Friday, June 14, 2013

On Father’s Day…


 by

There’s no question, when it comes to parenting a child with special needs, you moms
out there have it tougher. Often you’re the primary care giver, you’re the one on the front
lines, and you bear the brunt of the child rearing. And you probably have some
legitimate complaints about your hubby. Maybe he doubted your child’s issues at first.
Maybe he thought you were over reacting. Maybe he had a hard time expressing his deep
hurt once the diagnosis was official. Maybe he’s struggled to accept the new situation.
Maybe it has strained the marriage.

Today, on Father’s Day, I want to address the elephant in the room: I want to
acknowledge the dad’s struggle.

First, let’s face it, we’re guys. We don’t have our emotions on standby. It’s ingrained in
us to be strong, stoic, and unflappable. Often, it’s our role in the family to be a calming
influence. So we treat it like part of the job that when you worry, we don’t.

Having a son, I can’t speak for the bond of dads and daughters, though I’m sure it’s a
special one. But there is something about our relationships with our sons that makes us uniquely vulnerable. We live vicariously through them. We remember our own
painful childhood moments, like being too self conscious, feeling rejected by girls, or
wishing we were just a little better at sports. And we want them to have an easier
time than we did.

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