With you special needs parents dating something
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Today, we're going to talk about an issue that affects millions and millions of families and, I admit, something that I have the luxury of knowing very little about. This is parenting a child when you are a single mom. Now, 1 in 20 school-aged kids in the United States, according to census, very reliable numbers, 1 in 20 kids have a disability. I don't need to tell you the majority of caring for those kids is going to fall on the mom. It just is.
You HAVE to spend time together. Even though we are all so busy with work, with running our kids to various therapies, with maintaining a home, helping with school work, etc. And that includes time for the two of you AND time together with the children as well. Make sure you do that. If you let this lack of time for each other linger on, you are on your way to losing each other forever.
Do you really want to grow old alone and never have genuine love in your life? In my research, I saw first-hand many couples with unbelievable issues with their blended children and who also worked, ran their kids to various therapies and doctors, yet THEIR relationship was important enough to FIND ways to be together.
And they made it work! You vowed in the beginning of a relationship to always be open and honest with one another.
A must watch video for special needs parents!
You can tell the other person in the relationship EVERY day that you are glad they are in your life, what is great about the relationship, how you value their love and friendship, etc. At all times, you MUST treat the other person with respect. And you let the other person know that you will listen and they can talk with you about anything without fear and with an open mind and an open heart. I am proof that it is possible, I found the love of my life and he loves my child with special needs, and teaches her new things every day!
Kelly, Your article suggests that having a special needs child is not very relevant to whether or not romantic love is something to be found. So I would like to pose a question that you really did not pose to all of those experts: Would you, personally, be interested in a man who had a special needs child living with him?
Is there such a thing? You must be logged in to post a comment. We help guide you through the stages of raising a child with special needs! Get started now! Sign up for a FREE subscription below. I can hear in your voice, you're getting upset by that. Why is that so upsetting to you? Kim Thompson: I think I mentioned on your thing, my mom just died. I'm just really emotional. Talking about the isolation, it's not broken yet. It's not done yet.
I'm working on it. I haven't mastered it. I'm moving in that direction, but to have to ask somebody to accept your child when people just accept other people every day, the fact that I have to ask for that for my kid makes me sad, like how I've had to fight just for people to treat him like a human being. I'm switching my perspective on this, but it's just something that just gets to me.
Do I have really beg you to come to my house to treat me like a human being, to treat my son like a human being? Kim Thompson: He's the greatest kid. Nobody's ever going to love me.
It's not him. I'm not worried about him anymore. I love him, and I want other people to get to know him because he's isolated, and he wants to know how to be in the world. He can't do that if people are ignoring him. Why do I have to fucking say that? Emma Johnson: Well, you know what's interesting. I have found in motherhood, and I think especially in motherhood It sounds like this is amplified even more for you as a mother of a special-needs kid there's something about somebody who loves my kids.
I don't care who it is. I think that being an unmarried mom because now you and I, we're outside of the traditional, normal, healthy family. We're already worried about social isolation. We're already worried our kids They are. My kids have one less adult in the house. Emma Johnson: There are compromises to make that are real. I'm not about being a Pollyanna about single motherhood. For example, I just spent some time with some extended family. It's like, we don't always get along or like each other, but we love each other's children.
I love my nieces, and my brother loves my kids. There is a giant love that's going on, even though the adults are bitching and sniping at each other. I feel love because they love my kids. I think that goes back, right? You are feeling rejected because your child is being rejected because he's weird.
Kim Thompson: To them. To me, he's totally normal for him. I know that he wants to connect, and he's not going to be able to connect if you're treating him like he's weird, you know? You can't say that other lives matter, but only those other lives, if you don't take the full spectrum. You accept some people. Everybody has prejudices, right. Disabled people have been really marginalized so much because they look weird. It's weird to us. Emma Johnson: They act weird to us.
They're speaking literally the same language. So it's very easy to find that common ground, but if you have a nonverbal child, where's How. There's no guidebook. Then I can communicate with a hearing-impaired person. Emma Johnson: As a single mom though, right, your need for that love and that connectedness on behalf of your children is so much greater because it is lonely.
