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I have a question for all your moms with special needs kids. Do you entertain? Do you invite people over to your home for fun? We used to, not a lot, but more than we do now. But then as the kids’ problems got worse and B left for a residential treatment facility and M and S started acting out, it became more difficult. We switched churches and invited fewer people, not willing to put our lives on display. We have now switched churches again and I get less trusting as the years pass. Our family is not “normal”. Having one child stay in his room most of the day because he can’t do one single thing my way is not “normal”. I don’t want to explain the abuse, the heartbreak. We really don’t have any friends as a couple that “get” us. I know we need to reach out and take risks, but it’s hard. Does anyone else feel this way? Or are you isolated within your family, too?

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  1. No. Except for inviting over other moms of dysfunctional families, lol. And taking them all to Orlando with me. Does that count?

  2. We used to have huge birthday parties and holiday parties. Then we got the kids. Now the house is always too messy. The adopted kids have major social issues, and can’t handle crowds. Therapy, meetings, meltdowns and rages, and the fact that my teenagers can’t be left unsupervised means I have almost no time for friendships. Plus, other parents who “get it” have the same problems.

    So no, we don’t entertain or have friends IRL.

    Mary in TX

  3. I Still have friends over in the summer. Our yard is set up For kids and we can see every corner pf it from our deck, where the adults hang out. I am also not the only ones with special needs kids.

    In the winter, not so much. We occasionally meet at a local family restaurant on a Friday night, where none of us have to clean up after the hoard!

  4. I do- but MUCH less than I ever did pre-RADish. Now it is a very select few, all of whom are also parents. Outside of immediate family members, there are 4 adults total that I entertain on a regular basis. I have educated all of them about RAD, and I trust them all to accept any parenting decisions I make in front of them without question, even if it seems odd to them. One of them is raising a biochild with aspergers, and we can relate on the similarities of parenting a child who appears to be further developmentally than they actually are.
    But: every time I entertain in my home it is exhausting. It involves a lot of juggling to make sure my RADish is OK (or at least not about to turn homicidal) and constant vigilance that the adult conversations remain kid-appropriate, since my child hears EVERYTHING even though you think he is not paying attention. The day after entertaining usually involves a significant amount of payback and crazy. As a single mom- I consider the stress of entertaining worth it, because without the support of my friends I would probably lose it completely. We can’t go out- that is MUCH more stressful for my kid than entertaining in our home is- so I do it and deal with the fallout.

  5. Not as much as before, mostly because our son exhausts me. And, I was a HUGE fan of get-togethers. We hosted a Mexican pot-luck every spring, a bring-your-own-steak cookout every fall. We had Christmas eve dinner for our friends. Today, I have enough energy to eat out with other families like ours. Yesterday, we had lunch with another adoptive family, and dear friends of ours who know families like ours. It was such a blessing! Look for those, Marty. We’ve found them at church and at an adoption support group. They are a lifeline for us.

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