Boy how my priorities have shifted since a certain little girl entered my life.

I remember life without Brielle. I had three healthy, typically-developing girls, ages 6 and under.

I didn’t have much knowledge of special needs or any first hand experiences.

Sure, we have some friends with children who have additional or special needs, but we didn’t live close and did not see them very often.

I had no idea what daily life with special needs was like.

And as you know, it is not easy.

I feel like I am always juggling a multitude of things.

Trying to cope.

Sometimes just trying to get through another day without feeling defeated and overcome.

I am trying to be supermom.

And I am miserably failing.

Even when people praise me, deep down I disagree.

I want to tell them how I really feel. How many ways I’ve fallen short of the mark today.

But it’s hard to open up and let people know what I am really feeling, what I’m struggling with, what I wish I could get off my chest.

It’s hard for me to be vulnerable.

For those of you who are day-in, day-out special needs parents like myself, you understand how your whole life is forever changed the moment you found yourself in this “special clan”.

How the priority of the day is no longer “I must have a perfectly clean and tidy house, our food prepared, the errands done” but more like “I must make it to the physiotherapy session on time today, and allow her enough time to digest her tube feed before we go so she doesn’t vomit in the car.”

My priorities in life have become less self-centric and more centered around my children and spouse.

And especially around the youngest member of our family who has many additional needs.

We want to see Brielle flourish and thrive, so her health, well-being and development is often central in our everyday planning.

The rest of us have learned to be flexible and work around her needs and schedule. We have to.

We have a very complex and unique little person to consider and nurture. We want the absolute best for her.

I’d say raising a daughter with special needs has taught me how some things are far less important than I used to think.

After all, being alive, enjoying life and having meaningful relationships is so much more valuable than possessions, money, job status, a tidy house, and schedules jam-packed with exciting activities.

And there is no such thing as supermom…

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