Being a special needs parent is as tough as it is rewarding. There are tons of highs and some hard lows. How do you balance having more children?
Let’s be real. I am struggling to keep my eyes open as I type this now. Both girls are asleep, so my to-do list is coming alive in vivid color in my mind. The laundry needs to be flipped over, there are dirty dishes in the sink, and I still have to muster the energy to brush my teeth, but all I want to do now is close my eyes and fall asleep without even leaving my chair… and I’m out!
All that being said; I wouldn’t change a thing. We have the joy of a newborn again, albeit a very different experience than our first. We have the happiness of seeing Maddie blossom in her big sister role, one she has been preparing for awhile now.
The biggest adjustment for me this time around is trying to not over think things! We had such a tight routine with Maddie with cathing and feeding schedules that I couldn’t help but download a fancy app that tracked Josephine’s ins and outs. It even had a spot for describing dirty diapers! At her two week check up, the doctor told me to ditch the app because she was clearly thriving. (and since David was in the room and heard her, I had to loosen the reigns and let go.) It ended up being for the best! After I mourned the loss of my color coded charts, I realized I had been wasting a lot of valuable time over thinking things.
We have made our daily routine work by being smarter about scheduling. I make sure to start bathroom routines right after the baby has been fed and have her set up close by in her swing. That way I lessen the chance of a crying baby during times I can’t walk away from Maddie.
We try to include Maddie in as much of the baby’s routine as we can. She loves to help bathe her and change her. This has helped ease Maddie into the changing dynamic of our household.
Lastly, I have tried to accept help when it is offered. It is hard sometimes to let people help. Even having an extra hand for a few hours to care for Maddie while someone is watching the baby can make a world of difference for your day!
We special needs parents are warriors. We learn how to be from watching our amazing kiddos! Don’t let fear keep you from expanding your family if you feel called to do so! It is tough, and a big change but worth it beyond what you can imagine!
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD/BMDA/0418/0647