How to be friends with a special needs mom.

How to be friends with a special needs Mom.

Being a mom is hard, being a special needs mom is really hard. Both, have something in common, the need for friends who get it and a community to support them. Before, our daughter was diagnosed I found my tribe. However, I would vent about challenges with our daughter and no one could relate so I simply stopped sharing. Inside, I grew bitter and lonely.

As we’ve walked this path, through diagnosis, therapy, more diagnoses and more therapy I’ve learned it’s hard to be friends with the special needs mom. But, if you know one there’s a few things you can do:

Listen. Let them vent.  If you can, be someone who can be understanding of difficult situations in an open way without recommending ideas to help, just listen. Don’t offer solutions or similarities to your parenting. Chances are that your parenting a typical child is nothing like what they are experiencing and sharing your typical experience will only make them feel less heard.

Share something about what’s going on in your family now, unrelated to what they are sharing.

Don’t judge. Special needs parents, especially those with kids that have invisible special needs often feel judged. Make them aware that you have no judgement, this is a great opportunity to share some of your low parenting moments in life. Let them know that you aren’t perfect.

How to be friends with a special needs mom.

Have fun. Remind them that you are there for them. Even if you don’t know how to help their family you can help by just being a friend. Offer to do fun things, plan a girl’s night. Just get out together as moms to have some fun.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be honestly interested in understanding where they are in life, ask questions. Get to know the challenges your friend is faced with.   Ask them about the funniest moment they’ve had with their child recently, what has made their day as a mom, what they love about their child. Challenge them to see the good. Laugh with them.

Call or text just to see how they are doing? Initiate. We are all busy and we all have lots of activities on our plate. Sometimes being a good friend means making the first call and asking how they are doing. Let them know that you care. Even if you don’t know how to be there for them right now.

More ideas that might help:

Babysitting.

Kid swap nights.

Help tackling a project that they’ve been putting off.

Cleaning their house.

Spa day.

If their husband travels a lot for work, offering to come help while the husband is gone.

Sit with them at church. Bring some new activity books for the kids to do.

Pizza Delivery gift cards.

Let’s face it. No matter what life is messy and complicated and hard no matter what your situation is in life. We all need THAT friend. That friend who will stand with us through thick and thin. That friend that even when it’s hard is still there.   And, it’s hard to be THAT friend. It’s not an easy job. But, maybe if we all try to be that kind of friend, we will all feel a little stronger. A little bit more present and little bit less stressed.
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Surprise Ride Review

Surprise Ride Review

***CYBER MONDAY SALE****Get a 6 month subscription for only $99 ***Please note this post contains affiliate links. ***

Last week we had our very first snow storm this year.   First we got rain, and everything including our windows was covered in ice.  It’s pretty normal for us to experience a lot of snow, we got hit with a blizzard and no school.  Which means, for our child that thrives on routine being at home for the day without a schedule is really challenging.

For days like today, I like to keep a stash of things to have on hand to keep her busy.  I normally will pick up new toys, activities, crafts, or puzzles.  During the day I schedule time to include these new items in the day.  The reality is that a lot of times these activities only keep her busy for a few minutes.  It does help her keep busy and her mind off the fact that she’s out of her routine.  She loves new things and that keeps her engaged for some time.

Normally, I don’t share posts like this but this was so good I can’t not share it with you.  Miss S has a really hard time doing independent play.  She rarely stays engaged playing with any toys for very long and it’s hard to get her interested in them.

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Recently, I saw an offer for Surprise Ride, a pre-planned educational subscription box for kids and I thought I would give it a try.  The super cute box arrived and I stuck it away in my stash for a day when we needed it.  Little did I know how great the contents of this box would be.

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Last week when we got so much snow and ice we could hardly see out our windows, I pulled this cute magical box out.  We opened it to find a bird themed box.  Every box has some type of theme.  I really wondered how she would enjoy it since she’s at the youngest of age recommendations  (ages 6-11) but it worked great for her.

