Updated: Jul 23
Special needs moms realize that their baby needs all their attention, support, dedication. And let’s face it, between medical appointments, intensive care-giving (beyond the infancy stage) and the like, there is not much time left for anything else and it’s hard to see a way out of it.
Being a mom in itself requires sacrifices, a shift in priorities, from possible career choices or holding off on climbing the corporate ladder, to putting a small business project on the back burner, to foregoing hobbies or other social life and activities we could do pre-kids.
Most moms regain some kind of balance, or rather find a new balance with newly defined priorities after some time – the infant stage being the most challenging, especially if you are a nursing mom since dad can’t help out in that department.
This being said, this new-found balance can get a little rocky when a few more kids come along, but as the super moms we are, we figure it out. We are resourceful.
But add to that a special needs child, it becomes extremely difficult for most moms to really pursue any personal or professional goals, have a career, have a social life or have time for a hobby. It’s hard enough to even get a shower, and a bath is a real treat that maybe happens only twice a year!
Special needs moms realize that their baby needs all their attention, support, dedication. And let’s face it, between medical appointments, intensive caregiving (beyond the infancy stage) and the like, there is not much time left for anything else and it’s hard to see a way out of it.
I remember when my son was born, I wondered if I would have to quit my job, or if I would even be able to keep one in light of all the medical appointments he had as that would mean I’d be more often off the job than on the job. No matter what, even if I could keep a job, it would have to be a low-key job, and the idea of pursuing career goals was out of the question.
Becoming a special needs mom means that suddenly all of our life goals (whether personal or professional), the idea of a somewhat balanced life with an actual social life and hobbies gets thrown out the window. I know that I absolutely love tennis and even with 2 kids in tow, I had managed to find a way to play several times a week. But when my special needs son came along, that all went out the window. I stopped playing for many months.
Let’s acknowledge it and give kudos to all our special needs moms out there. We make huge sacrifices in several aspects of our lives, because we do whatever it takes to make sure our child is taken care of, is getting the best care possible. We put our kids first.
This being said, this is only sustainable for so long. Exhaustion, burnout, frustration, dissatisfaction can creep in because by nature, we are goal-seeking organisms and always seeking to grow. In fact, that’s what goals are for. More often than not though, our prior personal and professional goals have been supplanted by fighting for our child, advocating for his or her well-being. However, it doesn’t have to be an “OR” situation. In fact, after I dived into personal development, I realized there could be many “AND”. Yes, I could still be the best mom for my kids, still advocate for my child and care for his needs, AND still pursue my personal and professional goals. In fact, once I started pursuing my personal and professional goals, I became the best version of myself in all of my hats (mom, caregiver, spouse, career/business professional, etc..). But that couldn’t have happened without going on a transformational journey. But I’m so glad I did it because I now feel that I’ve gotten my life back. And it’s a very fulfilling life. Let’s face it, being a caregiver and advocate 24/7 can be really overwhelming and draining. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Have you been putting some personal or professional goals on the back burner? Would you like to finally get back to them and make things happen while still doing what you need to do to care for your little one(s)? Maybe you just need a little boost and path forward to make it happen.
Moms - my only piece of advice is as follows: Pursue your goals! Why? Because when you do, you are alive, and you become the best version of yourselves as you grow. And guess who benefits from that? You guessed it, your kids! So stop thinking it’s an “either … or” situation. Rethink and change the paradigm.
If you’d love to hear more about how I did it and if you’d like a hand to help you make it happen, reach out to me. Let’s chat.
Are you looking for a guide to help you navigate special education for children with disabilities? Check out The Cerebral Palsy Special Education Guide. This guide was put together to support you!
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