If you are a woman and have a special needs child..

@dizzblnd (3073)
United States
September 6, 2008 7:22am CST
do you feel this makes you any less of a person to want to go out and have a successful career? Do you feel your male spouse or significant other is less qualified to care of that child if need be? I do not have a special needs child, so I am no authority. I know it has to be challenging, even more so the more severe the child's needs are. But isn't it horrible, even in this day and age for a woman to be chastised and criticized for wanting a career? What does this say about the fathers of these same children? Especially ones who are willing to give up everything they are doing to step up and fill the his role of the parenting. It seems to imply that they couldn't possibly be competent enough to handle the very tough job of raising children. Sounds like sexism to me. I am not saying a child (special needs or not) does not need both parents. In some cases, where a father is lovingly raising and nurturing the children, the children are better off with him. (I am a woman, so don't start bashing me for being sexist) He can be firm and gentle. He can be a hard @ss and be soft. If a mother is lovingly raising and nurturing the children, she can coddle too much and be too lenient. I am not saying ALL of the above are true with every mother and father so don't attack me assuming I am saying ALL fathers are better or ALL mothers are too soft. All I am saying is why is it so awful that a woman with children wants to have a career, but a man with children can have a career and nothing is thought of it. What if one of those children (God forbid) becomes seriously ill or is in an accident? Is that father going to be chastised or criticized for not being there for his children full time? My guess is no. So what say you moms of special needs children or non-special needs children? Are you less qualified/dedicated for a job that requires your full-time attention? Can/does your male spouse or significant fill the parenting role that is required of him in such a case. Men please feel free to weigh in too. Please be civil to me and to one another if you don't agree with me and /or each other.
2 people like this
6 responses
@bellaofchaos (11550)
• United States
7 Sep 08
ok I have 5 kids yes I said 5. Now out of those five kids I have 2 that are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD .. They can be very challanging kids. I think that in this day and age where the household needs to have a two person income that more and more kids find themselves in day care. which there is nothing wrong with that because we don't know how the family spends there time once they pick up the child or children and go home. Bottom line no parent should be chastized for working and supporting their family it has to be done wether it's mom, dad, or both. I will say that when I was working me and my S/O worked opposite shifts so that we could both work and none of the kids had to go into daycare. So you can have both a career and a family it's just what are you willing to do to achieve both and find a balance. Life is all about balances. Believe it or not it can be done, have a career and be nuturing. I worked a evening job when I was last working.. LOL!! from 430 to 2 am .. then I would come home and get sleep he would wakey them and me and I would do the girls hair while he got the boy ready to go to school then he would stay up with the one that wasn't in school and then I would get up and get my stuff ready and see them a little bit before I walked out the door. Nice thing about the job I was in I for the four days I busted my but I had 3 days off which meant I could completely utterly devote my attention to me kids.. So It can be done. I know some great men out there who devote themselves to thier kids and are happy and very nuturing while the moms work.
1 person likes this
@dizzblnd (3073)
• United States
7 Sep 08
All I can say to that is WOW! What a strong family you all must be. I don't think I could handle that, as I love my sleep WAY to much.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Sep 08
Hmmmm, Sleep what is that? LOL!!
1 person likes this
@dizzblnd (3073)
• United States
9 Sep 08
you know.. all of that "down" time you get when you close your eyes for more than a second... lol I never understood your user name.. but now it all makes sense
2 people like this
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
7 Sep 08
I am a mother of a child of special needs. I quit my job of 18 years to care for my son after careful consideration. My husband was making more money, which was our main concern, it was not his ability to do so. My husband is good with my son, but is not so good at the appointment thing. When he is not working, he wants me to cancel them. He is not worried about his education, whether he is getting what he needs to at school. He is not one to fight for things. I love him, and he is great at helping with him, but I would really be worried to have to have him do it all. I really think it is on an individual basis. I had a guy that I worked with that had a child, that was 1 of twins, that was a very high maintanence special child, and he did all the care for that child. He worked part-time at night, and took her to all her therapies, Dr. appts., and all the care. His wife would do nothing and had nothing to do with the child, she said she could not handle it. I think it takes a special person to be able to basically put their life on hold, and do what needs to be done.
1 person likes this
@dizzblnd (3073)
• United States
8 Sep 08
Like eveything else... I guess each situation, is different for each family. Your co-worker sounds like a great person to be able to handle it himself since his wife wouldn't (I say wouldn't because she COULD if she put her fears and self-doubt, and self-lkoathing on the back burner and focus on the child) But I shouldn't judge, everyone is different, I just know that if it were me, I'd do EVERYTHING I could to make sure my child was getting the care they needed. THanks you for sharing your experience and Bless You!
1 person likes this
@olivemai (4738)
• United States
13 Sep 08
It happened for many years that most folks would put their special children in institutions, so as not to "embarrass" the family! It is tough to accept at times and even tougher to do all the work without hiring someone! A housekeeper works great when extra time is needed with one of the children, but not everybody can afford it!
@dragon54u (31637)
• United States
7 Sep 08
I think if a woman chooses to have children she should stay home and raise them. If she wants a career, fine. Have a career and don't have children. Now, if a woman wants a career and the man is willing to stay home and raise the child that's also an option. I have a nephew who stays at home while his wife supports the household and they're very happy that way, the kids are well adjusted and very happy. One person should be at home with the child till they are out of high school.
