You are not alone.
If there is one thing to pull out of this collection of stories, it’s that statement above.
Raising a child is difficult, no doubt. I am pretty sure we all go into parenthood with some appropriate amount of armor, artillery, and nervousness. We read the books, go online, and even pepper Mom and Dad with “what was I like when I was a baby?”
When your child is younger, you connect with others – daycare parents, neighborhood parents, whoever. You swap stories and feel a bond of commiseration as you slog through sleepless nights and poopy diapers.
When your child is diagnosed with any multitude of acronyms, however, the game changes. We were never given the playbook to deal with our child’s outbursts. It becomes difficult to manage what comes your way. Perhaps your child is not invited to playdates anymore. Maybe you need to leave a daycare facility for “behavioral issues”. Or the calls from the school start coming more frequently. Suddenly, you feel alone, fighting against the current of “normality”.
This is where this book is a helpful guide. It helps you understand that we all have been there with our “Alphabet Soup” diagnosed kids. Written from the perspective of parents, these stories resonated with me. From the meltdowns to the judgments, from the frustrations to the successes – this book has it all. Especially all the “bad stuff” that we parents don’t want to admit -the yelling, the crying, the doubting. Acknowledging that parenting a special needs child is not all “unicorns and rainbows” makes the book so much more relatable.
There are six sections of this book, divided by different issues. Overall, I teared up reading many of the passages because they were so powerful. I was able to relate more emotionally to some of the essays due to personal experience. In some aspects, I fear our future because we still have a lot forward to. However, the stories help me understand that what others have navigated. That, in turn, makes me more aware – which is just as important.
Additionally, the Tell Us More: Expert Q&A pieces throughout the book helps shed some light on the issues that parents face. I found these sections very informative. Also informative are the resources listed at the end of this book – books, websites, blogs – all dedicated to raising awareness about the issues that surround us all.
Easy to Love but Hard to Raise is definitely a keeper in your library of resources!
Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories
Edited by Kay Marner and Adrienne Ehlert Bashista