I think that's one of if not the biggest challenges of single parenthood. Kim Thompson: Yeah. I guess that's why I'm crying because my mother just died and she loved them so much with a love that was big enough for everything else, but now I have a good relationship with their dad, and he loves them.
Thank goodness. He's a very loving father. We're very amicable. I text him a thousand times a day because of the progress that my younger son is having. I do that so he A, sees it, and B, so he can do carryover. We have that, but just in my daily I don't really care about where your kid's getting into school. You know what I mean? The competition and all that stuff, that all left me behind. Just be with me and my kid.
You're in Manhattan. We're in New York City where that is so amplified. We think that's everywhere in the country, but it's like Yeah. People, they have a different set of priorities as parents. They just do. They're on that path. I don't relate to a lot, married moms and stay-at-home married moms, the things they talk about filling their day with.
Peace out. No comprende. Kim Thompson: No, it's really like that with special needs when you hear about what people complain about.
You should really get on that. You should get on that. I'm going to try and get some more services for my kid or someone to just pilot my child. All right. Emma Johnson: Yeah, exactly. I remember having breakfast with a friend, and she spent literally 20 minutes of this very precious social time talking about the challenges that she had in her life because her seltzer bottle recycling program changed.
Emma Johnson: So the social isolation, financially If I'm hearing that you are not getting out of the house for a year because you can't find the appropriate Money has got to be a huge challenge. Kim Thompson: Money is a huge challenge, especially because I hate to go there, but if it's not in your insurance Money is a huge challenge. They're just [inaudible ] run the gamut. Kim Thompson: It's not about fixing or curing.
That's also a very complicated concept in the autism community, but if your kid can't sleep in the middle of the night because he is up all night because of his gastrointestinal distress, you're going to look for answers.
So yes, finances There are constant doctors and specialists, et cetera, et cetera. There's a lack of working. Financial stuff is like a part series, Emma. I'm sorry. Emma Johnson: Money is always a problem after a divorce. You're not able to work because your kid needs you at home because the education system wasn't working.
Then just getting out of the house, that's a challenge. Have you been on a All right. Kim Thompson: I went on three dates. I went on dates with three guys. One I really liked so much, but he did not like me. It didn't work out. I liked him so much because he was so smart. He was not my physical type, but I didn't care. Emma Johnson: Does not matter. Honestly, I actually just started dating somebody who I really, really like. Incidentally, he's super good-looking, and I don't even really care.
It makes me like him better because he could have any untold amount of pussy he wants, and he's the most decent, great guy. We could talk about men in the abstract, but I want to keep things focused on the single mom, disabled child thing.
I use OkCupid all the time. It sounds like you do too.
Kim Thompson: I try to, and then I log off because again, I have a unique look. I don't want to say I have a young-looking face, but I wear my hair gray. Emma Johnson: We've hung out before. You've come over to my house.
Emma Johnson: First of all, let's just take looks out of the equation because I feel like women are often use looks not without merit.
I understand why because everywhere you look in society, we're supposed to look like a model before we even get the attention. That's whatever. Emma Johnson: You are pretty.
You are very Whatever. It doesn't matter. Kim Thompson: No, no. Is speaking about like Am I speaking? Do I need an interpreter? Like, what the Why would you even contact me? Emma Johnson: Oh, you can't pay attention to that. The duds, you just don't put energy into them. Kim Thompson: No, I don't, but no good ones approach me is what I'm saying. When I approach the good ones, they don't write back. I don't know, Emma.
You know I'm a huge fan. I download all of your courses. I feel bad. I'm just going to be like Emma anyway. I'm going to go out and not and just be in the present, be in the moment, love myself, et cetera, blow my hair out and just go.
I don't know either. Maybe we can talk afterwards, and I can help you with your profile. Couple questions. Do you mention in your profile that you have a disabled child?
Emma Johnson: Do you feel like you should mention it on a first date? Where does it play in your head in your dating? Kim Thompson: I haven't gotten that far yet, but I feel like I would feel it out. It's really for me something that I feel like I'm right with in myself.
