A dear older friend of mine once told me that the reward for raising your children was when they turn 18 and you are then friends. That one thing has stayed with me throughout the rough teenage years with each of my children.
Parenting is challenging to say the least. It is all very worth it, but challenging. The more kiddos and the more chaos, the more the challenges. Add in special needs of any kind the sometimes it feels like the scale has tipped.
From my perspective now, having mothered three children into adulthood, I want to encourage you that you are enough.
YOU are enough.
Yes, you ARE enough.
You are ENOUGH.
YOU ARE ENOUGH!
No matter your situation, I promise, you are enough.
I have known working Moms who have pursued very stressful careers, some who have worked part-time, some have been stay-at-home Moms until the youngest reached school-age, and some who were stay-at-home-schooling Moms. Guess what, they have all had their ups and downs and have all raised great well-adjusted children who have become productive Godly young adults.
There are always exceptions, but bottom line, you as a Mom, whatever situation you find yourself in, are enough for your children.
When my youngest was born with Down syndrome, we spent several days in the NICU for observation and tests. One of the nurses came to me and told me something I will never forget for the rest of my life. She said,
“I know this is all new and overwhelming for you and your family. I have seen a lot of children born over the years and I can tell you that the ones who have done well are the ones who were simply loved. Love your daughter, just love her. She will grow and develop and do more than you ever imagined by just doing this one simple thing.”
Those words were precious balm to my anxious heart. So, I share them with you. I give you these life giving words to encourage you that you are enough.
Just do the best you can with what you have, who you are with and with where you are. We are only given one day at a time. Be present in the present.
My Dad passed away from complications from surgery this past fall. He was supposed to make a full recovery and be okay. It all happened so fast and he was just gone.
One of the things I have learned is that, life is short. Don’t sweat the small stuff, pray about the hard stuff and then just love those around you to the best of your ability.
Here are my take-aways from this post:
– Be present. Don’t spend too much time in the past, and don’t worry about the future, learn to enjoy today.
– Be thankful for the hard stuff. When it feels like all you do is discipline your children, remember it will all be worth it later. Ask God for wisdom and thank Him for the hard stuff.
– Pray. Take everything to God. He knows what you are going through and He wants to help.
– Love your children through the hard stuff. There will be days you will think they aren’t getting it, but persevere, it is worth it.
– Remember, each stage of parenting is just a season. Seasons come and go. “This too shall pass,” is one of my favorite quotes.
– God’s got this. Nothing surprises Him.
– You are enough. Whether rich or poor, no matter the color of your skin, no matter the number of children you have, or whether you work or stay at home. God gave these children to you. Make the best of each day and each moment.
For the Moms who are dealing with special needs here are some extra special take-aways:
– Your typically developing children will not suffer for having a sibling with special needs. There will be times (seasons perhaps) when they will have to take a back seat to their special needs sibling for whatever reasons. Trust me, this happens, it is OK, and it is normal. They will complain, but they will eventually learn that life isn’t always about them.
– Your typically developing children will develop a natural bent towards those who are different. They will not always recognize this, but it will happen. You will see it throughout their lives, sometimes just very small things, but when you witness it first hand, it will take your breath away.
– Just know, your new normal will not look much like everyone else’s normal, and that is OK. You just have to learn to do what is best for you and your family. You will learn to wear your “blinders” so you can stay focused on what works best for you.
I pray this is a blessing to you who are on this Special Needs journey.
I promise, YOU ARE ENOUGH!