Dear Sue Ellen
I don’t have any children yet, but we are thinking about it. What if we are bad parents or our baby is born with a handicap? I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a parent. Any words of encouragement?
It seems to me, the “what-ifs” in life can take us down dark rabbit-holes we have a hard time crawling out of. “What-ifs” can lead us to depression, anxiety, fear, and hopelessness. We can become defeated.
Life is full of uncertainty. How we navigate through the twists and turns of our journey on earth helps to build our characters. What are your strengths? What is causing you to question your ability to be a good parent? Good parenting usually passes from generation to generation. We mostly learn how to be a parent from our own parents and grandparents. How do you rate your own parents and grandparents? The good news is, we can easily be taught better parenting skills if need be. It just takes an investment of time and thought. Parenting classes are available in most communities.
I have the privilege of knowing parents with handicapped children, and have learned so much from both the parents and their kids. I believe the world needs children with special needs because of what they teach us. I also believe parents are chosen by a higher power to be entrusted with the care of special needs children. Does that make it easy to be that special parent? No. If you are looking for a good time as a parent, you might want to get a pet instead. Being a good parent isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be the best and worst experience of your life.
Here are my words of encouragement for you. If you are a person of faith, rely on what you know about love to guide your decision. If you aren’t a person of faith, find some. You will need it if you decide to become a parent.
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