The unexpected journey of special needs parenting instantly propels us into a plain of unconditional love, perpetual and endless sleepless nights that our children never outgrow, exhaustion from the physical strain special needs parenting brings, the emotional joys and pain that we balance equally, the rush to and from appointments, therapies and specialists.

 Our normal isn’t so normal. But we label it as such.  

When you ask parents what their idea of a luxury might be, you might think that special needs parents would come up with ideas grand and bigger than life.

That we’d ask for all inclusive vacations, a brand new wardrobe, a $5,000 shopping spree, or cosmetic surgery to erase the added worry lines from our face and bodies…

But in reality, you’ll find special needs parents wish for nothing grand, overly spectacular or even expensive.  

I asked a group of special needs parents to tell me what their simple pleasures would be and here are their responses:


Finishing 1 cup of coffee without having to microwave it four times before I finally give up and throw it out.” 

Pattie Ruwwe

Just having the time and space to breathe, without fearing or knowing that I am needed.” 

Matthew J. Cerrato

Using my work PTO for an actual day off instead of a doctor's appointment!!”  

Carrie Berry Paul

Expensive iced coffee, and by that I mean a large, maybe a flavor shot, from Dunks or a regional chain, Heavenly Donuts.

Nora Lyons Sauter

I want a day to lay on the couch under a blanket, watching Netflix.” 

Jennifer Cunningham

A quiet dinner date at home with my hubby. Simple... but impossible! 

Caren Sue Evans

Shower and a hot cup of tea for me - pure luxury.

George Morgan

In the face of adversity special needs parents wish for the smallest of pleasures.

Perhaps that comes from a place of wishing for all of their economical resources to go towards helping their children, perhaps they’ve come to understand what matters most in life, so small rewards feel huge in the larger picture of their days. 

Perhaps we’ve learned the art of needing less so our children can have more.

When a special needs parent is born, a kind humbleness moves in.

And you’ll soon find special needs parents find happiness in small, unique and unexpected ways. 

What is your simple pleasure? 

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