First of all, I have a baby daddy. He takes care of his kids. I don't need anybody taking care of my kids. I can take care of my kids, and my baby daddy can take care of our kids. We are committed in that way, and I'm very, very fortunate that way. I'm grateful for him, and we have a very amicable ending and blah, blah, blah.
Kim Thompson: Second of all, my kids are great. My year-old is funnier than almost anybody I know. I've got great kids. Do I say I have a disabled kid? I don't know. I have to get to know the person first, I would think. Also, I think you have to be square with it in your heart. Not to be a fan girl or anything, that is something that I've really gotten from reading your stuff and listening to stuff, is you got to be right with you first.
Then this is who I am, and whatevs. That's how I feel like I would approach it. Emma Johnson: It really does. It's like a magical thing. I've seen that in all parts of my life. The story I always tell, which is slightly unrelated, but when I first became a full-time freelance writer, and this was like 12 years ago, nothing says broke loser like freelancer writer, even though I was doing really well.
Right from the beginning, I made good money. I had a lot of success, but a lot of times I would meet new people, just socially meet whoever, and I'd tell them what I would do. Emma Johnson: I guess maybe I had enough success where I just owned it. I don't know ostensibly I was doing anything different when I talked about myself, but people just magically stopped saying those condescending things because my natural confidence got in check.
Maybe you just haven't gotten there.
Everyone has a Special Match let us help you find yours.
Here's a little tip for anybody dating in the world. Just walk in there like your shit does not stink, and you're sussing out the other person, whether they're good enough for you to see again. You're checking them out. You're not worried about if they're going to like you because that's a given. Emma Johnson: It takes a while to go there. It helps being in New York where there's lots of people, but I think you can apply that to anything in life.
Kim Thompson: I totally agree with you, and that's why I love your work because you're bringing that to a situation that was formerly infused with so much shame, sort of the situation that I'm talking about right now. My mom was a single mom. It was not pretty, and I think that modeling esteemable, forward-moving, goal-oriented, self-loving actions and lifestyle behind that is really key for so many things. It's your responsibility how you feel about it. Emma Johnson: Right? I hear also that you're very grateful for your situation.
It sounds like your ex-husband makes enough where you guys can make this whole thing work, at least for the time being. Emma Johnson: But you were saying earlier Share about because you are technically a stay-at-home mom, and when you're dating, and guys hear that, talk about a little bit.
I did do a little writing. I was a makeup artist, so I can I have done a little bit of writing. I have done a little bit of makeup here and there. I have enough of a former life that [inaudible ]. I still kind of write. Kim Thompson: They assume that you are looking for a sugar daddy. I'm in touch with my high school ex-whatever. He was never technically my boyfriend, but we I don't know. I love this guy. I'll do anything for him.
He probably doesn't even know it came out of his you know what I mean? It's just a bias. Emma Johnson: That's out there because it's real. Biases and stereotypes become such for a reason, and there are a lot of women out there that don't see themselves as capable of having their own financial success.
They think the only way that women can get by is to marry a man or hook a guy with money. That is a real thing happening in the world. Emma Johnson: Men are screwed by it, and then they get scared when they sense, realistically or not, that that might be going on in a relationship with a woman. I think it's very much upon all of us to straighten that out whenever we see it.
Your case, I don't know. Do guys know right from the beginning? Like you said, my kids are taken care of. I'm taken care of, but here's the thing. What are you looking for? Kim Thompson: What do I want?
I think I really want to develop my writing and my. Emma Johnson: No, but what do you want romantically? What do you want romantically? Kim Thompson: Oh, what do I want romantically? Oh, good.
We get to. Emma Johnson: You can have anything you want. Just put it out in the universe. What is it? Kim Thompson: Yeah, I love it. What I really love is an intellectual match or peer. I'd like a taller guy, but at least my height. Funny, smart, kind, somebody that I can do the things that I want to do, like go to the movies, go to shows, go to museums, do all that stuff with, have a super hot love life, and somebody who's very kind and chill but also likes to be in the world, somebody who's really a part of the world, not somebody who's withdrawn from the world.
