There is no "secret" to being a special needs mom. To rolling one day into the next. To staying upright when you don't think you can. To keep on keeping on.
To sum up, the secret is...there is no secret. (Clear as mud, right?!)
We all have different methods of doing life. There isn't one "fix-it" for everyone. Realizing this often leads me to being quiet about what works for me because why bother?
But then I stopped and realized...
1. I adore learning new tricks of the trade from other blogs
2. I keep getting asked about the same "tricks" over and over so it might be helpful for me to put them all in one place just for point of reference
I am publishing this post so that you can do the same as I enjoy doing. Pursue different ideas, take and try new things, discard what wouldn't work for you, and maybe walk away with some new "keeping on" secrets. Who knows?
BUT I'm going to warn you. This list is random. Random like the multi-colored duct tape that is currently holding me together.
So let's dig in.
The first one on my list is not new info. I only share it because...duh. It would be a crime to write a post about the things keeping me sane and not include coffee. I know that I make a lot of coffee jokes, but you should know that Addison oftentimes will wake up at 1 am...just because. And consistently...around 5am. Trying to keep up with this means that I am almost always tired and my days are packed full, requiring an alert, awake mind. So...
2. Door Alarms (<-this and="" as="" being="" exact="" for="" have="" is="" lasted="" linked="" longer="" made="" most="" no="" ours="" p="" several="" the="" to="" updated="" version="" years="">I get asked about these ALL the time. Because of Addison's bolting tendencies (and her 1am wake up times), I absolutely need to know if she wakes up in the middle of the night and decides to leave the house (this has happened before). Or if I'm working in the kitchen, I need to know if she decides to slip out of the front door for a joy walk. These door alarms have been AMAZING. They are pretty cheap and easy to install on both doors and windows. I can sleep peacefully at night knowing that if she tries to escape...I WILL hear it. Those of you who ask me about bolting kiddos and tricks to help especially at night...this is my go-to.
3. Kids Probiotics
I'm only a few months into this one, but I'm already a huge fan. Last winter, we got a virus that kept passing itself around the family for a solid two months. I thought I would LOSE MY MIND (you'll see that not a lot of blogging happened during that time). As a result, this year I'm working to be much more proactive about supplements for the kids. This probiotic has been amazing, and the kids love it so much they don't let me forget a night. Not sure if it will solve our wintertime crisis, but I'm praying it helps at least cut down the time frame if we were to get sick again. So far so good (knock on all the wood in the world.) Addison's immune system is especially weak, so however I can keep people healthy around her...it's worth the extra cost to me. I'm a bit sheepish to admit that it took me 7 years of parenting to start on something like this.
4. Triple Wagon
This next one I get asked about constantly. Our triple wagon has been the best. Addison still needs something when we do errands out and about, but she is too big for a stroller. These wagons have buckles and cup holders and they all get a bit of space from each other (to cut down on the "SHE TOUCHED ME!!!" screams). I will say that these distribute weight very poorly, so it's best to put the heaviest kids toward the back. Oh and this is also pretty rough on steep/downhill surfaces. So you know that with those disclaimers...if I still love it...it's because it has saved my sanity on probably hundreds of times. This is not an exaggeration. Plus, you instantly make new friends as you pull this colorful train around town. (-;
Every week I try to read at least one book. Some weeks I read three. Others I read zero. This is the one I plan to tackle this week and WOW. Here is the first part of the intro:
"You are not 'just' a mom. My mission in writing this book is to show motherhood is part of the mission of God, thereby banishing once and for all, the insipid notion that mothering is insignificant. There is no such thing as 'just a mom,' because there is no mere 'just' in the calling of motherhood."
6. Epsom Salts
At least once a week I try to take an epsom salts soak in the tub. This is a total luxury for me, but I work to make time for it. Light some candles, grab that week's book, throw in a ridiculous amount of bubbles, and without apology grab some me time. Taking deep breaths, relaxing, allowing myself a break...this is an important part of holding onto my sanity. (also, I included the best link I could find, but you can get a better price on this at the grocery store!) I will also use the lavendar one in the kids' bath from time to time. They love it. Eli calls it "bath pepper" (-;
7. Luna Bars
These are often my go-to food grab for myself if I don't have time to sit down and eat, but I know I need something. Or "dessert" at night if I want something sweet, but don't want to commit to a million calories. These bars have saved me more than once as I am driving around for pickups or dropoffs and SO hungry but had no time to eat before leaving home. Also, these are chocolate and packed full of protein, so I always give them to Addison to try to trick her into better nutrition while she is getting her chocolate fix. She LOVES these.
8. Stainless Steel Plates
I get asked about these so often on Instagram! These are just the best. They have been used every single day for over two years and still look brand new. They have been dropped and beaten up on a ton and not one plate has even come close to breaking. I love feeding the kids off of something that isn't plastic. They are an investment, so I put them in Easter baskets one year instead of a lot of candy. Worth it!
9. Protein Powder
This has been huge for my energy level as I chase little people, work, write, run a household, and everything in-between. I started taking protein powder this summer, drinking one shake at night right before bed. I have tried several different ones, and this is my favorite so far. (It's the first one that I ordered a second round of instead of searching out a new brand). At night I mix it with this . And in the morning....wait for it...I mix it into at least one cup of coffee. it changes the taste slightly but has helped me power through more than one difficult day. I would say it's slightly "earthy" tasting, but I don't mind it. It has rather grown on me. (-;
Finding an online community has been so huge for me as I travel this road of motherhood. It is so helpful for me to write things out as I process them, and the fact that you consistently show up, listen thoughtfully, and often add your own voice into the discussion...this means the world to me. Thank you.
So there you have it. 10 Things Currently Keeping Me Sane As A Special Needs Mom.
What would be on your list?