We all know them. Those slackers who are rude, inconsiderate and downright scattered.
I’m sad to admit, that most days, that's me.
I'm the one who doesn't return phone calls. The one who's perpetually late and hopelessly unprepared.
You'll rarely get a thank you card from me, and I'm sorely lacking on other common courtesies like small talk and banter.
I'm the mom who's not at the school events. I don't work in the classroom. When I do commit to helping, I often back out at the last minute.
I'm consistently inconsistent when it comes to remembering birthdays, Christmas gifts and other things. I'll offer a variety of excuses, most not coming near to the truth.
It's not my fault, really. But I'm sure you've heard that before too.
I have the best of intentions, the most amazing plans. But somehow, they never seem to come to fruition. Most people don't understand why, but I have a feeling if anyone will get it, you will.
You see, I'm the mom of not one, but three kids with special needs. I have a son with Asperger's Syndrome, a daughter with alphabet soup (ADHD, Bipolar, NVLD, Generalized Anxiety ) and a little guy who the jury's still out on. I am also mom to a very neuro-typical, extremely dramatic, teenage girl.
On any given day, I can be seen combing through reports, making appointments or researching new interventions. I'm checking schedules, updating token economies and cleaning up after the walking tornadoes that are my children.
My calendar is littered with color-coded therapy sessions and IEP meetings. Incidentally, it rarely has room for silly things like exercise or outings with friends.
I'm not overly friendly and I don't smile half as much as I should. I usually have that distracted, pensive look on my face as I try to mentally calculate how we will ever pay for the therapies mentioned above.
I never know how my day will go. Some are great and I can actually be a productive human being. More often than not, though, I'm met by some combination of meltdowns, sensory overload and teen angst. And all my good intentions? They promptly go out the window.
So if you happen to think I'm just rude and antisocial, there may be more to the story.
I’m a special needs mom. And this is my life.
Accidental Expert is a writer, wife and mother. She lives in Colorado with her husband and four children. You can read about her experiences raising special needs children at Raising Complicated Kids.