A roof and middle-income lifestyle do not necessarily translate into a safe space — this is a reality, not “just” for me and my complex child; this is a reality of parenting.

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

The impact of raising a child with complex needs is as simple as a fresh perspective on your priorities.

This simplicity did not arrive without more than a few stumbling blocks. Or — should I say, crashing into a glass door, bolting to hide in a tree stump, bursting into a street like fireworks on New Year’s Eve with complete disregard for traffic… these situations are a part of my reality. Sound ignites a reaction. An uncontrolled reaction that can make you feel like you are trying to close an overstuffed suitcase: possible, with a little sweat required.

That’s just…

3 areas to explore to find out want you really want in life

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Getting what you want, starts with knowing what you want. For me, that is a safe space for my children to always come back to.

Every decision I make is nested in this: is the action I am taking today support this mission?

If you, like me, live for a journey of continual self-improvement, how clear are your desires? To find this clarity, consider the 3 L’s — let me explain.

Love

What do you love? Really, really love? What is the one thing that always fills your cup?

It may seem obvious for every parent that they love their children…

You might not love your newborn child at first sight, and that’s okay

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The love for your child is like nothing you have ever experienced before. It’s instantaneous and fuels deep inside you. As your newborn curls on your chest, you feel the beat of their heart so close to yours, you feel love like you never thought possible— unless that doesn’t happen.

My child had slow uterine growth and I had a placental abruption at 32 weeks. My body rapidly declining — I met advanced life support en route to hospital. My blood pressure was dangerously low.

Things were not looking good. Fortunately, bleeding was controlled but my small baby was under…

After beating yourself up, you can recover

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I’m exhausted by my child’s needs. I said it. I’m admitting to what I am not supposed to, but a parent of a child with complex needs is not superhuman. They were not gifted with this being because “only special parents are gifted special children.”

My son is eleven and requires assistance for many tasks his younger brother tackles without reservation, from toileting to hygiene to nutrition to mental health care. He has anxiety that unequivocally breaks him, and me. Compounding this reality are his social limitations, which are exasperated during the pandemic.

Being present for him all…

Tell us about ONE parenting experience or situation that provided an “AHA” moment

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“I came to parenting the way most of us do — knowing nothing and trying to learn everything.” — Mayim Bialik, actress and neuroscientist

Dear writers,

Step back, reflect and share. Introducing — monthly writing prompts.

For our inaugural month, August 2021, invite you to write about one parenting experience that provided you with an “AHA” moment.

Take us on your journey to that moment in time where a revelation occured. What happened?

Why do you feel that that moment provides such an “AHA”?

What were your emotions then?

And, reflecting back, what are your emotions now?

For me, one…

5 Reasons to Let Your Kids Play in the Dirt

(Photo by Author)

See above. That’s one of my children at the beach, digging a hole a few feet deep — you know, the usual.

When given dirt, kids can make the most of it. As parents, we can learn a lot from that! Of course, there are figurative and literal lessons here — let’s “dig” into the latter.

1. Physical activity

Alongside playing in the dirt, you can count on kids running, jumping, and even cartwheeling through it. Physical activity is critical to children’s development.

Children need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day to support bone and muscle growth…

THOUGHTS

Now is the time to act as if your actions make a difference — because they certainly do.

Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

“Things are going to start moving quickly. Do I have permission to proceed with whatever care is required?” the Pediatrician in the Emergency Room asks me. At that moment, my life is forever changed.

My son did not die. Although, this is actually the second time facing the possibility of losing him. The first, when he was in utero with my placenta abruptly separating and now, at age 3.

With a protein intolerance, he drifted in and out of a comatose state on a cyclical weekly schedule. Then, he stopped eating.

Ten Cheerios over three days. When you reach the…

Join me in committing to be a little kinder to a stranger today.

Photo by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash

My son his neuroatypical.

The adversity he faces affords me a refreshing perspective. Beyond parenting, I hope the goodness I cast to those around me will transcend beyond the immediate vicinity of those I touch.

My hope is that the actions I take each and every day ultimately contribute to a safer place for him. One where he might be able to walk to the store on his own or, eventually, hold a job. Heck, he might even THRIVE in a job — whatever it may be.

For that to become a reality, I seek a community that looks out…

Submission guidelines, tips and best practices

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Parenthood: learning as we go is accepting new writers until December 31, 2021. We’re new — and thrilled you are interested in sharing your experiences and be part of a supportive community, connecting parents across the globe!

Here’s what you need to know to partipate:

What Parenthood: Learning As We Go is looking for:

  1. Real parents. Real stories.
  2. Kindness, compassion and positive parenting perspectives.
  3. Thoughtful, well-written content that invites sharing. We are growing a parenting community and encourage articles that invite participation in the comments. Let’s have a conversation.

Writing (& Submission) Guidelines:

  1. Be simple and honest. Our tone is conversational and relaxed.
  2. Good writing is accessible and easy to understand. Make use…

“Be not afraid of going slowly. Be afraid of standing still.” — Chinese Proverb

Photo by ABDULLA M on Unsplash

I pour myself a coffee. I am committed to consume it in its entirety while the contents are still hot.

Pausing, a thought entires my mind — why not start a 10 push up a day challenge? And, that is how the story begins…

From my lounging position, I immediately jump up with this thought and position myself on the floor. I stay on my knees, ground my palms, fingers spread and press down to 90 degrees: one. I repeat for five and think, “I can’t…

Christina

Inspired by family; passionate about community. Doing what I can to make someone else's day a little brighter.

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