I mentioned in my Welcome to Your New Job post, that you are now the CEO of a small business known as: Your Kid.
Maybe it’s Your Kid, Inc. or Your Kid Corp. Whatever. You’re the CEO.
And I meant it.
Yes, you’re also Mom (or maybe you’re Dad. I’m too tired to make this all inclusive, so just mentally swap out Mom for Dad if that applies to you).
You don’t stop being Mom just because you’re also CEO, but there’s a lot to manage with a special needs child beyond the normal scope of being the mom.
And yes, I know some of these things are handled in regular mom territory as well. I’m a regular mom, too.
This approach has helped me with parenting both of my girls.
It’s helped me advocate for both of them, support both of them, be bold for both of them.
Because when you’re the CEO, you’re the decision maker. You’re the one to be convinced. You’re the one calling the shots.
It also means you’re in charge.
Which…well, pros and cons to that, isn’t there?
And you get to do it without any kind of pay increase!
And you’ll likely have to do everyone else’s jobs at times, too! While they still get paid for it!
Ok, bitter rant over.
Bitter rant over for now.
I make no guarantees for later.
So you’re the CEO and it’s going to be your job to manage all the various departments.
But please please please remember that you don’t have to do it all at once!
You’re going to have periods where different aspects will require more of your time and energy. Tackle those!
And there will be times when you’re drowning, when you’re mentally and emotionally spent.
Tackle what you can tackle when you can tackle it!
If you look at any of these and just feel totally overwhelmed, walk away. That’s okay. Bookmark it. Come back when you’re at a better place.
I’m over seven years in now and I’m still working to figure things out, to find what works for us, to get a handle on it all. And there’s a lot of times where only the bare minimum gets managed while everything else gets shoved to the back burner for another day.
Because we all know that becoming and being a special needs mom is an emotional experience, but it’s also a steep learning curve on the logistical side of things. Hopefully these posts will provide a bit of help with that.
Okay. So, I want to dive into all of these with their own blog posts and I’m hoping that keeps things a bit more manageable. I’ll add links here for each as we go along.
This will be my starting point simply because if you read NOTHING else, I want you to read this. This has long been my way to bring confidence into my interactions with various professionals. When I can remember that I am the CEO and they are my consultants, I can manage everyone’s expertise and recommendations much more easily.
This will probably be the longest section, especially as we dive into self care and development, but I also want to address family and friend issues as well as maintaining relationships with those people who are helping you and your child on a regular basis.
We’re just going to dip a bit into insurances, how to figure out what your state offers for help, dealing with billing offices, and the like.
Oh my, there are so many things to research when you have a special needs child. You’ll need to learn all you can about their diagnoses, medical issues, developmental issues, educational issues, and on and on. So we’ll probably just cover the basics of HOW to research, where to look for information, and how to utilize what you learn.
You are the one presenting your child to the world and how you do that matters. There’s so many aspects to this, but it’s important to remember that the world around you will be looking to you for cues on how to treat your child. Lead them down the right paths!
Ah, the paperwork. This comes at you from every angle and can be so intensely overwhelming. I’d say it’s one of my most hated aspects of special needs parenting…and life. I really hate paperwork. A lot. BUT it’s important to stay somewhat organized and on top of everything. Hopefully, I can gather tips from moms I know on what works for them to provide some ideas.
With a special needs child, it’s likely your life is a bit more tech intense. And you don’t need to be afraid of that. Technology can provide your child with so many wonderful opportunities to learn and play and communicate. And it can make your life so much easier in many ways, too, so we’ll go over some tips and tricks and suggestions on that side of things.
With this ‘department,’ I mostly want to go over the basics of setting up a will when you have a special needs child as well as finding help when your child’s needs aren’t being met or their rights are being violated. And for that I will need to do some research. Which is why it’s last. Because ugh, I really don’t want to dive into that stuff, but for you I will do my best.
So there you have it. Obviously, this is going to take a while. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover and hopefully my life stays crisis-free long enough for me to get through all of it.
But at the end, maybe there will be this nice little grouping of posts to help offer some resources on how to grow and develop yourself as a special needs mom as well as manage all the other things that go along with it.
Because this really can be a good life. It can be a life that offers variety and challenges and growth.
It can be a life that you’re excited to live, even as you’re struggling to live it, too.
You have your own story.
But you’re going to need to take charge of this for yourself. You’re going to need to figure out how to make it all work for you and your family.
Because best case scenario? This is a lifelong job.
So make it a good one.