Hey guys! In case you've missed it, over on our Instagram page, each week a group of mommas and myself answer questions about raising children with different needs. Sometimes, I can answer them in just a post. But other times, like today, I feel the need to explain further so I come here to do so.
This week, we are answering the questions, "How does your day with a child with Down Syndrome differ from that of a "typical" child?'
In my post I basically answered that our day to day life is not all that much different. It's truly not. Like with any child, there are good days and bad days. There are days you want to pull your hair out or consider selling your child to the highest bidder (obviously, I'm kidding about that last part!) This is true with Stella but it's also true with raising two teenage boys right now!
Now, Stella does need more help with day to day things than her brothers did at that age. For example, I still have to help her get dressed, brush her hair, get on and off the potty, and she even needs a little help feeding herself. Stella is learning these skills and improving daily though. I would say the hardest part of our day is the fact that Stella does not entertain herself at all. Therefore, she requires much more attention throughout the day. This can be super draining as she literally follows me around most of the day. She requires assistance with getting engaged in activities and prefers for me to play with her versus just playing alone.
The other biggest difference in our lives is Stella's weekly therapy appointments. Every week she sees a speech therapist, occupational therapist and a physical therapist. Obviously, this takes up quite a bit of time and requires planning. She also has more doctors appointments than her brothers. Taking Stella to the doctor is also a huge challenge! She does not cooperate and requires being held down by two or more (usually more!) people for routine exams. I have hopes that she will outgrow this eventually! Wish us luck!
Our lives are actually quite "normal" and wonderfully boring on a day to day basis. Yes, there are challenges but I feel like every child has some kind of challenge to overcome. And parenting is hard. And I think it's like anything else in life, your attitude and how you respond to the daily challenges will determine your success and your future. Things could always be worse and I'm grateful for this little child that challenges me. She has and continues to make me stronger! Our kiddos really are more alike than different!