Special-Needs Moms and Self Care: My New Book

Hello friends! I am so excited to announce that I published my second book, Peek-a-boo: I See Me: 35 Lessons in Self-Care/Soul-Care as a Special -Needs Mom. I wondered about releasing this book during a pandemic but as this project began to haunt me considerably (really, it would not let me go!), it slowly began to make sense to do so. 

I actually began writing this book about ten years ago, when Dan was about three or four years old. I wanted to publish it then, but I didn’t feel ready to bear my heart in this way. Instead, my first book, Girl Reconstructed: Crafting a Creative Business as a Special-Needs Mom is about raising a child with a disability in the context of entrepreneurship. I wanted to be open about my autism motherhood journey, and God, in his grace, allowed me to do just that from a place of power—teaching and showcasing my business as I also shared my vulnerability in caring for Dan. 

Peek a Boo: I See Me frames my experiences with Dan not only through entrepreneurship, but through daily life experiences. I continue to take you through those early years when I worked from home on my Etsy business, but I also recount lessons learned while watching school plays, participating in church life, and returning to my museum career. Navigating these spaces as a mother raising a child with a disability has brought me to joy in unspeakable ways while unraveling me and revealing deep issues that I had failed to confront. In many ways, mothering Dan has helped heal my own childhood trauma—self-care transformed into soul care.

Now Daniel is thirteen years old. We are living through one of the worst health crises in history, and quarantine feels eerily familiar. Staying put has transported me back to the time in my life with Dan, at home, seven years ago. Special-needs parents know a thing or two about isolation. We know what it feels like to go out, grab food, and come right back because no one can supervise your kid like you. We are very familiar with our plans being dashed. We have learned to pivot, change course, and re-adjust.

Quarantine very much feels like a refresher course for the make-up test 

Covid -19 provided. During the crisis, my peace was threatened in the same way that it was seven years ago. When I felt loneliness, insecurity, or frustration I would think Aah, I’ve been here before. It’s like God asking, “Did you really learn that lesson from five years ago? Here’s a pop quiz!” I was kicking myself in the pants for dragging my feet in publishing this book, but I believe Covid-19 is the perfect context in which to release it.

And just as it was back then, the swing has been our resistance during this time. The park across the street (something I took for granted) is our oasis. Daniel has always loved the swings. When he was younger, I would stand right in front of him, watching him like a hawk, waiting for the moment he would jump off and had to chase him as he ran away. As he has aged, the running away happens less frequently, and now I can sit next to him and swing. I forgot how much I loved swinging as a kid. How could I forget that? Easy! In caregiving, we tend to forget ourselves. As I discussed in one of these entries, remembering who I was pre-kids, pre-autism, has been an intentional part of my practice in resilience. It actually helps me love better, care better. And in doing so … I see me. 

So here’s to ten years, roughly 2009-2019, of seeing me,  of my showing up while I mother a child with a disability. My hope is that some of these lessons would resonate with you as you learn to show up for yourselves as well. 

You can order the e-book or paperback here. I will be posting excerpts from the book here from time to time. I hope you join me on this new book journey.  

Enjoy your day! 


Chilean Arpilleras: The Power of Anonymity

Arpilleras, produced in Chile between 1974-1989, are artworks made from appliqué or embroidery on a background of sackcloth that tell stories about one of the darkest times in Chilean history;  the military dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet from 1973 to 1990. The regime’s political policies led to economic inequality, a crisis of healthcare, and mass torture and executions for those who opposed the government.

This truth telling drove the arpillera makers, two groups of women, to create. On one hand they were mothers and grandmothers of the people seized by the secret police and rarely heard of again. The church office was the only place which offered help in their  search for information, and there they met others in the same situation, gradually forming into a protest group, the Families of the Disappeared. The second group of women were shanty town dwellers whose families’ faced starvation due to massive unemployment. The church assisted them in setting up laundries, soup kitchens, and…art workshops. These arpilleristas were transformed into artist activists finding relief and comfort from working together, a kind of art therapy. And the church, in the middle, between despair and resistance, facilitated this healing through creativity. 

What strikes me about these pieces is that the work is anonymous. No one takes credit, it’s too dangerous to do so. Usually the women in the group make one patchwork each week. The themes are decided by discussion and the finished pieces are then looked over and analyzed to confirm they are well made and really “say something.”  Since the Chilean government considered them a threat and forbade them to be shown or sold in the country, the earliest arpilleras were smuggled out in diplomatic pouches. The meaning of each arpillera, sometimes containing hidden messages, was important to them for this reason and remaining nameless gave their message power. The strength of their collective voice depended on it.

These patchwork pieces which have seemingly innocent, child-like qualities – colorful, playful – harnessed the power of anonymity in the collective, tapped into the practical role of the church as a community ally, and were a tool of resistance and healing against government oppression. During these uncertain times this kind of nameless, collective art making offers us the same power and hope. 

“James” 2015 by Jordan Casteel

James, by Jordan Casteel (2015)

In James, Jordan Casteel celebrates a sidewalk CD merchant in Harlem. Casteel painted James during her 2015-16 artist residency at the StudioMuseum in Harlem (SMH). As a Museum Educator at SMH at the time, I jumped at the chance to teach from her paintings, especially “James.” Even when I didn’t have a tour scheduled I would visit him. His grandiose presence, high atop his stool, and meticulous wardrobe contrast the fragility in his eyes, an apparent longing for intimacy that I couldn’t shake.