I'd like somebody to really be engaged. Emma Johnson: Do you see this as being a lover, a new husband, boyfriend, in the house, out of the house? What do you envision? Kim Thompson: Ultimately, I think I'd like a partner. I don't know if I'll ever get married again because I haven't even dated yet, right? I would like a boyfriend. I would like a boyfriend outside the house right now.
I can't move anybody in this place, but I would like [inaudible ]. Emma Johnson: I don't need anybody living in my place. This is my apartment. A, there's no room here, and B, if you're coming in, you're staying in.
If you're going to move in, you've got to stay. But I'm not doing the books and the albums again. We don't have CDs, but I'm not separating out the clothing items. I would like a long-term boyfriend for now.
I would say. Kim Thompson: Yes, absolutely, but it has to be you know. Emma Johnson: You want to have some kind of other connection too. Kim Thompson: I can't just be like or else I would have called a service a long time ago. Emma Johnson: Yeah, there's plenty of services.
You could order anything on your phone in New York. Emma Johnson: You can get your dry cleaning delivered. You can get weed legally. Anything you want. Kim Thompson: Get a fella. You could get a fella. I don't want. Kim Thompson: I don't want to buy a fella. I would like somebody who's interested in me, who values me, whom I value, who we have a connection. That's what I would like. Emma Johnson: I don't think that is an unreasonable ask at all. Kim Thompson: Thank you.
You know what I really would like to do, Emma, also is populate my life with good male role models as well. I've been thinking about that, so let's manifest that inshall we?
Emma Johnson: I want you to say it without the silly Kermit the Frog voice because you're diminishing it. Kim Thompson: Okay, Mrs. Emma Johnson: That's great. I love it. You know what I have appreciated in this phase of my life since my divorce, is that I have had a number of really true, platonic, straight, male friends, which I don't think I really had in my 20s or before.
It was either there was weird sexual tension, or we just weren't that close, or whatever. It's like there just, for no reason Well, for our own reasons, right.
We aren't romantically involved, but they are my true friends, and I very much appreciate that. I feel it's brought a very much richer perspective to my life.
But you, a single parent to a special needs child, are somehow on the sidelines watching and wondering if you and your child will ever have a true and permanent love in your lives, too. As I was researching the mystery of love and relationships, of what drives couples apart, and what holds them together, etc. Empathy for Parents of Special Needs Children: Coping & Help The demands of having special needs children have a definite effect on parents. Posted Oct 04, Jun 09, While the numbers are not confirmed, experts agree that divorce rates among parents with special needs children is far higher than the general population. And since single moms of special needs kids have challenges and joys that other moms
Emma Johnson: So you're in it. You are in it figuring this out, but you have been on this journey for seven years. If you were to speak to other single moms of disabled kids They are feeling burnt out, isolated, broke, lonely, horny, overwhelmed. Give me three things that you have learned, three things that have worked for you that you figured out on this journey.
The first thing is trust your gut as moms and definitely as special-needs moms. We are told that we are doing it wrong, and the experts are right.
Challenges and wonders of parenting a special needs kid as a single mom:
If you think that was true with all your baby books, you should see what it's like for special-needs parents. You are right. Once you get right with yourself, like we were just saying, then you seek out things to support that more instead of trying to figure out where you're wrong. Kim Thompson: The second thing is, if you can't find community, there is community online. Even if you're trolling the community and not participating in it yet, you can find lots of groups on Facebook that can help you with your point of view to get support and at least back up what you're feeling.
There are special-needs, single special-needs moms groups. They don't work for me because I can't get out of the house, right? There are people for everybody.
