The Lonely Side of Special Needs Parents

I’ve been going to my local MOPS group for a couple years now, and though it has been a Godsend (literally), sometimes it can be too much for me. I recently had one of those days. I was already having a bad anxious morning, but then the meeting started and something in me snapped. One of the girls came in, and it was obvious that she had just been crying. As soon as she realized we noticed, it burst out again and everyone jumped to comfort her. This is what this group is about. Supporting each other through the struggles of being moms. It was great how quickly the ladies in my group stepped up to talk her through it and make her feel better.

I had a hard time doing that. The incident she was upset about honestly did not feel like a big deal to me. It was the kind of thing that happens in my house constantly.

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Insert guilt here…

Now, I’m in no way trying to undermine her or pretend her feelings are not valid. How she was feeling at that time was 100% okay and totally normal. And if that incident was out of the ordinary enough for her to be upset about it, then I am happy for her. Truly. Demeaning that would be akin to demeaning someones headache because I’ve previously suffered a migraine. I’m not that ignorant.

But I’ve got to admit that it bothered me. Not that she was upset, but that I couldn’t bring myself to feel bad for her. All I could think of was how easy she must have it for losing it over something that to me was trivial. I started feeling bitter, not towards her or anyone else in the room, but towards the cards that dealt me the hand that I hold.

The meeting went on, and there was someone from the church school teaching about positive parenting. Already engrossed in my bad attitude and starting to hate myself for it, I began mentally shooting down everything she was saying. Any advice that I wasn’t already doing seemed so silly to try with an autistic little boy, and I couldn’t bring myself to listen clearly. I didn’t even think to listen for the benefit of my neurotypical daughter, because she copies so much behavior from her brother. And parenting them completely differently is useless at this age. She can’t understand why I treat her differently than him, so rather than conform, she will rebel further. I felt stuck.

By the end of the meeting, I was feeling resentful towards the women in my group, the speaker, everyone in the room. How dare they all talk about their own parenting struggles when mine feel so much harder. The more I heard from others, the more I felt like I couldn’t share. In the past, when I’ve shared about my own kids, I got pitied looks, empty condolences or advice that is useless to a special needs child. It all comes from a place of love and caring, but I can’t seem to appreciate it when it does nothing to help me. I don’t feel better, I feel estranged.

I feel like a bad mom drowning in a sea of great moms, and I’m looking for a lifesaver that is in a different body of water.


As we were leaving, it hit me how irrational and angry I was and it took every ounce of strength I had to hold it together long enough to get the kids in the car. As soon as they were buckled in, I lost it. A full panic attack ensued and my mind was at war with itself, half praying that no one noticed me sobbing in my van; the other half hoping someone would see me and care enough to comfort me. I still don’t know which scenario I’d prefer.

I dragged through the rest of the day like a zombie, beyond exhausted from my panic attack and unable to perk myself up.

I wish I could come back to this and say things are better. But they aren’t. The fact is, when a special needs parent is surrounded by parents of neurotypical kids, it is hard. It is hard to connect, hard to fit in. Sometimes I can’t join a conversation because the topic being discussed would only make everyone pity me. I refrain from attempting play dates because I can never find someone who’s kid will actually play with my son. Or because the mom has her kids in school, and I don’t, so a “play date” would pretty much be me chasing my kids while the other mom wonders why she tagged along. It’s hard because if I vent about my sons meltdown one more time and have someone agree that tantrums are hard, I just might scream.

Truthfully, there is nothing wrong with these women. They’ve done nothing wrong. The problem is with me. I can’t relate to them, so I stay quiet, I fall behind and I refrain from forming real relationships. But I know now that I need something different. I need a mom who can smile at my son having a meltdown and tell me they get it. I need a mom who won’t judge me because he’s not potty trained yet. Someone who can say, I just went through this with mine, I get it. Someone who will sit back and have a glass of wine with me while we try to convince each other we are not bad moms. And maybe even someone who has a kid that will play with mine. I need more than empathy, I need understanding. And that is what causes it. The utter loneliness that exists even when surrounded by these wonderful ladies. I just can’t seem to get past it.


Here’s to praying for finding mommy friends in a new school. Kindergarten, I welcome you with open arms.  And if you are a fellow special needs parent, here’s one for you.

