When you have a kid with special needs, it can be overwhelming. Probably not in the ways you would imagine though. The doctors’ visits are long and you spend so much time at the hospital it becomes second nature to know the hallways and how to get food. You learn the nurse shifts and when the best time for lunch is because the food isn’t always going to be hot just because it’s “lunch hour.”

You would think it would be amazingly difficult, but the truth is, some days are tough and sometimes it’s just more or less routine. It’s just my version of life at this point. I have a good husband and he carries half my load with the kids. We both do it all- we go to work, to home, to the hospital; we function as a team. We also both do all the school stuff and deal with more normal stuff too like parenting plans and kids outings to the park.

What gets to be hard is when I’m out by myself or when my husband and I go out together. That part when you see another adult? They finally engage you or you have a chance to talk to them? It seems impossible these days to make it past “Hello.”

When you are nice but maybe are overeager? I know when I’m excited because it’s because so great to be without the kids for 5 minutes and have my own identity back that I forget how to make friends with actual cordial human manners and I can make people uncomfortable.

Yup, being too nice or happy or offering to help with anything are not good qualities for making friends. Every new person I generally encounter is a doctor or in some kind of professional setting.

Oh, and I’m professional. I was always good at my job. I did have to change jobs though to be a full-time mom however because all the home stuff really needed a lot of attention, and my kids deserve to have the most of my attention.

Now, when it comes to new people, not at hospitals and doctors’ offices, it just feels like I will never fit in anywhere no matter how hard I try (or don’t). It can be completely disheartening as a parent to try to get to know other people and have them look at you like you are an alien because you don’t have social media, or watch the latest TV shows.

How can I do any of these things? It would be great if we as people could try to see past the first impressions a little. Or instead of brushing off with, “friend me on FB” but knowing that you don’t really want to talk, just being honest.

I have never, once, gotten past a “friend me on FB” to actually be friends after that. It’s BS and people need to stop it. It’s like the worst automatic dump ever. Right now, I will be honest, the hardest part of having a special needs kid isn’t the isolation by being in the hospital, it’s the isolation I feel when we get home and I reach out for a friend.

-Chloe