I am a married mom of two girls (my heart and soul) who have special needs of varying degrees. They inspire me every single day. Early on I learned that the world doesn’t always embrace difference, and if we are to experience life to the fullest as a special needs family, I had to modify, adapt and be unapologetic. I had to hone my advocacy skills and fight for everything my kids need so they can reach their potential.
As a professional in the corporate world and a Licensed Master Social Worker by trade – you’d think if anyone could navigate services with ease, I could. You’d be very wrong. Working to find and secure the right services was like finding a needle in a haystack.
Parent Connections Make the Difference
The idea for Tumble into Love came from my connection with an informal network of parents. In this case, my daughter participates in our local chapter of Special Olympics. The team meets weekly at a local high school. As a result, each week parents wait for their kids in the school cafeteria and chat over coffee. (very large cups of coffee). [As a side note, if you’ve never watched a Special Olympics event, I highly recommend you do.]
I have learned more from this informal network about how to navigate the special needs lifestyle than from any case manager or medical professional. Two hours each week we find common ground, help each other adapt, inspire one another, and consequently, I’ve found some similarities, in that we….
- Make modifications
- Try new interventions
- Back-up plan
- Don’t sleep
- Worry about the future
- Research latest therapies and techniques
- Raise awareness & take action
- Are fierce.
- Are fragile.
- Aren’t perfect
- Share many of the same struggles
- Pick our battles.
- Did I mention we plan?
a place to share Experiences
I want to expand that informal network with you. Parenting a child with special needs can be vastly different than typical parenting. Consequently, we often find it hard to find common ground with typical parents. Not to mention, in a world filled with perfectionism and condemnation by keyboard cowboys, I don’t always want to share our family moments on Facebook. I can’t vent about a sleepless night, lest I have a slew of posters who tell me how I need to employ better discipline. I don’t want to talk about Easters without candy, or how hard it is to find toys for my pre-teen who still loves Doc McStuffins. Special needs parenting requires us to adapt and modify our ideals about how to raise children.
learn to be better at self care
Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of securing my oxygen mask first. It took a long time to realize that self care isn’t selfish, and I still go through seasons of life where taking care of me gets shoved aside. Here I like to remind myself, and share with all of you small steps toward keeping life balance. Even if only for mere moments.
adapt and modify to live our very best lives
There’s no sugar coating it. Special needs life is hard and complicated. Here, I like to share ways we adapt to make our life easier, through both methods and products. Let’s Tumble into Love with our lives!