A Day Without A Woman

Today imagesis International Womens Day, so if you are a woman, would like to be a woman, love a woman, came from a woman, celebrate!  Women are amazing creatures. We are soft and fragile, warm and kind. We are beautiful and precious beings that need to be nurtured and protected. Wait… Maybe I’m talking about babies. Yeah, I’m talking about babies.

So today is, hopefully, going to be an interesting day. On this day of celebrating and loving women, the women of the US have decided to take it a step further. Today, instead of just casually nodding in agreement of the awesomeness of womankind, men everywhere are going to get a glimpse of life without women. Today, we are on strike. Women everywhere have already called out sick from work, closed down their businesses or tossed the laundry to the side. Some stay at home moms have recruited Daddy to stay home with the kids. The color red will be flashed everywhere in solidarity. Today we unite!

To be honest, I’m not participating. Yeah, I’ll pull out the one red shirt i own and rock it today. But I am still going to be at home, taking care of the kids, chores and laundry. I’ll still make dinner for my husband and have a normal day.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not on board. Anyone who thinks the gender pay gap isn’t real hasn’t opened their eyes to it. If anyone thinks that women are actually treated equally, wrong again. The “get back in the kitchen” mentality is alive and well and the point of today is to help squash it. Men need to get in the kitchen. And women. The kitchen has food people, why do we still use this as an example?

So to all the women who are taking the day off, going on strike, I support you. If I drive past any businesses that are closed because of today, I’ll smile and mentally note which ones so I can remember who will get my business later on. I’m still doing my thing today, but I’ll be wearing a red shirt and a smile for every woman I see.

We are beautiful and kind, soft and warm and precious. But we are also amazing, strong, faithful, powerful, and bad ass. We are 50% of the population who still thinks we are less when in reality, the world would fall apart without us. So keep on turning, world and think of what it would feel like without the women in your lives. Guys, kiss your mama, your wife, your daughters. Let them know how much you appreciate them. We need to be loved, yeah, but we also need that appreciation. And if your a guy who respects the women in his life, a boss who pays his workers the same no matter what gender, then today isn’t for you. It’s not a “men suck” day. Men are great, we just want the world to remember that women are great too.

Letting my kids share a bedroom was a horrible idea

Recently I made a very brave and kind of disastrous decision. Against the warning of my husband, I decided to put the kids in the same bedroom. The thought was good, I figured if I put their beds in one room, I could make the other into a play room. They could get their energy out during the day, and be free of trouble when they are supposed to be sleeping at night. Sounds like a good plan, right?

So in case anyone needs a laugh and would like to think of their own children as angels for a minute, here’s a timeline of how this past week has gone.

  • First night: Boy removes all diapers and wipes from the diaper station in the closet and throws them all around the room. Same with every single toy. Both kids stay up giggling/fighting and playing with every talking/singing toy they have at the same time. Mommy removes all talking toys, puts the diapers away, sleepily hides the diapers and puts the wipes in a plastic bag.
  • untitledSecond night: Kids are playing, we hear them fight for a minute, then boy starts screaming. Mommy runs upstairs to find him with a black eye, and girl looking guilty. Elsa is confiscated and classified as a weapon, boo boos are kissed and Tylenol is administered. Girl gets talk about not using Disney princesses to beat up her brother. Repeat after me, Elsa is NOT a weapon!
  • Third night: Mommy and Daddy have a date night! Our wonderful babysitters check on the kids and find diaper cream everywhere. Not so bad, considering. It’s cleaned up and Mommy confiscates all diaper cream. (Even though it was up high in the first place!) These guys are tricky. How did they reach that high?!
  • Fourth night: Kids stay up too late again, less fighting and more playing. Lots of screaming though. Mommy tells them to shush and go to bed a thousand times. Tempers are lost, apologies made and everybody gets hugs and kisses.
    •    Wake up to find an entire bottle of lotion covering the carpet, blankets and my daughters bed. I guess they needed to make up for the lack of trouble the night before. Also, where the heck did the lotion come from?
  • Fifth night: Beds have been changed and room cleaned. Kids get quiet earlier than usual. With naive hope, Mommy goes to check on “sleeping” kids. Every single piece of clothing has been removed from drawers, and every shirt torn from the closet. Diaper station, although now empty, is torn down and thrown on the floor. Toys everywhere. Wipes out of baggie and all over the floor. Child sized rocking chair has been placed on top of daughters bed, and the beautiful Shakespeare quote on the wall has been torn off, letter by letter. Mommy, with fire burning in her eyes, tells children to get back in bed. They sense danger, and go to sleep with no more issues.


