‘Can I Just Take a Shower?’ - Wishful Special Needs Parenting

Jodi Shenal by Jodi Shenal Additional Needs

Jodi Shenal

Jodi Shenal

I'm a stay-at-home mom with two amazing children. My son is on the Autism spectrum and my daughter has a rare genetic disorder and multiple disabil...

A full-time, stay at home mom, spending my days like many others.

I get two children off to school, sort the laundry, clean the house (to some degree) and run errands for my family.

I help my son with homework, and then I make dinner every night.

Bath time and bed time routines are an important part of our evening.

These are all familiar activities that so many moms who stay at home raising children experience every day.

Beyond these typical daily duties, I am a Special Needs Mom.

My work day begins at 6:00 am and continues on, sometimes through the night.

Mornings entail measuring medications, bottle feeding my four year old daughter, and sticking to a strict routine to keep my eleven year old son calm and on task.

Hours are spent scheduling physical, occupational, social and equestrian therapy sessions, as well as routine and specialist doctor appointments.

Too many hours to count are logged contacting insurance providers, paying visits to school officials (I’m sure they LOVE to see me coming!), calling pharmacies and medical mobility equipment providers.

Attending therapies, and carrying over the learned methods at home take the place of hours once spent behind a desk in the working world.

Preparing special, high-calorie pureed meals and searching for gluten-free alternatives now replace taking leisurely lunch breaks.

Then, there is the overtime put in researching homeopathic remedies, breakthrough therapies, communication and behavioral tools.

On a really ambitious day, I even manage to take a shower!

These are just some of the duties that I am responsible for in my job description of Special Needs Mom.

These tasks, as mentally taxing and exhausting as they can be, are proudly carried out with love each and every day.

And you must know, they truly yield the most beautiful rewards.

For this line of work, there is no paycheck, and there are no paid vacation or sick days.

However, a bright smile and a giggle from my amazing daughter or a tight hug from my incredible son is PRICELESS compensation.

They make all the difficult moments of my day melt away, and they are worth every second of it.

Life is not easy being a Special Needs Mom, but each day my heart overflows with the joy that my children bring.

I find myself to be so much more grateful at this point in my life than I have ever been.

This roller coaster of a journey that I never expected to take has become the beautiful path that I was always meant to travel.


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