You will never guess how long it kept her busy… she was interested in this for over 2 whole hours!
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Her box included two hands on activities: painting a bird house and making launch seed balls.  It also included a snack (that was allergen friendly, another reason I picked surprise ride).  I think the snack might have been her favorite part.  It also included a book, a bird whistle and a bird glider.

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I loved:
They sent absolutely everything for the projects including an apron!
It was a fun educational theme.  Miss S loves learning!
Projects were simple and easy to do.

Miss S loved:
The snack.
That it included a book.
Getting to be creative and paint a bird house.

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I can almost guarantee that if this was a hit in our house it will definitely be a hit in your house.  There is very little toys or projects that can engage Miss S and keep her interested for 2 hours.  It is definitely worth it!  Today only for cyber Monday you can get a 6 month subscription for $99!

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Something Good: November

When we live in crisis, it’s easy to slip into some level of losing your enjoyment in life.  This year, my husband and I made it a goal to focus on ourselves as parents.  We’ve spent so much time doing therapy for Miss S and hoping for grand results only to end up with not much of a return on our investment.

For me, working on myself means I have to sometimes fight to find the good.  It’s easy for me to get discouraged and forget about all the good in life.  It’s a process to remind myself about things that I am excited about and that make me feel good about life!  So today I’m sharing a few things I’m into right now and super excited about…

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1.  Lara Casey’s Powersheets

Confession:  I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  I have been drowning in life and not knowing where I want to go.  Enter: POWERSHEETS!  What are PowerSheets?  I’m so glad you asked…

“PowerSheets® help you uncover purpose-filled goals and plan action steps to make what matters happen. ” – Lara Casey Media

I am super excited about getting this delivery.

Almost a year ago I had read this book by Lara Casey and absolutely loved it.  The business girl in me was reminded of all the dreams I had and accomplished before having our daughter.  Last year, the powersheets had sold out before I had a chance to get them.  So right away this year, I splurged and ordered the 6-month workbook that will be shipping out soon!  I can’t wait!

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2.  Strawberry Balsamic Salad
Late this past summer, we went to a work dinner that was a 5-course meal with wine pairings.  One of my favorite dishes was a salad, that I really never would have tried before.  I now make this one at home, and have absolutely loved it.  I could eat it all the time.

PS.  Most of the time I cheat and buy a premade organic balsamic dressing instead of making my own.  I also buy precooked chicken strips to make it easier because most of the time I am just that tired.

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3.  Blogging.
I love blogging.  I don’t know about you but I constantly see posts about people making money blogging and if I’ve learned anything in two years of doing this, it doesn’t work out that way for most of us.  It’s my creative outlet and although I don’t make money at this and it actually costs me money to do this, I really enjoy it.

I love connecting with other bloggers and hearing from you as readers and the challenges you are having.  It’s challenging, ever changing, and there is always something new to learn, it’s great just as long as you aren’t blogging for the money.

4.  Leggings
Thank goodness for leggings.  Black leggings, that always go with everything, I can never have enough and they never make me feel bloated.

5.  Finance.
Life always has a way of surprising us.  I expected to be in a different place in life this fall.  I spent 4 months this summer interviewing for a really big grown up job, planning for that extra income…which is a really long story of what happened with that.  So, instead of having more money I’m really excited about managing what we have well.  I love budgeting and the challenge of organizing our finances and making it all work.  (I know I am a nerd!!).

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6.  Decembers Stitch Fix treat! 
Have you tried Stitch Fix yet?!?  I have absolutely loved it.  In case you have never heard of it, it is a monthly or occasional subscription box.  You set up with a stylist and share your sizes and style preferences and then they send you a box of 5 items!  I honestly only purchase it as a treat and it has been really fun to get a box full of goodies in my mail!  It’s one of my Christmas presents for myself (yes, I do that!).

