Parenting A Child With Special Needs: Across The Years

It’s been a difficult few months for my youngest son.

Our days have been a haze of mood swings, sleep deprivation, and meltdowns.

Honestly, it’s been really, really sad. He was doing so well. He was enjoying his days, trying new things, progressing in school.

Now, it all seems to have come to a screeching halt.

It’s sad, but the reason I am writing this post is not to lament our usual seasonal-affective Fall decline.

I am writing this because, as difficult as the past few months have been, they have been nowhere near as bad as in previous years.

Parenting A Child With Special Needs: The good and the bad. The beauty and the pain. The progress and the set-backs.

It took me a little while to realize it.

In fact, for most of the past six weeks, I have been holding my breath, waiting for it to spiral out of control. It hasn’t.

My husband and I were talking about how tired we were the other night.

Incidentally, we do this way too often. How boring is this?

I am so tired.

Me too. Seriously, we need sleep.

I know. I’m sorry this life is so hard sometimes.

Me too. I’m sorry.

I am so tired. 

And so it goes…

Anyway, we were doing this the other night and I suddenly flashed on my day in the life post on Simple Homeschool last year. In it, I remembered being open and honest about our day (and our lack of sleep).

On a whim, I pulled it up. I read it and cried.

Turns out, our life is soooooo much better this year.

We may be tired, but we are nowhere near as tired as we were just a year ago. We may be struggling, but it is no where near as difficult as it was this time last year.


Parenting A Child With Special Needs: Across The Years

This realization reminded me what I already know, but forget all the time.

We learn. We change. We fail. We learn some more. We change some more.

Days become weeks, months and then years. In the haze of waiting rooms, treatment plans, and meltdowns there is also a mix of joy, laughter and love. There is no finish line or Hollywood movie ending, where everything resolves itself perfectly. I need to stop waiting for one.

This life, it’s messy and it’s hard.

It’s also beautiful and miraculous.

It’s all the things, all the time.

And it’s mine.

I thought I would leave all the snapshots of our days here below, as a reminder – as much for me as for you. No matter what season you are in, the good days or the devastating ones, it is my hope that you will find the same encouragement that I did in reading such a mix of all of these slices of life.

Progress is there. So is the lack there-of.

But these days of ours, they matter. 

A Day In The Life Of A Special Needs Mom

Mommy Burnout and Self Care: An Honest Day In The Life

A Day In The Life – My Son’s Hospital Visit

Shawna’s Day In The Life (with an 8- & 11-year-old)

Shawna’s day in the life (with a 10- & 13-year-old)

Shawna’s day in the life (with an 11- & 14-year-old)

Shawna’s day in the life (with a 12- and 15-year-old)

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  1. My daughter recently has been asking about when she and her triplet brothers were babies. I found all the emails I had kept from the first few years (and sent out to friends). She’s reading them obsessively (“it’s like a soap opera!”) and I’m rereading, hardly able to remember those days. It actually been very good to see just how far they’ve come. We’re at a place I could never have believed possible (college acceptance for her!) when looking back at all she’s been through. it’s also been a good reminder that our mile-and-a-half stones are often that, which I need to remember when thinking about their brother and all that still needs to be learned.

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