The greatest gift of all is the gift of being a Mom. Although many Mothers just like myself face the ups and downs, good times and bad, and daily challenges that come along with Mommy-hood, there is no greater feeing than the feeling of being a Mom and experiencing the unforgettable beauty of being able to bring new life into the world and watch your baby grow over the years! Although, the road of Mommy-hood gets challenging at times, there Is nothing that I would trade for my honorary role and life blessing as a Mom. The smile I get to witness on my son’s face when he sees me for the first time each morning, the simple laughter and innocent joy that he brings me on a daily basis, and the big hugs that he gives me as an expression of his natural love for me are all precious moments that I could never imagine going without. These are just a brief glimpse of the things that make me happy to be a Mom!
Just like many of you reading this, I truly enjoy Mommy-hood and the duty that I have been given to unconditionally love someone else and help shape their lives for the very best. On the other hand, being the Mother of a child with special needs definitely comes along with its fair share of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and multitude of challenges that at times, are just completely out of anyones control.
There are moments here and there where I find myself exhausted and feeling as if I am taking on way more than just one person can handle. Then at other times, I feel like the World’s Greatest Mom and like I can take on anything that comes my way because after all, I can do this and I was chosen to do it for a reason! Just like any other Mom, I have my good days and of course I have my bad days. I have days where I feel on top of the world and like I’m a total Bad Ass! And on some other days, I feel like I’ve failed in a number of ways and should be so much better than what I am. However, the one thing that I never stop doing is believing and giving up the fight, even when it feels like I’ve failed. You see, because of my unique set of experiences, I have learned to get back up twice the times that I fail. I have also learned to pray about everything and seek God in everything that I do. Doing this has helped me find my life’s purpose, stay resilient despite the struggles that I have encountered, and remain ever-so faithful even when the road is rough. With this being mentioned, I want to be super candid and show you guys a glimpse of what it’s really like to be the Mother of a child with special needs. I can imagine that many people (specifically Moms) have most likely assumed that my role is nearly unbearable and that I’m at home going through it each and every day. However, the truth is, each day is different. Some days are completely fine and life feels like a breeze. And then some days feel like I’m riding on a fast roller coaster that just won’t end! But you see, that’s the beauty of being a Mom! Somehow and in so many different ways, we were magically gifted and skilled to take on anything and withstand the challenges that come along. Here are the Top 5 Things You Won’t Believe About Being A Special Needs Mom:
- No, we are not crying day in and day out: I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase “Big Girls Don’t Cry” right? That’s exactly how I have become over the past couple of years from my experiences with my special needs son. At first when I first found out that my one and only baby boy had special needs and a unique host of medical challenges, I didn’t know what to do with myself and I always found myself sad and crying, and if I wasn’t crying, I was on the verge of breaking down in tears and about to cry. That is, until I learned to stop feeling sorry for myself and instead focus my thoughts on the positive things about our situation and the blessings that we have received along the way. “Everything Happens For A Reason” is the saying that I live by now. And honestly, once I learned how to channel my disappointments and set backs into more positive thoughts, my life became a whole lot better and it actually led me to embrace my situation, start a business to give back to children and their families facing similar obstacles, and inspire others who shared similar circumstances.
- Our social life is not over just because we are Special Needs Moms: Unlike my younger days when I was in my 20’s exploring life and freely living without much responsibility, I don’t necessarily have the time that I used to to hang out with friends and stay on the social scene every chance that I get simply because my maturity level is different and my priorities are now in a completely different place. However, although I can’t attend every single function or gathering that I’m invited to, I do still have a social life and I’m not a Mom who’s constantly cooped up in the house and begging to get the taste of fresh air. I have my set of close girlfriends that I get to spend time with on occasions and my favorite places around the city that I get to enjoy when time permits. Whether you have a special needs child or not, it’s so important to have a social life and block out time for just you! Even if its just a quick trip to the local matinee to catch a movie and popcorn. Or a visit to your favorite brunch spot with the girls every now and then. Mommy-hood is all about balancing and structuring your life in a healthy way that works for you and benefits the needs of your children.
3. Sometimes we don’t feel like explaining our child’s situation to every stranger that walks past: Ok I’m just going to be completely honest here. Although I have my moments when I can be a true social butterfly, I also have my moments where I just don’t really feel like being bothered. Maybe it’s because it’s just so happens to be that time of the month. Maybe it’s because it’s one of those days where I’m operating off of 4 hours of sleep and just praying that I can keep my eyes open long enough to get through my work day and make it home before I have to start all over again. And maybe it’s just one of those days where frankly I’m not in a conversational mood and just need a few minutes to reflect or gather my thoughts. Whatever the case is, the bottom line is sometimes you just don’t feel like being bothered. And there’s nothing worse than being in the middle of an errand and a stranger is staring at you and your child because there’s something unique about them that makes them “different.” And of course they somehow find a way to get you to open up and discuss it, even when you didn’t plan to, invite them over to chat about it, or initiate the discussion. It’s one thing to offer a Mom a few kind words of encouragement, but it’s something else to want to put her on the spot about her child’s situation and assume that talking about something that she deals with day in and day out is at the top of her agenda. Sometimes Moms need a break from the mundane too and there are moments where we just don’t want to think about the regular challenges that we face, or furthermore- feel required or pressured to have to explain them.
4. Yes, we love and welcome random hugs and positive words of encouragement: One of the sweetest and most heartfelt things that you can do for a Special Needs Mom is thank them for their hard work and pray for their strength. Our job is never easy, but somehow we have found ways to get through and keep moving along anyway.
5. You better believe that we are Bad Ass Moms! There one thing you don’t ever want to do and that’s mess with a Mama Bear! If you even think about saying or doing anything to one of our children, trust and believe that we are going to stand up for them and fight until the very end. Our #1 pride and joy is our children and we will always do whatever it takes to have their best interest and ensure that they are safe, protected, and loved. We know that our children may be different, but despite those differences we are always going to love them and encourage others to do the same! After all, children are only different when you make them feel different. As a loving Mother to a special needs child, I am always going to stand proud as my son’s Mother, Advocate, and Hero until the every end!
Until Next Time,
Genesis A. Emery
Mommy to Baby Noah, Philanthropist, and Founder of Amour Genesis