We are Not Enough for our Kids with Disabilities
We are not enough for our kids with disabilities. As parents, we know this to be true. Though we do our best, we are not enough. Guest blogger Heather Braucher points us to the encouragement we need and to the one who is enough.
“You’re such a good mama.”
When a fellow mom said this to me, I told her that her verbal encouragement felt like a drink of water that upon swallowing made me realize just how thirsty I was. Just how “dehydrated” I was.
Why was I dehydrated? Well, I have three kids—11, 10 and 7. My 11-year-old is sister to 2 brothers with special needs. We are very aware that her experience in this dynamic is not to be ignored. She is, as some would describe:
- The sibling
- The sib expert
- The other one
- The neurotypical one
In my mind, she is the one that I can’t do enough for. I have to battle this thought daily. I have to remind myself of the ways that I attend to her needs and show her love, simply because the effort placed toward the boys is more obvious.
We have spent countless hours supporting and advocating for our boys’ needs, as well as constant time mediating their social interactions that often go awry. A significant amount of attention is given to them as a result of their extra needs and I do not regret this. It is often out of necessity, whether we are trying to support them, help them regulate or attend to a task, or even diffuse a meltdown.
In order to ensure some sort of balance, we have promised ourselves never to lose sight of our daughter and the family as a whole. The truth is, no matter how much you do, as a parent and as a parent of kiddos with more needs, it is a daily battle to believe you are doing enough.
But an even greater truth that we have come to embrace is this:
We are not enough.
I cling to this reality.
I am not enough, and I shouldn’t be.
For my kids, my spouse, and my friends, I shouldn’t be enough. I shouldn’t be their all in all. Because there is only one who is enough.
My hope and strength have to be in him alone. He equips me to be a source of love and provision for my children, but I am not their everything.
Just like my kids and my spouse and my job and my friends and my things are not my everything. None of these will ever be enough for me either. Because we were not created that way. We were created to need and worship our Creator because HE is sufficient.
He is enough.
I am so grateful for those who breathe life into others, with simple words of encouragement like “You are such a good mama.” I will continue to drink deeply of this holy water. And then I will respond.
He is such a good God, and he is enough.
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Heather Braucher is a member of the “Braucher Bunch” aka her energetic family of 5. The bunch includes her husband and their three children, all of whom are dominant and extroverted and are going to change the world (if she can keep them alive!) She has always held a passion for writing, but motherhood has given her a reason to share her experiences, heartaches, and victories with others. In her writing you will hear stories of hope as well as grief, as her family has navigated life in ministry in the US and overseas, all while discovering that 2 of her children have special needs. Her desire is to provide others with connection, understanding, encouragement and laughter, all washed with the love of Christ.
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