Confession of a special needs mom: “I am a bad friend.”

As a special needs mom I have read quite a few articles like this and even shared a few but this by far is my favorite so far. Please read the article before continuing on with this blog post:)special-needs-mom

I want to take a moment to thank my “typical” friends that have not given up on me, my friends that continue to encourage me even when they might not understand me. My friends that include me and continue to invite me and my kids to activities (even though lets face it, I cancel – A LOT.)  For the ones that have given up, it’s ok….it’s hard. I will be the first to admit I can be a bad friend. (Oddly enough I was JUST talking to my sister about this yesterday over lunch!) The truth is I am very different from most of my “typical” mom friends, my kids are very different from most of my friend’s kids. My “struggles” are very different from most of my friend’s struggles.

It’s true, I am a BAD FRIEND. Not all the time, but there are days that I feel like I can’t listen to my friends “deal” with their kids and their constant talking and bickering with each other (because both of my kids are non-verbal and communication of any sort can be a struggle each and every day. I am absolutely sure my friends do NOT want to hear me say how lucky they are to deal with all the yelling and screaming.) Or there are the times  I have trouble hearing how expensive all of the dance lessons, private golf instruction, or extra special sports teams can be – let alone finding the time to do them all (because the cost of special diets, doctors, meds, and therapy is unbelievable and finding the time is nearly impossible and I would give anything to be “investing” my money on the things they are)  And then there are some times it is hard just listening to the joys of my typical friend’s kids – like potty training, the first words, or getting a drivers license, and college planning. Milestones in life that I simply can’t relate too, and may never ever experience. I mean come on……what kind of Debbie Downer friend does not like to listen to the  JOYS OF THEIR FRIENDS.

Yes, I admit it…..I, Kelly Butler, can be a very bad friend. And for that I apologize from the bottom of my heart.

But to those of you who stick around I do not have words of thanks GREAT ENOUGH for you. Heck, there are even some of you that thank me. Yep….me…the bad friend…I get thanks sometimes. Turns out that, I can be encouraging to moms. I have been thanked for encouraging them to take time to enjoy what really matters, to take the time to listen (TRULY listen) to their kids.  Some have thanked me for teaching them things like patience, finding priorities, and seeing love and joy in the smallest of things.

And my kids….oh man…my kids…..for those of you who have allowed encouraged your kids to build relationships with my kids. Those are the best thank yous of all. Moms that thank me for Brooklyn. Moms that tell me their daughters (and sons) have become better, more patient, more understanding, grateful kids because of their friendship with her. AMAZING.

Here is my promise to you: I will try to be a better friend. (even as I type these words I know I am going to fail some of you) Please know that I love all of you and need all of you. I can’t “do” this life without you. Be patient with me…with my kids. I know it might not always be easy but I absolutely know it will be worth it!





5 Responses

  1. Aprille January 5, 2014 at 8:34 am | | Reply

    Thank you for sharing my post!

  2. Audra Warren January 5, 2014 at 9:33 am | | Reply

    Oh, my DEAR friend, Kelly. These are words to live by–I often think of the exact types of “problems” you mention when I am having parenting issues. Knowing you and your kiddos has definitely given me a different perspective/appreciation for problems such as “the teacher is grading him too hard on his coloring!” As a parent, one typically can not appreciate things like the ABILITY to play basketball versus being upset because someone didn’t pass him the pass, unless you know a mom such as you. I hope everyone reads your post, not only to understand you and the kiddos, but to APPRECIATE the struggles they DO NOT have on a daily basis. I remember something Shelby Kiebel told me, someone had said to her, when her oldest was little. It went something like this: “Don’t be frustrated by the messes they make, just be grateful they are able to make the messes.”

  3. Carrie January 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm | | Reply

    Kelly, you are ONE of the best friends that I have made through this journey with Madison. It is very hard and I get where the author says that it is hard to find a babysitter. We have ONE babysitter and it is my sister in law. Our other girls want is to call these small companies or get someone through respite but I don’t think they would firstly watch her and secondly I can’t trust them. She doesn’t have as many needs as Brooklyn but she still gets into everything. Thanks for sharing!!! Love ya!!!

  4. Laura Martin January 5, 2014 at 3:35 pm | | Reply

    Beautiful post!

  5. Julie January 6, 2014 at 7:59 pm | | Reply

    Thank you for that. You are an amazing person! You are not alone. I am sorry you have to deal with all of that. I have one very special needs child and I know the friend thing will only get harder as he gets older.

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