1 person likes this
@dizzblnd (3073)
• United States
7 Sep 08
Definitely, one parent SHOULD be home to raise the kids when possible. I think the children who had at least one parent at all times, vs. daycare, are a lot happier and better adjusted.
1 person likes this
@olivemai (4738)
• United States
13 Sep 08
It is true that family is better for the first five years, after that school takes over and the children are students for five days a week, at least five hours of the day! At that point, it is much better to work or volunteer time so the child can focus on school work.
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
6 Sep 08
Well let me first start off by saying I have one child with: ODD, ADHD, Anxiety issues, and Asperger's Syndrome which is a form of autism. Although the Asperger's was not found until this year, he was "labeled" as mentally retarded for a good portion of his life. I also spent five years working in a facility for adults with mr/dd. With that being said now I can give you my opinion on this matter. I believe that it is very important for the child to have bonding with both parents the first few years of life, especially a special needs child. As I have found out mine has pulled away over the years, as emotions go. I know well when he is angry and know when he will go off into a fit of rage. But emotions beyond that are not readable to me. As he was little I started working, I went back to work when he was three weeks old. I worked a lot and didn't have that bonding period with him, as I should of, and really regret that I didn't. I had it with my other two, the first one I didn't work because I was a stay at home mom and with the third one I was in college but devoted my time to him minus a few hours a day for classes. I have a great relationship with two of the three and I know that autism children perfer not to be touched and like to be alone. But I often wonder how much of our bonding was missed because of my selfishness. Can a male raise children and do it well? I believe so but I know that there are things that men don't pick up on. My husband can get up in the middle of the night with our four year old and he will do it for days, and then finally say to me that he can't understand why he is getting up every night. I know as soon as he says that the child is getting sick. It always makes me laugh that he still can't pick up that something is going on instead of just a noise outside, hope I'm not confusing you. To sum it up, I think that women should have careers and live life. But, I really feel that the child should have a bonding period. I have no idea how a woman goes back to work after three days, I went back to college after a week, but I took 1 class and all the rest were online and tele courses.
1 person likes this
@dizzblnd (3073)
• United States
6 Sep 08
Thank you for that. I don't think you were selfish at all. I think you needed some "you" time. That is not selfish, that is natural. Having been a stay at home mom myself, I understand that. I also understand the bonding issue. My daughter was 3 months premature. She spent the 1st 4 months of her life in an incubator. I wasn't able to hold her until she was 2 months old. Talk about torture! I know where you are coming from with the dad not picking up on some things that we, as mothers are genetically inclined to "just know." But I do think they can be just as capable. I appreciate your views and I applaud you and all mothers of special needs' children. I know it must bring out a special type of love in the whole family that some of us will never know.
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
6 Sep 08
I know that I wouldn't have been able to leave the hospital without my child. I have heard of people leaving and their baby stays for whatever reason, but I know that I couldn't do it. My oldest had colon polyps that had given him some issues when he was 8 and I slept in his hospital bed with him while 5 months pregnant just so he wouldn't be alone at night in a strange place.
1 person likes this
@rainbow (6763)
8 May 09
My older son is 9 now and has Autism, ADHD, Dyspraxia and Enuresis. When he was tiny I worked full time, then part time, then I child minded from home to be with him and when m yother son now 5 arrived I gave up to become a full time mum and carer. I have been home for 5 years now and much as I love not having the stress of working I am put in a back seat my my partner who can do what he likes because he "goes to work". This means I do everything for the home and the children with little or no hope of enough freedom to work even part time. Where we live there is hoardly any any childcare through school holidays or childrens illness so it has become impossible for me to continue my career or even stack shelves. At the moment he is having lots of problems as he attends regular school with 1-2-1 assistance and this means hecauses me a lot more work at home, sadly I see no way for me to financially support my children.
@olivemai (4738)
• United States
13 Sep 08
I know of several families with special needs children! I had to take a lot of time off, of everything and everybody else other than my special needs child! It does get better, with time the child learns to take care of his own needs, and you get to take time off or even begin to pursue some kind of life again! If you go to a support group website, try reading some of the posts! Many people have to take off work and both parents are stressed to the max with everything from money for bills to time for their own personal needs! I would estimate it takes twelve years on average for the special needs child to get to the same point as neuro-typical children do by First Grade! Not every child is the same, some do learn faster and take responsibility for their own personal needs, yet others need to be told when to do everything that they need to do, and for a long time! It is not as tiring as I make it sound, only more so tiring for most parents who need to work at least part-time to make it and still be as caring and helpful for the child. My spouse has done many more chores but really did not know what to do as far as the child was concerned, only he knew how to cook and clean and do laundry as needed! I did not even know what to do, and had to learn quickly what to do and when to do it. It is similar to having a baby for an extra five years, as five years for most children are the infantile years. It is well rewarding for many people. It is also very difficult work, challenging in every aspect. I do not think it is being sexist, ether what you asid or the thought that women do a better job. Most men would agree that women are more sacrificing, and do not want to do all the work that it takes to raise a happy family.