I will be the first one to admit that from time to time I get jealous about things. I am, after all only human. I know that there are certain things that are beyond my control when it comes to the life that I live. This is a natural feeling. We all get jealous over the things that could be, the things we want or the person we all want to be. Anyone who sits there and says they don't get jealous, is lying to themselves.
For a lot of us parents, our jealousy is harboured through our children. Mainly because they have been pushed to their limits, whether it be through sports, academics or even lifestyle. But for some of us who have children that aren't quite part of that world, our jealousy is a bit different. It isn't a competition for us to see who's child is better at what sport or who got all the scholarships. For us, its those moments when we have gotten to the point of no return with our children, when the stimming or the perservations are so bad, that we have that guilty, that very guilty thought of how we wish it could be different. To have that one day where we don't have the world staring at us or telling us off. To have that one school year where it isn't such an uphill battle with your child's educators. Or even to have that one thing, whether it be sports, a club or an activity, that your child is accepted into, disorders and diseases put aside. That guilty little thought does not make us bad parents. It makes us human. It shows that we want better for our children.
I think a lot of us special needs parents often look at things like dance, sports or band, as something we longingly wish our children were a part of. In a way we are sort of jealous of the fact that most children can do stuff like that and not have worry about their stimming or inability to relate socially with their peers. And for us parents, its hard to watch. We get that tinge of jealousy. As we want our children to have something like that. Now don't get me wrong, I know there are groups out there, that accept special needs children into their organizations, but they are very few.
The simple little things in life also strike a chord with us. Date nights, a dinner out (without the stares) or even getting the four things we need from Target. We don't mean to be jealous, but it would be nice if we could get out and do those things with the peace of mind that someone we trust is looking after our kids. Finding a decent babysitter that understands what it takes to look after special needs children are slim. Most of us are begging relatives or family friends who understand to come out to look after our children. There are some nights that we wouldn't kill just to not have to worry.
I write this and I want people to know that its not a personal kind of jealousy. Its more of a "Gee, that would nice.. " kind. Most of parents are happy to see things go according to plan. We love to see children succeed. And in the end we do count our blessings. We cherish our children. So please don't be upset with a special needs parent who might be a little envious of your good fortune. I guess just be a little understanding that we struggle. Sometimes days at a time or hours in the day. And maybe after talking about the good things in your life, ask the special needs parent if there is anything you can do to help.