The Raw Truth of A Special Needs Parenting WIN

The Raw Truth of A Special Needs Parenting WIN | The Mama On The Rocks

Friends, I HAVE to share what happened today.

When I tell you it was a full blown miracle, I am NOT exaggerating (as I have been known to do with hilarious sarcasm and insane hand gestures).

Yesterday, our kids were coming off of a week long trip in Florida visiting my folks. We’d been in our car for well over 14 hours and the last four of them our van was shaking like a California earthquake anytime we accelerated (she’s paid for so we’re riding it out).

We get it.

Long days.

Lots of fun and sun.

Unbelievable excitement building up to Christmas day.

For any kid, that’s a lot.

For our extreme kiddo, that is anxiety and sensory overload in the worst way.

Total Exhaustion

After delivering the blessing bags we’d made, making great conversation, priceless memories, and new friends, and praying desperately with tear-stained faces at bedtime that God would bless our friends with a safe and warm place to stay, we were spent.




My mama heart was excited to see my kid’s joy on Christmas morning but it ached for the kind eyes I’d looked into as I asked the names of our downtown neighbors, listened to their stories, and smiled as they asked our kids if they’d been good this year.

If I had been honest with our new friends, I’d have said, “no”.

No one in our house has been particularly “good” this year…whatever that even means.


Barely survived pandemic parenting a high-risk child with extra needs.

Been thrown back into homeschooling because it’s what we bought was safest.

Had to miss out on events, traditions, and family gatherings.

We love each other but we are SO tired.

We’re tired of…

Not knowing.

Trying to make already fraying ends meet.

Cooking 1246 meals a day.

Each other, honestly.

Making decisions.

New meds, changing diagnosis, and endless battles with mental health.


An Actual Modern-Day Miracle

But then…a miracle.

Friends, when you’re raising a child with extra needs you are mama…
And nurse,
And advocate,
And teacher,
And prayer warrior,
And researcher,
And therapist,
And everything in between.

We don’t sleep.

There is no “me time” or “self-care“.

You don’t have regular conversations with your spouse and you rarely talk to adults who aren’t specialists or doctors or IEP team members.

You forget what it was like to be yourself because you’re so dang tired.

But today.

Today, friends.

Let me be clear: Our family doesn’t know “normal”.

We don’t know

Typical development or age appropriate milestones.

neurotypical behaviors or what it’s like to eat a meal without a meltdown.

We are constantly alert and always at the ready.

But today was magic.

Our boy was up long before the sun.

He squealed more than is typical of a 9 year old boy.

He raced through his gifts in 7 minutes flat, leaving his little sister in the dust.

And he struggled a bit remembering to share and that she wouldn’t break anything of his…because his worries are big and his anxiety is bigger.

Reeeallly Hoping for Regular

But it was mostly just regular kid stuff.

Did you hear that, friend?


Boring. Ordinary. Normal!!

Y’all we



smiled and sang and danced partied in the kitchen,

We fed the birds outside because it was snowing.

threw the ball for our dog, and

ate dessert first.

The kids played Legos, and dolls, and basketball, and we even played a family game of Mousetrap and no one died.

No one yelled.

No one totally melted down.

Nothing was thrown.

No one had to apologize or ask forgiveness.

Y’all I’m legit sobbing typing this because if you don’t raise a child who struggles with behaviors you just don’t know.

You can’t.

And that’s okay.

This is a day my husband and I will not soon forget because we haven’t had a day like this in at least 8 years.

But for today, if only for one day, we tasted normal.

And it was pure, miraculous magic.

And we are so grateful.💜


For more resources on raising extreme children, check HERE.

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