Dating as a Single Parent of a Child with Special Needs Published April ated December 11, Once you've figured out how to parent a child with special needs on your own so that they're safe and getting the resources they need to achieve their full potential, there's someone else you might want to start thinking about. Dating and friendships just got a whole lot easier and fun for adults with unique abilities! Let us help you discover your brand new social world in a safe and private atmosphere. This site is family owned and operated and was created for people with special needs and disabled adults who are interested in dating, companionship or just looking. Susan also feels that many men in her age group wish to be, "empty nesters", and don't want to assume the care and responsibility of a child with special needs. I asked Susan what her greatest advice would be to a single parent who has a child with special needs who wants to date. Her advice: to be completely honest.
Somehow, you're not alone. Kim Thompson: I think the third thing would be to figure out how to incorporate some kind of shifting of your mind, recentering, getting centered in some way, whether it's a spiritual practice, or whether it's getting in the tub. Some kind of self care is essential. You can't go 24 hours a day.
When you get the perspective shift, then you can open yourself up to more possibilities. Emma Johnson: I love that. The takeaway is trust your gut. You're right. Don't defer. Well, you're in a tough spot.
All you want is an expert that you trust to tell you what to do. Emma Johnson: Yeah, so trust yourself. Trust yourself, and not just when it comes to the care of your kids. That's a universal. Trust yourself, ladies. Emma Johnson: Second is, find community, whatever that means. You know what I think is interesting? I've found in my life Your community, in this case, yes, maybe it is a special-needs parent community, or maybe it's a single mom community.
But maybe your community is just labeled something else, but something in that group or that community connects. Maybe it's just like some really sweet old ladies that live in your apartment building that are your community, right? Open your mind to what, who that community might be. I think that's because I hear you. You kind of are hitting up against some walls. You found your support group didn't get you.
Single Moms and Dads of Special Needs Children. K likes. I was inspired to create this page because I have a special needs son and I have a passion for helping other people. I Followers: K. Jun 08, Preparing Special Needs Teens and Adults for Dating. From a religious view, some parents may feel more comfortable talking with the special needs child about dating and the consequences of sex before marriage. And there are different opinions on whether talking to the child about it, is an invitation to explore. It seems the news is full of stories of how mom's boyfriend or dad's girlfriend harmed a child. Parents of children with autism need to be even more careful. Unfortunately, people who prey on children may even target those with special needs, as these children are more likely to be unable to tell anyone that they are being hurt.
I find community can come from surprising places. Emma Johnson: Yeah. Your third tip is self love, ladies. I hear you saying it's a go-to thing, so it's like when you're about to lose it, go take a hot bath. When you are in the spiral of your craziness, go do to 20 minutes of yoga or whatever your go-to retreat. Kim Thompson: Just take a deep breath and have the sayings up on your wall. Write them in magic marker or Post-it notes. There's this one thing that I have that says I'm just going to read it to you.
Questions to ask before giving up. I just look at it when I'm feeling really terrified. Emma Johnson: Thank you. Kim Thompson, awesome, gorgeous single mom, special-needs child, and she's killing it. She's going to get laid, and she might even find love in Kim Thompson: Because of you, Emma. You're my Thank you so much. Emma Johnson: I know. You're responsible for your own pussy. I can't help you with your I can help you with some stuff, but you're responsible.
Kim Thompson: No thank you. No thank you on that, but just with the mentor. Thank you so much, Emma. Emma's Top Single Mom Resources. I am a single mom of a 15 year old with severe autism. I think the thing people forget about is showers. No one talks about this. For me, I would like to know when and how do people go on a date when I cannot even get a shower at times for weeks.
I do not make enough money to own a car, get a hair cut or even own a nice outfit to go on a date. I walk 4 miles to work and have to walk home to get my son off the bus daily. On the weekends I take him to work with me. Housing waits are years I am in a moms group where 5 are homeless and living off hotel vouchers waiting for housing.
I am alone. She was a wonderful person and doing this by myself has stretched me to limits good and bad. My kids were born at 22 weeks 5 days and spent months in the NICU before coming home.
