There was a time after Jax was born when I thought my life was over. I didn’t see a “hope and a future.” All I could see were feeding tubes, feelings of desperation, and what seemed like the never-ending race to find a diagnosis for her. I told myself there was no way we could have more kids. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to work and take care of her. And I questioned if I would ever be able to laugh and enjoy life again.
You could say my life was a bit upside-down at the ripe age of 26.
These feelings didn’t last forever, and neither did the stage of grief and despair.
As one day passed, then the next, and then a few more, my perspective and outlook on life and our situation began to change. I would attribute this shift to other special needs moms who have gone before me. Mothers I look up to and admire so much for the beautiful journey they have so openly walked.
So I made a shift. And my fears turned into a fight.
I put my foot down and declared I was not going to let a diagnosis limit the life I had always dreamed of living.
In that same breath, I don’t want to sugar coat it or downplay our struggles.
Here I am, about to deliver my third baby.
I am feeling overwhelmed with the thought of caring for three kids: a 6-year-old who has special needs and requires a lot of care from me, a strong-willed 2-year-old in full potty training mode, and a newborn. And that’s just on the parenting front.
I’m also running a business and married to a fireman. Ya, it’s a lot.
Many days (recently especially) I feel like I’m running ragged. Between the poop explosions on the carpet, the insurance calls & follow up games, constantly advocating for Jaxlee’s education and accessibility, and making all my business dreams and ideas a reality– it can feel like too much.
Or, it can look like this:
The beautiful life I would be missing out on if I hadn’t kept going. If I didn’t decide to go for it and figure it out along the way, if I had been paralyzed in fear by the “what ifs”, I would be missing out on the fullness of life we always dreamed of.
Sure, our extracurricular activities might be dictated by a therapy schedule, and our family unit runs a little differently than the majority of our friends (fire families can relate), but we are doing this thing and we have found there to be a lot of joy in the simple moments.
I say all this to first, be real. None of this is easy and I never want this space to give off the impression that it’s all about Jaxlee improving and Braedy being cute and my business booming without me trying.
Nope, it all takes a LOT of trying. On purpose.
We made a choice six years ago in how we were going to raise Jaxlee, and how we were going to operate as a family. Six years later, we make that choice– every day.
Every day we choose to accept the challenges and grow from them. Every day we choose to see the over-the-top schedule and take it one step at a time.
Whether you’re a special needs parent or not, a fire family or not, you’ve got your own battles and areas of loss. You’re not alone. Life in its fullest capacity is worth fighting for– especially when it’s hard.
Well Said mama! Keep up the fight!
So good!! You’re an amazing example of embracing the challenges and trusting God to provide strength for each step!