7.  Surprise Ride. 
I may have a small addiction to subscription boxes right now.  We recently tried Surprise Ride and loved it.  It’s another subscription box, but this one is for kids.  I will be writing a post more about it soon.  I had saved our box for a day off from school and it kept her interested and engaged for 2 whole hours!  I even had fun with her!

8.  Hallmark Christmas movies.
I love watching the Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel this time of year.  Although, my husband dislikes them I really enjoy the wholesome stories.  They are great to have on in the background when I am working on a project and they always have a positive ending!

9.  Ice Cream!
I live in one of the coldest parts of the country but every night, after Miss S is sleeping I have a bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup.  I stir it up so it is more like a milk shake and enjoy every bite!

What is one (or more) thing you are excited about in your life right now?

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The Ultimate Guide Sensory Toys for Home

Sensory Toys: Oral and Auditory

It can be really overwhelming trying to decide what you should be to help your child meet their sensory needs at home.  It seems like there are never ending products.  Today is our Oral and Auditory day in our series, The Ultimate Guide Sensory Toys for Home!

How to use this guide:
This guide has convenient affiliate links throughout and although I do not earn a profit from this blog, I do have expenses for this blog.  A very small percent of your purchase helps cover my expenses (Thank You!)

Pricing guide:
Under $50.00 = $
$50-$100.00 = $$
Over $100.00 = $$$

The corresponding sensory systems impacted are also listed.  I am not an Occupational Therapist and you should consultant with your own Occupational Therapist for direct advice.

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Chewelry
This was one of the first sensory products that we purchased, it was a great option to teach a more appropriate option to chewing on everything.
Sensory System:  Oral
Price:  $

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Camelback Water Bottles
I have to be honest with this one, we have a love/hate relationship with this bottle.  The downside is that I have to keep buying new bite valves because they get holes in quickly.

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Noise Cancelling Headphones
These are a must have!  They do not cancel out 100% of the noise.
Sensory System:  Auditory
Price: $

More Recommendations:
Straws for everything!  Any drink, blowing cotton balls, blowing paint!
Musical instruments that require blowing:  whistles, harmonica, kazoo.
Volume control headphones.

Our entire Series from The Ultimate Guide Sensory Toys for Home:
Sensory Toys: Swinging and Hanging
Sensory Toys: Bouncing and Balancing
Sensory Toys: Deep Pressure Proprioception
Sensory Toys: Fidgets
Sensory Toys: Oral and Auditory

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The Ultimate Guide Sensory Toys for Home

Sensory Toys: Fidgets

It can be really overwhelming trying to decide what you should be to help your child meet their sensory needs at home.  It seems like there are never ending products.  Today is our fidget day in our series, The Ultimate Guide Sensory Toys for Home!

How to use this guide:
This guide has convenient affiliate links throughout and although I do not earn a profit from this blog, I do have expenses for this blog.  A very small percent of your purchase helps cover my expenses (Thank You!)

Pricing guide:
Under $50.00 = $
$50-$100.00 = $$
Over $100.00 = $$$

The corresponding sensory systems impacted are also listed.  I am not an Occupational Therapist and you should consultant with your own Occupational Therapist for direct advice.

Before, we get started with fidgets today, I want to warn you that most fidgets that we have bought end up breaking and rather quickly.  Because of that, a lot of the typical fidget products that you may find I can not recommend.

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Stretchy Bracelet
One of Miss S’s favorites for school!
 
Price:  $

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Pull and Stretch Ball
Sensory System:  Proprioceptive
Price:  $

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Liquid Motion Bubbler
Sensory System:  Visual
Price:  $

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Pom Pom Ball
Sensory System:  Tactile
Price:  $

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Spiky Slap Bracelet
Sensory System:  Tactile
Price: $

Our entire Series from The Ultimate Guide Sensory Toys for Home:
Sensory Toys: Swinging and Hanging
Sensory Toys: Bouncing and Balancing
Sensory Toys: Deep Pressure Proprioception
Sensory Toys: Fidgets
Sensory Toys: Oral and Auditory

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