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Your children's birthdays - how do you feel?

(15 Posts)
babiki Sat 10-Nov-12 14:21:49

My eldest boy is 12 today and my youngest boy with SN is 3... And I'm feeling slightly guilty as can't shake off a feeling of grief and sadness too, for my youngest. I have realised I don't like to look at photos from the times when we didn't know he has SN... Also read many times how parents would not change their kids with SN for anything; well I would, if I could have him waking up tomorrow and be typical in all his development I would be over the moon. How do you feel on your children's birthday?

bizzey Sat 10-Nov-12 14:42:45

Oh babiki... I feel for you today ...are you having a bad moment sad.

Considering all the sad things we have heard lately ,either on here or in the news I wake up everyday thankful that I have my ds's with me .

My mild SN ds is.....well just him ? Lots of extra work ...but....if my NT ds1 slams a door once more today while having a pre-teenage strop...He will have to start learning carpentry to put them back on ...instead of x-box time !!!grin

Focus on ds1 today is his special day ..and you have got him thanks

Is it youngest birthday as well today ? Might have miss read the post ?

If it is ...focus on him being with you now ...and not what it should of/could of been ..

Do try and enjoy your day

(BTW I am not very good on giving I hope I haven't offended)

babiki Sat 10-Nov-12 15:07:44

Thank you Bizzey, you are very good comforter!! Yes, we will need a carpenter soon too! And you read well- they were born on the same day smile Thanks for your kind words smile

AgnesDiPesto Sat 10-Nov-12 15:46:07

I always feel sad on DS3 (ASD) birthday. I can always remember what DS1 and DS2 were doing at the same age, the party they planned and had, the friends, the excitement of the presents, the anticipation for weeks.

DS3 will be 6 this month and he does not know or care it is his birthday. No nagging me for what he wants. We will have a tea party but make it seem as un-party like as possible as he hates parties. He may not open or show any interest in his presents. It will be just another day.

Milestones are tough for children who miss them. I used to feel guilty that I did ever reach the point of accepting DS's SN. But there is enough to beat yourself up about. I have sort of reached the point where I accept that I don't accept it, but as long as he never knows that, thats ok. I don't think its odd to want your child's life to have been easier.

I was brought up on neuro-typical birthdays and bought into all the hype. I know DS doesn't miss all the razzmatazz but I am not autistic and I do miss it, for me, not for him. And I think thats ok too. We had certain expectations and have had to sacrifice things which are important to us, even if they are not important to our children.

I have a video of DS at 18 months old, before he regressed and when he still made eye contact and played with his grandparents; and even now I can't bring myself to watch it.

Be kind to yourself, it is ok to feel sad about it.

babiki Sat 10-Nov-12 16:12:19

Agnes thank you, you have captured all the ambivalent feelings beautifully, I do feel very similar about it all and you are probably right, maybe it's ok to feel a bit sad.

bigbluebus Sat 10-Nov-12 17:38:48

Always mixed emotions here on birthdays too. In fact I posted a few weeks ago on DD's 18th birthday. She has PMLD and complex health needs and is tube fed - so can't even have birthday cake!.(although I did make a cake and send it in to school for her friends and the staff in her class, as they always have a little 'party' for them in school.) She has never had any concept of birthdays and can't communicate so never asks for anything. We have always done the presents and card thing just because we feel we should do it to mark the occassion. Same at Christmas really - it would all pass DD by unnoticed. We thought long and hard about whether or not to have a party for her 18th - but decided against in the end as we would only have been doing it for us. We took her away on holiday instead.

There are always times in our life when we are reminded of what might have been ... it is only normal to think like that. One of my friends (whom I met at antenatal clinic when I was expecting DD) is about to celebrate her DDs 18th and that will accentuate how very different the lives of our 2 girls have been. But I remember now, that she was the friend who made my DD a birthday cake for her 1st birthday - probably just in case I didn't feel like bothering and she also put on a little firework tea party to celebrate DDs 18th - including more delicious birthday cake.