The both have a severe developmental delay and my daughter has cerebral palsy, as do I. I have nursing for them but the stresses of that plus a limited income and little to no privacy or time to myself make dating almost impossible. This breaks me because I and my 2 8 year olds are happy and very loving. No one gives us a chance. I think the author is awesome and trying to build confidence in a frank way: where mennamely, take advantage. My marriage broke up because he wanted healthy children it was HIS problem.
I really needed this today! Your raw honesty about all the stresses, heartaches and loneliness really spoke to me and encouraged me because I live that very same life. I love the passion you have about helping your son. This was a breath of fresh air! Thank you! I am a single mom of a 6 year old with a rare chromosome disorder. My ex was a psychopath, abusive person, I lost my house, my business, my cars, my health. I lost everything except my SN kid. Have to live with family.
All of it. Contact me and I will guide you to make a business. For moms with kids like mine I give you free. Rhonda Maza. While the numbers are not confirmed, experts agree that divorce rates among parents with special needs children is far higher than the general population. Kim Thompson, a single mom of two boys, ages 7 and 13, ages who lives in New York City, has struggled with her son's autism and other diagnoses first as a married mother, and now as a single, divorced mom.
Because of her younger son's special needs, she has put her career on hold and cares for him full-time at home.
Challenges and wonders of parenting a special needs kid as a single mom: The 1 challenge single moms of special needs children face. What dating is like as a mother of a disabled child.
How to be a supportive friend of a mom struggling with a special needs kid.
Special needs parents dating
What it feels like when friends fade away because of your family. The thing that makes a single mom of special needs kid feel most cared for. The financial realities of the situation - including insurance. How her son's disability contributed to her divorce. YOU think you don't get a break?! Kim's top advice for single moms with special needs children. Also: Don't trust google. Because there is so much negative messaging out there when it comes to unmarried moms and romance: Only losers and pedophiles want to date you.
You must get married ASAP to be a good role model for your children. I'm here to tell you: There are so many wonderful, loving, successful and attractive men who are open to if not actively interested in women who are moms. Honoring your romantic, sexual and emotional needs is a gift to your children, as you are modeling a healthy, full life, and relieving them of the burden of fulfilling your emotional needs.
Sure, get married or otherwise partnered. But only if you really want to! Lord knows the nuclear family model didn't work out so great for most people. All the negative messaging around single mom dating is amplified, it seems, for single moms of special needs children.
Here, I tread carefully because I am fortunate that my children are not special needs. After all, I get very much that there are real challenges of dating as a single mom, and those challenges are amplified, often, when your kids demand so much more of you than healthy kids. It is just a fact. So when a mom posted this comment, I paused. My son is difficult at times.
The ex chooses not to use visitation at all. Such is life. Me: I appreciate your situation, though there is a wonderful guy or 20! Mom: That is not how life works.
I appreciate you have a brand to uphold and an image that goes along with it, but you are doing a disservice by making proclamations like that. I do not know anyone in my situation who has ever found love again. Have a child with special needs makes you unmarketable to all but the worst sorts of leeches, abusers, and scum. I will not expose my child to that. Do not give people false hope.
Best dating sites for single moms Isolation and loneliness of single moms of disabled children I published this a few months ago, and it got some harsh feedback: There is absolutely nothing inspiring about this post. In fact, for mothers with really severe situations, this is borderline shaming. Stick to writing about subjects you know something about - or at the very least, properly research your topics.
This is truly horrible. You have made a very vulnerable subset of single mothers feel even worse. You should remove this horribly inaccurate and insensitive post. For a certain subset of us, our kids are so severe, there is no sitter available. There are months on child psych wards. There are astronomical expenses. This post may reflect possibilities for the less severe special needs situations, but it's actually offensive to minimize the situations you clearly know nothing about.
Beyond offensive. I took that to heart. After all, I don't have a special needs child, and my knowledge of the subject is from the periphery.
I asked this poster for more information about her situation, and why romance, sex and love is out of the question. Here is a summary of our exchange: Me: Can you elaborate in a way that would want me to engage?
It is a pity, that now I can not express - it is very occupied. I will be released - I will necessarily express the opinion on this question.10.02.2020|Reply