I may have missed a day or two in there. My memory has become selective due to high levels of crazy. It’s a good thing they’re cute.

Please, you wonderful mommies and daddies out there, please share if you have trouble makers too! I can’t be the only one about to lose my mind. And I hope to God somebody gets a laugh out of this. One day I may laugh about it too.


When a simple facebook post restored my faith in people

Recently my local MOPS group had an outing to Dearborn Market. There was a hay ride, corn maze, hay maze, stacks to climb and the kids got to pick their own pumpkins. There was a little party afterwards in one of the greenhouses, with juice and cookies for the kids. It was a good time and my kids had a blast! Whenever we can get through an outing like that with no meltdowns it’s a miracle! That day we had nothing but smiling faces. And with my new medication, I was happily watching my kids play with no anxiety. No freaking out if I couldn’t see them for a few seconds, no worrying they’d fall and get hurt. It was amazing. Happy kids, happy mommy.

Until we got back to the car. My son got in, and instead of sitting in his seat, he started looking around with a worried look. “Mommy, where’s Momo?” I think I had one of those terrified, deadpan stares that you see in movies. His favorite monkey blanket, his calming item and favorite buddy in the world was missing. In the biggest maze of a place you could imagine. Staying calm, I brought the kids inside and had someone write down my name and number with a description of his blankie. I hoped for the best and explained to my son that Momo might take a few days to come home.

My boy is getting big now, so he doesn’t have his buddy on him constantly anymore, and he was fine at first. But then life got tough like it does for him, and meltdowns ensued. He cried and cried for Momo and my heart broke. I knew I had to do something. So I decided to do the modern thing, go on Facebook and put up a post asking for help.


Hey everyone! This is gonna seem silly to some people but I’m desperate. I took my kids to Dearborn Market the other day for the whole Hay ride, corn field maze, pumpkin picking thing. Kids had a blast but my son lost his lovey that he’s had since he was born. If he was a ‘regular’ kid with a regular toy, I’d let it go. But my big guy has sensory processing disorder and life is very tough for him sometimes. His little blanket (Momo) is a huge help when he’s having a rough day. It’s his calming item and we are going crazy without it. Dearborn has our info and has promised to call if it’s found, but no luck so far. If anyone happened to see it, please get in touch! My boy is very sad without his Momo.

What came next was not what I expected. People quickly took notice and started offering prayers that we’d find it. People started sharing the post and begging others to help. And I quickly lost count of the amount of employees who took their own time to search the grounds themselves. I was overwhelmed with a sense of compassion and caring from my community on something that I didn’t think many would even notice. My post ended up getting shared over 1300 times by the time I gave up the search.

But in the meantime, my son was hurting. He would cry for his Momo during every meltdown and refused every offer of comfort. His Daddy even came home one day with a similar looking blanket and it was immediately rejected. Sadly, Momo was never found. Instead, we replaced it with the help of more concerned citizens. A dozen of whom had sent me links to find what I was looking for.

During his first meltdown with his new Momo, he had the saddest face and told me, “He’s not the same! I MISS him!” My heart was breaking as I explained that Momo couldn’t come home, so he sent his friend. Eventually, my boy calmed down, stuck his thumb in his mouth and started snuggling the new Momo. And he’s embraced it ever since.


I’ll never forget how a community banned together to help a little boy they didn’t even know. The amazing support I recieved from complete strangers. The feeling of compassion and love in such a hard time from a world that too often doesn’t understand. My little guy went through a very hard time, but I can easily say his Mama was able to keep her head, with so many people behind us, cheering us on and offering help.

And it made me think, for once, maybe us special needs parents aren’t as alone as we thought.



Time to choose,Who’s with me?


It’s over. This circus of an election is officially over and everyone has an opinion. Many people are angry, many are afraid. No one can deny that we are making history right now, but history books are no fairy tales. I try to be a positive, the glass is half full and half hopeful, kind of person. But right now I am scared. And I’m not talking about our new President elect. That’s a whole other level in itself. I’m talking about us, the American people. No matter who you voted for, and how you feel about it now, the way we react to the upcoming year is what will make a difference.

We have a choice ahead of us. We can choose to fight hatred with hatred. Fight fear with giving them something to be afraid of. To protest and shout and make some noise. To stoop down to the level of the people who scare us.