So try and have a day of celebrating BOTH DCs and think about the positive things your younger DS can do.

signandsmile Sat 10-Nov-12 18:43:30

the way I feel has changed over the last few years, (It's ds's birthday on thursday and we had the 'party' this afternoon)

the first few years (2 - 5) felt really tough I could see the differences between him and others of the same age.... this year has felt difference, it could be because he is now talking and doing ok in mainstream at the moment, so I am feeling quite positive... or cld be that we have adapted what we do for birthdays around what he can manage, I'm not sure, hmm

Other people's birthdays feel harder to me, (I am still staying at parties, enabling him to join in a bit with games etc, helping him understand what is going on, watching him to gauge when we need to leave... always about half way thru... sad) it tends to be those times I find harder than his birthday..

auntevil Sat 10-Nov-12 19:30:09

What I noticed most was as other parents started to leave children - give the host their mobile, I am still the parent that has to stay, just in case sad

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 10-Nov-12 19:35:18

I always feel sad that DD doesnt ever want to play with any toys, I cant find anything to buy her and she gets given loads of presents she won't even look at. Would love to buy her something she loved and see her face light up

autumnsmum Sat 10-Nov-12 20:17:34

I found dd s birthday hard. she has autism and learning difficulties and it was the first birthday since she was diagnosed.I kept thinking what a third birthday should be like and hers was totally different , but on the positive side I think she enjoyed it

Dev9aug Sat 10-Nov-12 20:39:07

I used to feel guilty that I did ever reach the point of accepting DS's SN. But there is enough to beat yourself up about. I have sort of reached the point where I accept that I don't accept it, but as long as he never knows that, thats ok. I don't think its odd to want your child's life to have been easier.
That sums up my feelings about dx1 dx exactly.

I loved celebrating birthdays. We had big parties for DS1 1st and 2nd birthday before his difficulties became obvious.

These days, birthdays are bitter sweet affairs for us. DS1 was dx with ASD/GDD the day ds2 was born and if that wasn't enough to ruin birthdays for us, DS2 was dx with CP this year on DS1's third birthday. We still celebrate them though for their sake, we don't want to deny ds1 the opportunity to have all the normal things in life and he seemed to enjoy it so far in his own way.

Happy Birthday to both of your

marchduck Sat 10-Nov-12 20:41:55

DD is exactly 23 months, to the day younger than DS. I have some photos of her at DS's fourth birthday party. At that point I thought that her speech was just a bit behind, got the bombshell a few months later of the developmental delay. I hate looking at these photos now because she looks so unhappy (with hindsight she must have found the party completely overwhelming) and I had no idea that there was anything wrong. Plus it makes me feel worse that I paid her barely no attention all that day because I was so busy getting ready for the party.
babiki, happy birthday to both your boys

zen1 Sat 10-Nov-12 21:48:38

I remember feeling very sad on DS3's (ASD) 2nd Birthday. I had been thinking back to when DS2 was 2 and how excited he had been and how he was able to answer when asked how old he was today etc etc. DS3 just looked bewildered. He understood hardly anything and even now when I watch the video we made, I always think it's his 1st birthday because really he was more like baby who had just turned 1 (though less interactive).

A year later, I told him on his birthday that now he was 3. And when people asked "how old are you?", he was able to answer correctly (even though he just learned that as a stock answer!). I still saw it as progress and realised how much progress he had made in a year (though obviously was still way behind his NT peers).

Fast forward another year and he is 4 next week. A couple of weeks ago I said to him "When it is DS3's birthday, he will be 4" . I wasn't sure if he understood, but I asked him last week "How old will you be on your birthday?" and he answered "4". So, I guess I just look at each birthday in terms of his own milestones and how far he has come in his speech / understanding since the previous year. But, like you babiki, if someone could wave a magic wand and make him developmentally typical, I would snap it up.

babiki Sat 10-Nov-12 22:34:26

Guys you are all fantastic, thanks for all the replies and wishes smile
Bigbluebus - it is tough, isn't it..your post made me realise again that this is for life, I'd better get used to the situation as it is..the idea of holiday is lovely!
Signandsmile - I understand you, actually cowardly don't really go to b-day parties of small kids at the moment..
Auntevil - hopefully once there will be a time when you can leave made me think if ds will ever go on holiday abroad to my mum as ds and dd do..
FanjoForthemammaries - yes, it felt quite similar today, ds didn't have a clue what's going on, but looked as he enjoyed the atmosphere smile
Dev - I didn't know about your dd, 'where I accept I don't accept it' it's so true..and the bday coinsidence it's quite something..
Marchduck - I am glad you understand about the photos, I mantioned it once to my husband and he didn't get it at all, unfortunately I somehow started dividing life into before and after sad
Zen1 - that is so lovely that he understands now smile

mymatemax Sat 10-Nov-12 23:17:58

we just celebrate a day for ds2.
He was so nearly not here we alwats count our blessings, near his birthday we will keep reminding him so he sort of knows.
He knows he gets presents & gets to eat junk all day (his favourite thing).

He's 10 now & there isnt anything he like to do except stay at home, so we allow him to do just that.
Usually family call in with cards etc so it ends up a sociable day for us.
He doesnt go to others partys, even if invited he wouldnt go.

So i just look on the bright side that only one of the ds's is presenting me a list 3 months before their birthday "just in case anyone asks"

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