Is raising a child with Down Syndrome a burden?
"The burden of raising a child with Down Syndrome is not in raising the child; it is in dealing with the misconceptions and stereotypes placed on individuals with Down Syndrome by society. "
I saw the above quote on a Facebook status.
Such true words.
The burden is having people judge Stella just by looking at her before even getting to know her. I haven't had to personally "in your face" deal with this reality just yet, but I am sure at some point in time I will.
The burden is realising that I am going to have to fight tooth and nail to get the help and intervention that I feel Stella does and will need. Oh Stella is given the "basics", but to get more, to get what I feel she really needs..that takes a fight.
The burden is watching a movie and hearing the R word. Knowing that the person who wrote the script was just one of many making it seem like using that word was OK. Knowing that if I voice my displeasure with that word that some people will just tell me I am overreacting and being over sensitive.
So far, I have not had to deal with anyone whom I am close with tell me (to my face) I am being oversensitive regarding the R word, but I did get "unfriended" by an acquaintance. It took courage on my part to send her the email message that I did, and even though we were not close friends it was very hard to have her "unfriend" me.....to have her say she was offended by what I said to HER!!
Yeah, having to stand up and advocate and say "Hey, please don't use that word" to strangers and family alike feels very much like an emotional burden.
Is parenting Stella a challenge? Yes, some days are tougher then others, but the same can be said for parenting Olivia and Sophie. All of my McG girls challenge me, frustrate me, exhaust me. But they also make me smile and laugh and make me a better human being.
Being a parent and raising children is no easy task, but we do it because we have chosen to and because we have all been blessed with the gift of bringing a child into this world.