment at home. Reminder: You are a mother of the human variety. It happens.
3. Thinking that you "caused" your child's disabilities.
You play and replay in your mind all the suspects from your pregnancy—you ate a piece of luncheon meat, tripped and fell, slept on your back, didn't get a C-section soon enough, freakout etc. Seek reassurance from your doctor, and if your doctor isn't the reassuring type find one who is. Also, get therapy if the guilt feels overwhelming. You have enough to deal with; beating yourself up won't do you or your child any good.
4. Girls night out!
If anyone deserves some fun, it is you.
5. Getting a mani-pedi.
If anyone deserves time to take care of her poor neglected nails, it is also you.
6. Feeling like you put your husband on the back burner.
So you forgot his name the other day. OK, maybe things aren't that bad, but given how consuming a child's special needs can be, some days there may not be a lot left of you. Date nights help. So does scheduling regular weekly times to discuss household and financial matters, so that these things don't consume your date nights. And never underestimate the power of little favors. (Use your imagination.)
7. Feeding your child junk food.
In the wise words of one mom, "No kid is going to die from an occasional Ho-Ho."
True, it's not the manager's fault the insurance company hasn't reimbursed you for claims since the Clinton administration—and it's not your fault that after 27-phone-calls-but-who's-counting, you finally erupt like Mt. Vesuvius. (See: "mother of the human variety.")
9. Having a job.
Like we have a choice about earning income for our families.
10. Giving up on redirecting/reminding your child.
Whether it's your child's persistent banging of knees against the kitchen table or humming, at times you run out of strength to say "Stop!" Go on, flee to another room or let your significant other deal. You can't always be on.
11. Feeling perturbed at family members for not getting it.
It's genuinely maddening (and deeply upsetting) when they say things like "Oh, she'll grow out of it!" and, worse, "There's nothing wrong with her!"
12. Letting your kid zone out to the TV/iPad.
Sure, you do not want them glued to the screens for hours on end every single day of the week, but if on occasion you need a break or time with your spouse and your child is perfectly content to explore YouTube or watch Doc McStuffins, so be it.
13. Spilling to your friends.
If they are good friends, they'll be there to listen to you angst about your child and give you perspective, just as you are there for them. If nothing else, look at it this way: You are giving them valuable perspective on how much less complicated their own parenthood is in comparison.
14. Writing about your child with special needs.
It can be both amazingly cathartic for you and helpful to others. The limits are yours to set; it helps to consider whether your child will ever be mortified about anything he reads years from now. Or whether he'd sue you.
15. Getting bored during floor play.
It happens. Gasp!
16. Not being able to do much charity and volunteer work.
Having young kids with special needs pretty much takes all you've got to give. Maybe you can't get to the soup kitchen like you used to, but you can still donate goods, money or social media shares.
17. Accepting kindnesses from strangers.
If it's going to make your child more content and your day easier, why feel guilty?
18. Wishing your child didn't have special needs.
If there were a special needs mom who hasn't ever thought this, well, she is definitely no longer with us because she has been elevated to sainthood.