Today’s guest post is from Laurie Wallin, a speaker, writer and Certified Life Coach who helps people love their lives again. As mom to two former foster children deemed “failure to thrive” and “unadoptable,” she’s had to find her new normal and fight for joy. She writes weekly at LaurieWallin.com, shares daily tips at Facebook.com/LivingPowerLifeCoaching, and guest blogs about special needs parenting at Jolene Philo’s DifferentDream.com. Laurie lives in Southern California with her husband, their four girls, and her 80-lb Lab that still thinks she’s a lap dog.
If you’re parenting a special needs child, this post is for you. If you’re not, could you forward this to someone who would benefit from it?
Ten minutes. It’s all you’ve got between specialist appointments for your child. A look in the car’s rearview mirror and it’s clear nothing can be done for the bags under your eyes or the—what is that stain, anyway?—on your shirt. Sitting in the car, you wonder if you’re the only one. If there’s anywhere to connect, laugh… be more than simply a constant caregiver. I’ve been there too, friend. As moms raising kids with special needs, our lives can be isolating. But we aren’t alone.
Here are some online places I’ve found for moms like us. May they give fresh joy when managing special needs isn’t feeling all that special.
(in)Able: An (in)courage Community- A new, smaller community where you don’t have to explain your situation for people to “get” you. These moms pray together, celebrate the good days, and encourage through the tough ones as only peers in this alternative parenting world can do. A closed group (you request to join and are admitted by a moderator), it’s an emotionally safe place to connect and be real. Ahhh, relax into that.
Easy To Love, but Hard To Raise – Based on the book of the same name, it’s a bigger online community where moms share ups, downs, questions and resources for raising kids with alphabet soup diagnoses (ADHD, RAD, ODD, ASD, FAS, OCD, etc). A great place to get lots of feedback when you need it, you’ll enjoy the support, encouragement, humor and helpful posts that remind us all we’re not alone.
Military Special Needs Network – It’s hard to be deployed as a family. When you add a child with special needs to the mix, stress skyrockets just trying to find the right professionals and resources in your next community. This bustling forum is where families connect, share resources and help each other get what they need for their families.
Insight for Living’s Special Needs Ministry – Colleen Swindoll’s a mom who gets it because she’s living it. She’s also part of one of the best-known ministries in the world, where she’s dedicated to carving out space for families living with special needs to feel welcome and loved. A good resource for parents to find encouragement as well as ideas to make church more workable for their special family.
U.S. Paralympics - When your daughter’s bipolar rage ravages you, you’re elbows-deep in your bedridden child’s soiled sheets, or you can barely keep your eyes open after another night at the hospital, this will give you hope. Sharing stories of men and women who are living amazing lives despite their challenges, it will lift you from today’s challenges to tomorrow’s possibilities for your child.
If you’re a special needs mom, what Facebook communities and pages are your favorites? Let’s hear em!