We can fight back with kindness. With empathy, with strength, empowerment and with love. So let’s start a movement. Let’s start this new coming year in the best way we possibly can. I’m making a pledge, right here, right now. To push away the hatred, to fight against the racism, the homophobia, the ignorance and the cowardice that’s overtaking people right now. I pledge to live my life by loving those around me. I pledge to perform random acts of kindness, smile at everyone I see and support those who need it. I don’t care what color you are, who you love or who you voted for. I DON’T CARE.



I want to pass down love to my kids. I want them to grow up with memories of packing shoeboxes of gifts for kids who have nothing. I want them to remember soup kitchens, offering change when someone can’t afford their groceries. I want them to remember their parents treating everyone with kindness and respect, not putting anyone down for being different than we are. That is how we can change things.



Do you have ideas on spreading kindness? Wanna join me in my pledge? Leave a comment and let others know that you’re in!


For Those Who Are Currently Silent


What is happening with the world these days? I feel like every time I pick up my phone, yahoo pops up to tell me of another shooting. Another protest gone bad, another natural disaster. Death, destruction, hate, hate, hate. I used to know all about what’s going on in the world. But at this point, I just can’t.

If we get together and you bring up the latest cop shooting, or the local black lives matter protest, I’m sorry. Chances are, I’ll listen, I’ll nod and I will do my best to be a part of the conversation. But my eyes will glaze over and my heart will ache. I will be polite and pay attention as much as I can until I can safely veer the conversation elsewhere.

I have tried too hard, for too long and I just can’t pretend anymore. It’s getting bad out there. The world is sick and it’s contagious. It’s terrifying and depressing. Oh, there’s the word I was looking for.


I’ve had one person tell me a few times in my life that I’m too sensitive. That I need to develop a thicker skin. And to be honest, she’s right. The thing is, I don’t know how to do that. I try to be tough, and I even try to look tough sometimes. But realistically, I wear my heart on my sleeve and my skin is thin as paper.

And now that November is fast approaching, everyone’s favorite thing to talk about is the election. This one is something I’m not ashamed to be silent on. No matter what side you’re on, I won’t judge you. But the fighting, the hate, the lies and the intolerance has gone too far. At this point, it doesn’t matter much who wins. Either way, people have started hating each other again with a passion that hasn’t been seen so closely in a long time. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.

So to those of you who have been silent, I get it. I get that you don’t want to bring up politics, for fear of your friends and loved ones arguing about it. I get that you can’t talk about the latest rallies, the protests gone violent and the police shootings. I get that you just look away with sad, silent eyes when you hear about Hurricane Matthew. Because you are me. I may be too sensitive, but I’m also too compassionate. I don’t choose not to talk of these things because I don’t care, but because I care too much. And I can’t take it.

Be it depression, anxiety or just too kind a heart, not everyone is equipped to deal with a world like this. So if you’ve been silent, know that you are not alone. You do not need to feel guilty. And if you need someone to talk to that won’t break your heart with the morning news, I’m here.




My Problem with Me Before You

I made a mistake today. I had a couple of loads of laundry to fold, and I wasn’t feeling well. So I figured I’d put on a movie and fold clothes sitting down while the kids took their naps. I rarely do this, but it seemed like a good idea today. The mistake though, was the movie I chose. Me Before You.

Me Before You is about a young woman who gets a job as an aide and companion to a quadriplegic. Just by a quick look at the cover, I assumed this was a typical romance so I jumped in. Well… *SPOILER ALERT* I can’t explain why this was a bad movie choice for me without spoiling anything. Please don’t read on if you haven’t seen this movie and don’t want any spoilers.



In a nutshell, these two end up falling in love, and she finds out that he’s planning on ending his life. He says that he was always an active, happy person and he just can’t be that person stuck in a chair. He wants her to live her life with someone who can do things with her and take care of her. She tries to convince him otherwise, and fails. He can’t change his mind. And in a beautiful, spa-like room in Switzerland, they kiss, cuddle and confess their love for each other. She lies in his arms while the camera pans out and you know the nurse comes in for his final moments. It was peaceful, beautiful and romantic.

And that’s the problem. The movie itself was beautiful, and I don’t think that every romance should have a happy ending because that’s not realistic. But in this case… Romance movies featuring disabled people are rare. In this, I found myself wondering if I’d be willing to love someone in the same situation. I felt like I could. I imagine that this movie may have caused others to think of the same thing, which is great! People with such glaring disabilities are often viewed as different. Many admit that others don’t see them as sexual beings in any way, and finding love is extremely difficult for them. Movies like this make people see the side that many don’t consider.

