Do you live far away from your family and friends? Ever feel like you are alone in a sea of people with all of the problems and struggles that you face? I totally understand where you are at. I’ve been there. A lot. After living overseas for years and then moving to a city in the U.S. where I only knew one person… and I had met her through the internet… this has been my life for the last ten years. Starting from scratch so many times is tough. Especially on the friend front. These are some of the things that I have done to thrive, even with a special needs daughter and my hormonal tweens, when strangers are the only support system around.
Parenting is tough. Real tough. Every parent struggles to some degree. And any that say they don’t are living in denial.
If your life really is perfect, we probably can’t be friends *wink*.
No matter what country you are in, no matter what parenting style you use, no matter if you have boys or girls, no matter if you have a special needs child or not….
This my dear friends is the #1 biggest thing to thrive when your support system is far away.
I know that seems crazy.
We all have problems. And that will help us thrive???
You’re probably thinking that the craziness of life has messed up my brain.
Finding Your Support System
You see, recognizing that we are all struggling, makes it easier to reach out to total strangers.
And total strangers can be your best support system.
A kind word from a lady in the checkout line while you are buying the only brand of cup your child will drink from.
A friendly hand helping you get all of your kids to the car when your special needs child has a meltdown.
An internet friend willing to answer your questions from thousands of miles away because they’ve been through what you are experiencing.
There are so many voices in this world telling parents that it’s ‘every man for himself’ and that the only thing to come from being vulnerable is judgement.
But the simple truth is….
We’ve all been there. We’ve all had bad days in this intense job they call parenting.
So, the next time a perfect stranger offers a kind word or a bit of help, lean in. Accept the help. Thrive on the kindness.
It will help you through the times when no one is around. When your child is throwing everything that she can get her hands on. Or refuses to eat any of the ten foods that she just requested from the kitchen.
It will help you through the nights of insomnia.
Because a stranger has been there.
It’s not ‘misery loves company’. Wallowing in self-pity together doesn’t help. But accepting help from someone who is having a better week, a better day, a better hour, or a better minute can be exactly what you need in that moment.
And when you are having a better minute, no matter how infrequent that may seem, you can offer that support to a perfect stranger.
And you too, can thrive, when strangers are the only support system around.
Building a Support System for Special Needs Families:
Supporting Yourself and Your Child with Special Needs | Natural Beach Living
Am I Going Crazy? | Every Star is Different
Tips For Supporting A Child With Trauma History | STEAM Powered Family
Special needs parents: we all need support (even you) | My Home Truths
12 Things That Special Needs Mom Needs from You | The Chaos and The Clutter
Simple Ways You Can Support Special Needs Parents | B-Inspired Mama
Classroom Supports & Accommodations for Kids with Hyperlexia | And Next Comes L
Finding Support: From The Wind in Your Life | 3 Dinosaurs
A Letter to Parents with a Child on the Spectrum | Carrots Are Orange
Supporting a Family with High Medical Needs | Grace and Green Pastures