5 Things Being a Mom of a Special Needs Child Has Taught Me

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Always be kind.

Always be kind. I’ll admit, growing up over the years I have been guilty of judging and bullying and I’ve been subject to bullying and judging as well. I’m sure we all have at one point in time. This is a topic that many people don’t want to admit to, who wants to be known as a bully or someone super judge-y? Who wants to be known as being mean?

One thing being a special needs parent has taught me is that you should be kind. Just because someone looks different, acts different, walks different, talks different, sounds different, behaves different, etc. doesn’t mean that they’re any different then you and I. We need to be more accepting to our special needs community, they’re just like you and I but with special qualities that make them unique and special!

Jaxson is just like any other eighteen month old, he’s goofy, loves to play hide and seek, loves to play cars with his brother, he loves to dance, etc.

I am strong.

Another trait this journey has taught me is strength. I’m physically strong: I can deadlift 285 pounds, I can squat 235 pounds, and bench 150 pounds.. but emotionally I wasn’t strong. It wasn’t until we had Jaxson that I found my strength and perseverance. I’ve had to fight to find answers, I’ve had to watch our son fight to live to thrive, I’ve had to fight insurance claims… our life with Jaxson is unknown but I’m going to continue to fight and advocate for him. As should you continue to fight and advocate for your child! If you think something is wrong, trust that mommy gut and keep fighting!

We are their advocate, no one else is going to do it for you!

Patience.

I can still remember when my husband told me how amazed he was with my patience with Jaxson. In the beginning we had many, many sleepless nights because Jaxson was hungry and couldn’t drink enough to stay satisfied. He would take an hour to consume about 2 ounces of milk, definitely not enough to keep a baby full and sleeping. Not only did it take him a long time to eat, he would choke and gag on it as well. It was a difficult process, we had to allow him to suck three to five times, take the bottle away, allow him to compose himself, and repeat. That definitely taught me patience!

Don’t get me wrong, I still lose my shit like any other mom–I’m not saying I’m a saint haha.

Hope for the best / Expect the worst.

Jaxson’s genetic condition is really rare, there is about 205 world wide. There isn’t a lot of literature on it either–everything is so new. What we know about the condition is that most have feeding difficulties, intellectual and developmental disabilities, seizures or epilepsy, microcephaly, and speech delays. There are numerous other symptoms or features that could happen and alarmed me when our genetics team told me. Now that I’ve allowed it to sink in the last few months… I can’t stress about what might happen, I need to focus on what’s happening now. I’ll just worry myself to death if I continue to stress about what might happen. Hope for the best, but expect the worse.

If something does happen we will adapt and overcome.

It’s okay to cry / It’s okay to admit it’s hard.

I cried, cried a lot after Jaxson was born. I cried after every well-baby visit when I found out he wasn’t gaining, he was still jaundice, he was sick again, he lost weight, etc. I was a big pile of emotions and I’m sure the postpartum didn’t help. I cried because I felt like I failed him, I was suppose to be his mom, his protector. Over the last eighteen months I’ve learned that this wasn’t my doing, I didn’t cause any of this, it’s not my fault.

I have learned strength and perseverance with Jaxson but I’ve also learned that it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to admit that it’s hard. This journey isn’t an easy one, but it’s definitely worth while!

Don’t give up!

September 11, 2018
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  • Reply Syeda Sana

    This indeed so much more patience. I can understand the pain being a mom and i know how it feels like to see your baby in any kind of trouble..but believe me… your kid is special! and should be loved more than anyone!

    God help you.

    September 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply GiGi Eats

    You are certainly all of these things and I give you so much credit!! Patience is of the utmost importance. I am currently pregnant right now and I am terrified I am going to lose mine every 5 seconds.

    September 11, 2018 at 1:14 pm
  • Reply Flossie McCowald

    Yes yes yes yes YES! All of this. I watched my mom go through so much of this with my younger brother, and we have a different round of it going on now with my own family. Especially the you are their advocate part – you are so right that no one else will do this for them!!!

    September 12, 2018 at 2:39 am
  • Reply Stephanie

    I've learned a lot of these things just being a mom in general. But I can imagine with the added difficulties of a special needs child, you have learned this tenfold. He's a lucky little guy to have such a caring mother!

    September 12, 2018 at 2:39 am
  • Reply Kate Loves Travel

    You've obviously had a tough 18 months, but it sounds like you are doing an amazing job! Being a parent is certainly a steep learning curve and I imagine even more so if your child has special needs.

    September 12, 2018 at 2:39 am
  • Reply Jessica Hughes

    I know that it is hard as a special needs mom not to blame yourself or feel that you failed your child. Being able to realize this is not true is key. You are doing such a fantastic job with Jaxson, Mama!

    September 12, 2018 at 2:39 am
  • Reply Nicole Durham

    I have two children, neither are special needs but both require a lot of my time and efforts. I lose my shit constantly, but I'm still their biggest fan, supporter, advocate and I found this post to be really touching and inspirational/motivational.

    September 12, 2018 at 2:39 am
  • Reply Tonya Tardiff

    This is beautiful! You are such a strong and amazing mother. Love how you spell Jaxson too by the way!

    September 12, 2018 at 8:36 pm
  • Reply Dr. K. Lee Banks

    I empathize with your struggles, as I've worked with special needs kids. In addition, my own granddaughter has certain special needs, and I see what my daughter experiences with her. Judgment and criticism have no place in the case of special needs children and their parents, yet occur far too often.

    September 12, 2018 at 8:36 pm
  • Reply Jazmin Williams

    Being autistic with other health problems, I am so proud of my mother. She is so strong. I have so much respect for you. I know how tough it can be. You're doing an incredible job and I know Jaxson appreciates it!

    September 12, 2018 at 8:36 pm
  • Reply Brit Strawbridge

    This is very encouraging! Even for a mama without a special needs child, though I can imagine it's 100X more so! You are doing a wonderful job!!

    September 12, 2018 at 8:36 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Tonya! We get it from Sons of Anarchy 😉

    September 12, 2018 at 8:38 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Dr. Banks, it does occur far too often. What has your granddaughter been diagnosed with? <3

    September 12, 2018 at 8:39 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Brit!! <3

    September 12, 2018 at 8:39 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Jazmin! You are doing an incredible job as well, shining light on Autism!

    September 12, 2018 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Jessica. I did think a lot about what I could've done differently with Jaxson but now I know that it was nothing I could've done or prevent. <3

    September 12, 2018 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Nicole! I hope to continue to inspire and motivate others <3

    September 12, 2018 at 8:41 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Kate. <3

    September 12, 2018 at 8:42 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Stephanie! That really means a lot to me! <3

    September 12, 2018 at 8:42 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Flossie! It is so true. I'll keep jumping through hoops to get all of the help he needs! <3

    September 12, 2018 at 8:44 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Gigi. It's okay to lose your shit every now and then! We are human 😉 Make sure you're not afraid to ask or seek help when you need it! It is important to take care of you too <3

    September 12, 2018 at 8:45 pm
  • Reply JaxsonsMomJennie

    Thank you Syeda!! <3

    September 12, 2018 at 8:45 pm
  • Reply Jessa

    I love this! My friend is a special needs mom and she is such an inspiration. The funny thing is that her daughter being different has made her a better person!

    September 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm
  • Reply Melanie Williams

    I really like this, to the point and not too complex. Being strong and patience in this situation is key and clearly you are doing a fab job x

    September 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm
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