Until the end. Wills determination to end his life was not about depression. It was not an illness that was going to kill him. I’m not going to claim I have any idea what someone in that situation might be feeling. But he had a choice to keep going. He was never going to get better, never going to walk again or do things for himself. But he found love. The one thing that people with severe disabilities would die for. He gave that up.

It’s not about his personal choice to die. It’s the way the movie portrayed it. There were numerous flashbacks to his life before his accident, about how active and happy he was. How many friends he had and the things he did that he could never do again. And after the accident, his girlfriend marries his best friend and everyone disappears. To be fair, they didn’t automatically abandon him. He pushes them away from the beginning. They are a reminder of what he can never have again.

But with the movie referring to everything he lost, and downplaying the most amazing relationship that he never thought he’d find, they minimize the humanity of that man in the wheelchair. It makes it feel like life would not be worth living in that situation, no matter what, so it’s better to die. Somehow, an amazing, beautiful love story turned into Hollywood convincing people that life is not worth living with a disability. They romanticized his suicide and made it seem like the most loving, selfless thing he could do. They made it look like he was a burden who was setting everyone free from the responsibility of caring for him.

I’ll admit, I don’t have a disability on that level. But I have struggled with thoughts of suicide. I had a lot of trouble watching someone choose that, on screen, to the influence of anyone wishing to watch. How would that make others feel, who are struggling with the same thoughts? Imagine people with similar disabilities who watched this, expecting hope and leaving instead with thoughts of suicidal ideation.

For anyone dealing with a disability, with a learning delay, a mental illness… You are NOT a burden. You ARE worth living, and worth being loved. Suicide is not beautiful. It is not peaceful and it is not selfless. It is also not selfish, and I understand the thought. I say all this because I need to hear it as well. But there are people who only need the tiniest bit of encouragement before they make that step. When someone is on the edge, a movie like this could be the tiny nudge to push them off.



I’m getting outta here!

Hello my love,

First off, thank you for being so amazing lately. I know it’s been hard on you, between watching me suffer, and taking up the extra slack when I can’t keep up. I appreciate everything so much and I admire how awesome you’ve been. You’ve been my medicine, my rock, and my greatest supporter even when you aren’t trying to. I love you so much.

Now down to business. I’m getting out of here! Chances are, I ran out that door as quick as you’d let me. I’ve made dinner early tonight so you wouldn’t have to worry about it. I already hid veggies in the mac and cheese. You should eat some too.

For bedtime, make sure you brush their teeth for them because they both suck at it. Sing “If all the raindrops are yellowdrops and gumdrops, oh what a rain that would be! Standing outside with my mouth open wide, ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah!(Sticking out your tongue with each ah!)” They love it, and it makes them stick out their tongue so you can brush it. Now comes the fun part.

  • First, turn Paidens air conditioner on!
  •  Grab a book from one of their rooms, and read it to both of them. It calms them down enough to prevent getting hurt wrestling them into bed.
  • Let Angelina say night night to Paiden before you put him in his room, or else she’ll fuss. And nobody wants to hear that.
  • Try to get her to lay down, change her for bed, and when she asks for Momo, realize they both forgot their Momos and go get them.
  • Throw Momo into Paidens room and ask him to start cleaning up his toys. Turn his air back on.
  • Go back to Angel. Lay her down again, and when she asks for her baby, ger her baby. Tuck in her Momo, her baby, her other baby, and whatever else she asks for, right along with her.
  • Pray with her and say night night to Angel and all babies.
  • If she starts saying “JEW! JEW!” she’s not calling you a Jew. That just means you forgot their juice too.
  • Run back downstairs and fill up both their sippy cups with “juice.” Seriously, Angel won’t drink water. Put the stupid juice stuff in hers!
  • Hand one off to Paiden, ask him again to clean up his toys and hold in your frustration that he’s only managed to mess up his room more. Turn his ac back on. Again.
  • Go back to Angelina. Now she’s got her babies, her juice, and a clean diaper. She’s good. Pray with her again real quick, give hugs and kisses, tuck her back in, and say night night, bye bye, I love you, and a byeeeyyyyyoooouuuuu about a thousand times as you leave.
  • Shut the door, put up the gate and run away.


