I have never been the type to socialise with other Moms and IF it does occasionally happen then I am VERY specific about the type of Mom that I socialise with. It’s usually the Mom who ALSO has a neuro-atypical needs kid and who totally gets it.
Socialising with Moms with neuro-typical/regular kids becomes difficult when your kid has issues and when YOU as the parent need to deal with your issues about the issues. You are so aware of the differences between your child with the issues and regular neuro-typical kids. You think that EVERYONE can see all the milestones that haven’t been reached. You feel like everyone is staring and you assume that everyone is talking about your kid and his issues. You start to compare and it just hurts too much. So you stay away.
I do realise that I am guilty of projecting and of imagining that they ALL have something negative to say about my kid, so for a few years, we (I) declined all the party invitations and we basically just said “Hi and Bye” in the parking area.
Until this year. Son2 changed and he’s really come into his own. He started to become more social and with a fair bit of help from some of the adults in his life, he actually made a friend or three! He can even have a little bit of a conversation now. Occasionally he plays alongside other kids. Other times he engages with them directly. It’s not perfect, but he’s really trying and is doing soooooo well.
Also. I changed. It’s been a long, long, long time coming but I’m finally OK with his stuff. I embrace it. It’s who he is. It’s what I LOVE about him. While I was stressing and being angry and self-conscious and fighting all and sundry, the healing was taking place from within.
Point is, Son2 FORCED me to accept the party invites. We went to the parties. I was forced to get over my stuff and I started to actually engage with the Moms. In the process, I found that they are actually really cool and regular people, and the biggest bonus of all? I made some DIVINE new friends.
I made friends with other Moms who LOVE my son and even tell me stories about the quirkiness that I might have missed out on. They have completely accepted him for who he is – no questions asked, and I didn’t even have to fight for this and advocate it for him. They basically ADORE him and have become my eyes and ears in my absence. When there are school functions and outings that I can’t attend, then they send me pictures of him. I LOVE this and of course I do the same for them! They have become an AMAZING support network. We all commiserate late into the night and whatsapp ALL THE THINGS. Do you have ANY idea how that makes me feel? It feels like I belong and I kind of want to cry when I think about it. From happiness of course! We get invited to the occasional play date now and then we go!
Me being friends with the Moms from my sons school adds a whole new dimension into my life. It makes me feel like I DO have boring and normal. I think that I mentioned in an old post that Motherhood has made me feel lonely? Well, I no longer feel lonely and I no longer feel like I’m somehow sticking out like a sore thumb.
If anyone had told me one year ago that I would be friends with the school Moms, I would have LAUGHED! Seriously. Who would have thought?
Do you socialise with the school Moms? Or do you avoid them like the plague the way I used to?