Day 22: Restoring Grace, Overcoming Parental Self-Blame

Welcome to day 22 of the 31 Days of Restoration: Spiritual and Emotional Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs. You can find the main page for this series here.

When doctors requested genetic testing for my son, my mind spun an intricate web connecting all things I might have done wrong during the pregnancy.

I bet it was that time I carried heavy boxes. Or, the day I squeezed myself into those tighter maternity pants. Maybe it was the one time I drank wine before I knew I was expecting. Was it the non-organic peanuts I ate?

Doctors reassured me that I had not done anything to cause my son’s condition.

Parents of children with special needs almost immediately blame themselves for their child’s diagnosis.

We blame ourselves for not catching it sooner. For not listening to our intuition. For ignoring what professionals have hinted for so long. We blame our genetic makeup. Our choice in life partner. Our parents.

The cycle of self-blame is a vicious one. It’s also unnecessary because, like most things in life, our child’s life is out of our hands.

Affirmations for Restoring Grace and Overcoming Parental Self-Blame

  • Even though my child’s diagnosis is painful to accept, I know I am not to blame.
  • I offer myself grace and self-compassion.
  • My child does not blame me; therefore, I no longer blame myself.
  • I let go of shame.
  • I free myself of self-inflicted wounds.
  • No matter what, I know I will be OK.
  • No matter what, my child will be OK.
  • No matter what, it will all be OK.

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