  • Hear Paiden screaming “Daddy!” You felt like you should be done right? No, you forgot Paiden. Go in his room, sigh to find every single toy he’s ever owned strewn about the floor, and fight the urge to pull your hair out.
  • Don’t look at the smirk on his face either. Just trust me, don’t.
  • Pick up his mattress off the floor and put it back on his bed. Put the mattress protector and sheet back on his mattress and the pillow case back on his pillow.
  • Ask him again to help you clean up his toys.
  • Pray to God for patience as he suddenly has the urge to clean up everything in the most meticulous, slow way possible.
  • Sob in horror when you realize that Paiden is Gods way of teaching us patience.
  • Convince him to make a game of putting them away as fast as possible and throw the kid in bed. Don’t worry, he likes being thrown.
  • Give lots of tickles, pray with him, give him his Momo and tuck him into that huge blanket he won’t go to sleep without. Try to convince him it’s too hot for it, then realize it’s still hot in his room.
  • Turn the ac back on.
  • When he asks for juice, get him more juice, since he’s chugged the first one by now. Give him his new juice, which he will put on his bed and not drink until morning, tuck him in again and say goodnight.
  • Turn the ac back on. Run away!

Do your own thing now. Watch an episode without me(you jerk), clean up the kitchen, whatever. Just don’t go to bed too soon. Once you are ready to go to bed, peek in to make sure Paiden is actually asleep and not waiting to get up and turn the air off again. And change Angels diaper without waking her up. Good luck with that. Once the coast is clear, you are free to go to sleep! If you’re still tired by now anyway.

Congratulations! You’ve survived the first night. Now you just need to keep them alive until you can repeat this whole scenario of shenanigans again tonight. Try to work a bath in there somewhere. I have every confidence that you can handle everything and I hope you can approach this weekend with humor and an open mind. Now, when I get home tomorrow, I need to you to give me a kiss, tell me I’m pretty and how much you appreciate me. I don’t want to hear about anything too crazy that happened while I was away. Remember, I live that crazy every single day! And I’m still sane! Ok, fine maybe not completely sane. But the kids are pretty cool so I can’t be messing up too bad.

Love, Your very excited and finally relaxing,


A letter to my childless self

Dear pregnant me: You are adorable. Yes, your belly is getting huge, and yes, your hormones are making you crazy. But you are doing great. This is the easy part. And childbirth will be the easiest part of this journey that you will ever have. So calm down, revel in it, and enjoy it. Your life is about to be flipped upside down.

You’re going to have a wonderful, frightening, healthy delivery. You’re going to do it in less than seven hours, and you will accomplish it all-natural, as planned. When your son is placed on your chest, you will fall in love like never before. He will have an awesome looking storkbite on his forehead, and the doctor will tell you with a look of sympathy that it will probably go away. But you won’t care. He’s your baby, you’d love him no matter what!


Your son will develop like any other child. He will coo, giggle, cry and respond to his name. He will be a late crawler, and a late walker, but not too much to be concerned about. You’re a first time mom, why worry! He will be colicky but your decision to switch to a sensitive formula, despite the doctor saying he is fine, will be the right one. He will start talking, and he will seem totally normal. Until he doesn’t.

At a year and a half, your son will stop talking. All those words carefully learned and celebrated will simply drop out of his head. He will start to get upset over things you can’t understand. He will stick by your side, and have anxiety about being away from you. Learning new words will now take months instead of a few days. The pediatrician will tell you he’s fine. He’s wrong.

You will spend the next few years worrying about his speech, and his behavior with the random outbursts that boggle your brain. You will have therapists in the house, doing their best, and not making much progress. You will hear repeatedly from his doctor that despite your concerns, he is fine. Then he will go to preschool, and his behavior will get worse. The teacher will tell you he’s fine. The team will agree. “He’s got a speech delay, that’s it! His tantrums are only from frustration.” You will hear this over and over and you will continue to doubt it.

You will have another baby, and she will grow up meeting every milestone that your son didn’t. She will be social in a way you can’t fathom, and win the hearts of all around her. She will be God’s gift to your family, becoming your sons best friend and best source of comfort. She will also have a speech delay, but she will teach you something too.

You will compare your children, even though it feels wrong. You will worry about your son, about his behavior, about his future. You will look between them and wonder why they are so different if they have the same setback? Your daughter does not have the behavior issues, or the random meltdowns, and by watching her you are convinced that something is not normal. You, with your husband, will decide to seek advice elsewhere, trusting your own instincts. You say, screw all you experts, we know our kid! And you will be right.


