Hello Parents -- I was wondering if there are parents who would like to talk about their experiences and feelings on this thread. I would like to see a thread where parents of special needs children and children with medical issues can get together to rant, vent, discuss and share. I'll start: I'm SAHM to a 5yo child PDD-NOS, nonverbal. My ds is doing well right now and we're proud he's able to take a small step at a time. It's been a challenging several years tho. I know the phrase "there's nothing I'd rather be doing etc" ... but.... there are times I feel as if I'm missing out on something out there that, according to the world at large, that's suppose to be some great journey that everyone else is on. Do anyone ever feel that way, especially when they are the sole caregiver 24/7 to their children? Is raising your SN child the "journey" for you? For instance, we all went into a restaurant last nite hoping to have a sit down meal (this happened only once before); ds became upset. While he seemed to enjoy the low lights and atmosphere when we entered, he no longer wanted to be part of it; sensory issue. So we ordered to go. This is the best we can do under the circumstances. I was ok with it but was a bit moody later.... My achilles heel (aka my downfall) has been wondering if I'm missing out on travel and the more worldly experiences at my age. I spent my 20s and 30s working hard, no travel. Now I'm in my 40s, the thought of travel does not seem possible at all and all the rewards I have been looking forward to seem out of reach. I have regrets and resentment (for not taking advantage of travel and dining pleasures early in life, and because dh does not share the same desires). Am I being selfish over missed opportunities? Are there ways to balance your life so that you can have both the joy of raising your special needs child(ren) AND have freedom to do the things you want to do, even if it is some soul searching? Is it a mental thing? Or simply a matter of scheduling, arranging things so they happen? ........ I cannot seem to get a long enough reprieve or respite from my mental fog to do something positive!