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Caring for a Child with Special Needs has Been a Growth Opportunity

In my experience, when people look for growth opportunities they usually talk about things like traveling, training, or networking with a specific community of people. I’ve done all of these things, and they certainly do expand your horizons. For me, none of them have done nearly as much to grow me as a person as caring for our son with feeding difficulties.

After talking to other moms, I’ve come to understand it’s different to care for a child without health problems. Then, you’re balancing between how much attention is appropriate to give them versus how much independence you can gain for yourself to accomplish your tasks for that day. The balance is different for us. We know exactly how much attention our son needs, and most of it is spent making sure he’s fed and actively performing his assigned physical therapy exercises. I don’t think of it as less time for him is more time for me to do what I need to do. Less time for him is slower progress toward walking and crawling independently.

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A Special Needs Mom’s Never Ending Battle with Feelings of Inadequacy

I spent the first twenty or so years of my life judging my worth by grades. After that, it was job title and salary. It wasn’t until almost thirty that my son was born and his medical difficulties turned everything I knew about how to measure myself upside down. Some Moms compete over who has the sickest child, but that’s just not me. I’m perfectly happy when my son needs less medical intervention than someone else’s. I want him to be able to blend into a crowd and let something define him besides his health. At the end of the day, I’m left with no way to define myself good or bad. It leaves me feeling completely out of my depth. For every new thing I learn, there’s ten more things I need to work on.

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Learning to be a Stay at Home Mom, Part Two: The Journey

I was a bit of a tomboy growing up, so I really didn’t know how to manage a household. Looking back on it, it’s hilarious now.  It really wasn’t funny at the time. I knew to clean the floors, bathroom and kitchen. I knew how to run laundry with a pre-baby level of soiling. I could certainly cook, but cooking with a baby is a little different. So, the house looked clean. It took a while to figure out that running our clothes on, “normal” cycle with just detergent was not going to clean a garment dripping with vomit. A lot of food ended up under-cooked. I would remember to turn the fire off to go tend to my son, but wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell how much longer food needed to be cooked afterwards.

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