You will finally find a doctor who will spend an hour with him and tell you that you were right. He will show compassion, understanding and support. He will be angry at the thought of the inadequate care received from people who were supposed to help him. He will work with you to come up with a plan to figure out the root of his problems, and find a solution. He will recommend more therapists for your son and tell you that you were right to compare your kids, because it’s easy to see the difference and get the right help because of it.

In the end, your son has a speech delay, sensory processing disorder, possible obsessive compulsive disorder, and he is high functioning on the autism spectrum. But even though you would feel overwhelmed to hear of it now, you will be happy to find out. You will be thrilled to be told that there is a name for his problems, and that there is help. You will immerse yourself into the world of similar people, learn about him and react with compassion. You will fall more deeply in love with who your son really is, and everything will be worth it. You will continue to doubt your own abilities as a parent, but just remember the journey.

You were told by everyone that you should have been able to trust that there was no problem. You were not encouraged to seek other opinions, and you were not prepared for him. But you rose above all that, learned from your little boy and found him the help he needed. You will have so many days where you feel like you JUST CAN’T. But you can. And you will. Because underneath the blood tests, the therapies and the meltdowns, is your precious little boy with the amazing laugh. And there will be a lot of laughter. And so much love. And you’d do it all over again, given the chance.

Darn magic babies!

My husband and I have been at an impasse for about a year now on the big debate. To have, or not to have… more children. It’s an issue that we both have too many feelings on, and none of those feelings mesh together. One minute we agree that we both want another, although he will say he wants one more and I will say I want at least one more. Very different. But then we will have a hellish day and agree that we can’t handle more kids. But kids have this certain magic to them that makes us forget how awful they are sometimes. It’s kind of amazing. They can defy your every thought all day long, destroy the house, break your TV (This actually just happened to us), or just be otherworldly cranky and make you pray for bedtime. But then they are actually asleep and you look at those sweet faces and your heart melts with how much you love them. But whatever magic that children have, BABIES have it in excess.

When my husband and I were going through our pre-marriage counseling we started talking about how many kids we wanted. He said two, I said six, and his eyes popped out of his head and said “NO WAY!” We decided to compromise and settled on four. Maybe 5 if we decide we want to lose our minds after surviving 4.

Skip ahead 6 years, and we have a four-year old who has a speech delay and severe behavior problems, and a two-year old who thinks she’s the queen of the house. We underestimated children by a long shot. These guys are no joke! Of course, yes, things would be different if our son was an ‘easier’ kid. We love him to death but can’t deny that our desire for more children has dwindled down pretty low due to the stress of the ones we already have. But despite everything, do NOT let me near a baby. The second I see those tiny hands and feet, I’m hooked. God forbid someone actually lets me hold one, I’m done. I just hold that warm little body and smell that baby smell and I’ve got baby fever so bad I can feel my ovaries tingling.


My husband has caught on to this, and whenever we are around a baby, this is how every conversation goes.

Me: “Aw, omgoodness how old is he? He’s so sweet!”

Person with the baby: “Oh, he’s two months old, do you want to hol-”

My husband: “Nope! We don’t need any more of those in the house, she is not allowed to hold him!” *Glowers at me* “Don’t even think about it.”

I think he’s convinced that babies are contagious. And when he says ‘Don’t even think about it,’ he means holding the baby, and actually getting pregnant with another baby. Because of course, it would be all my fault! But despite the outwards cries of “No more babies.” And, “Dont even think about it!” He still walks away with this look in his eye that he thinks I don’t notice. He wants one too! I called him out on it recently and he tried his favorite form of denial. He smirks at me and says “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” After calling his bs, he finally admitted that he never holds anyones baby because it always makes him want one. He wants another baby almost as much as I do. The thing is, he doesn’t want any more children. And babies tend to grow up. Kind of fast, too. And the more I think about it, the more I realize I think I agree. I don’t want any more children, right now. I just want a baby.

So basically, all you lovely women with newborns need to stay away from me. I will admire your babies from a distance. I may even get close and tickle some toes. But I will not ask to hold them. And please don’t hand them to me. When my kids are potty trained and both in school, then I will reconsider. And if my husband ever stops glowering at me, then I might just hold some babies. But I think we all need to agree that baby magic is strong, and not to be taken lightly. And when I’m past my baby days, I think I’m gonna need to volunteer to be a baby snuggler in the NICU. Apparently that’s a real job and I am in.