When Nate was about 10 years old, I angrily shared with a friend, my dissatisfaction with Nate’s childcare. I didn’t feel as if they were treating Nate as I desired. Perhaps my request were beyond their skill level or they were preoccupied with themselves to give my child the level of care he deserved.
My friend listened to my complaint, before lovingly responding, “Charlene, No One Will Care for your child, like you.”
Over the years I have thought about her words and I completely agree with her statement. She was right. No one can or will care for my child, like I can. I am Nate’s mother, and I am aware of his needs. I see something in him that no one else sees. We have a bond.
Yet, as I have recently pondered that statement, with regard to Nate’s residential facility, I wonder am I incorrect. Am I wrong because I want others to care for Nate how I do? Or should I lower my expectations of people? Should I not hold people accountable for how they care for Nate? Should I not correct them, making them aware of when they should do something better for my son? Or is this too much? Am I being an overbearing parent, who expects people to do over and above what I myself would do for Nate?
At times I’m not sure.
All I want is the best care for Nate. I want someone that take the time to understand his needs, how he communicates, and what he wants. I want a person that knows when my son is happy and when he is upset. Someone who engages him and not let him sit for long lengths of time by himself. I want someone who sees beyond that Nate is deaf, blind, and intellectually disabled. A person that sees his heart and has has empathy and compassion for my child.
Is that too much to ask? Or should I settle for the belief that since, no one can care for my child like me, I should not ask for anything.
No, I should not. I should not settle?
And no parent should, no matter if the child has special needs or not. We should never lower our expectations of those that are caring for our child. Instead we should hold them to the highest standards. For if we don’t, our children will be the ones to suffer. We must advocate for our children, by making sure that they are being treated with the love and respect that they deserve from everyone who cares for them.