Intimacy is something Casteel’s work embraces. In her earlier practice, she painted Black men in interior spaces – “sitting, crouching, often compositionally confined.” This began after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting of Travon Martin. The subjects for these early works were familiar: her brother, family members, and friends. There was an inherent sense of intimacy based on her relationship with them and her subjects’ relationship with each other.

During her SMH residency, her work moves to the exterior and presents her subjects – street vendors, small business owners and neighbors – on the streets of Harlem. These paintings, based on photographs she took of them in public spaces, document the many hours she spent with these men, talking, taking photos (part of Casteel’s process), getting to know them. This kind of intimacy is the antidote we need as it subverts the dehumanization of the black male figure in the public space.

“I see no color,” as Carlos A. Rodriguez says, “is not the goal. I see your color and honor you. I value your input. I will be educated about your lived experiences. I will work against the racism that harms you. You are beautiful. Tell me how to do better. …That’s the goal.” That’s the antidote.

In a time of social distancing, how can we draw closer and learn? How can we see color and honor it like this? How can I, we, do better?

Don’t Underestimate the Small Moments with your Special Needs Child

IMG-1642Two years ago, May of 2017, I came home and gave my oldest son a big hug and thanked him for all the years of Sponge Bob viewing he put me through. I literally have a ton of episodes in my brain at my disposal to dish out and it came in so handy, and where? At the museum! 



Me and Incognito, 2003 by Isaac Julien

I was given the opportunity to be an artist in residence to a particular class at an elementary school.That day, we concentrated on sculpture. I showed  my fourth/fifth grade group three sculptures, one of them being, Icognito by multidisciplinary artist, Isaac Julien, 2003. I offered clay and sculpting tools for the studio activity and this little artist (seen below) immediately went to work on his Sponge Bob sculpture. He was passionate about it, recounting episode after episode with the other kids while he worked,  and I was right there with the best of them rehashing my favorites too! They were so impressed and surprised, I think my stock rose rapidly in their eyes. And all because I sat down and watched TV with my son and asked him questions about the episodes. Who knew that Sponge Bob would fuel my museum career? 


Afterwards, I noticed that another child made a sculpture of a basketball and I was able to chime in and ask him what he thought of the NBA draft picks from the night before (again, because I was watching TV with my big boy). His eyes grew huge, “you saw it too Miss Nellie? Don’t underestimate them. I need to put MOM on my resume! Actually, this was a special needs classroom and many of the kids were obsessed with their interests,  as mine are, so in fact, I should add AUTISM MOM to my resume.

The small moments with your (special-needs) child can truly make you big in the world.

How has being a mother to a child with or without a disability made you big in the world or  aided in your career? 

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Musings on the Painter’s Jumpsuit


This was a white jumpsuit that I painted. I don’t wear all white clothes. I am not too fond of the idea of wearing anything absent of color. So I bought this white jumpsuit with the intention of painting it. But didn’t know how, until I got inspired by this advertisement by WRAY , a fashion line, promoting their “Norma” jumpsuit. WRAY actually sells it in white, not with the paint on it. Right away, I knew this was my next art project!

So where would I wear something like this? I immediately thought of my upcoming High School reunion. I went to LaGuardia HS, an art high school in New York City. I knew I wanted to wear something artsy so I thought of painting this jumpsuit as an ode to the artist. As I painted, these two ideas popped into my head; the painter’s jumpsuit as metaphor for artist practice and process.
While I was painting, I thought “you are going to prance into your HS reunion wearing this “painter’s jumpsuit” as if you seamlessly went from art school to artist without skipping a beat, Hipócrita ! You haven’t been in the studio for a very long while!” Or have I?
Whether I am actively making art or not, I, WE, are always in our “studio”; thinking and planning, out our next life project. I know for sure that I am always working on projects in my head as I go about my day. I gather inspiration from everywhere; my kids, church, the museum job, my colleagues, friends. I am always wearing the paint suit. And then I execute; I make small collages, I cut a sewing pattern, I sew a seam here and there and it eventually becomes a garment, I type pages of iPhone notes for future projects, blog posts, books, and I find time to make some brush strokes on a garment. Today green, tomorrow yellow… making a mark, a mark that wasn’t there before. Making MY mark little by little.


Close -up of brushstrokes made with fabric paint

I’m always wearing the paint suit, always art working. Maybe it’s not in a physical space, producing a consistent, connected collection, a steady practice, but it’s my practice, for right now and I’m embracing it.
Ah!, the idea of the painter’s jumpsuit; so white, pristine, worn to the art studio to protect one’s real clothes, a uniform to catch the paint not meant for the canvas. But wait a minute. Maybe those paint strokes that don’t make the cut, that don’t make it to the masterpiece, these are meant for something else, maybe nothing is wasted. Maybe the painter’s jumpsuit speaks of process.
We’re used to thinking of process as chaotic, unorganized, ugly. But maybe the process has a place on display. Maybe it doesn’t have to be hidden. Maybe while we are in process, we can still shine.

And truth be told, These random “discarded” strokes on this jumpsuit have seen more than the studio painting might ever. So far, I’ve worn it to my H.S. reunion, church, and a video screening. And now here. These cast-off strokes are now art; photographed, made into a sort of performance art, if you will, for all of you to see. The process can be seen, beautiful, and worthy.



I wore my painted jumpsuit to a screening documenting the two-person collective that make up SAVIANA ARTS.  PHOTO: Olga Ayala, 2019

We are used to telling of the mountain top experience and very little about how we got there. I tell you one thing, more people care about my journey as a special needs mom and less about all I have accomplished. It’s the nitty gritty, the process, that people are interested in and, sometimes, inspired by. That’s the work of the muse. 



And maybe that’s it. We all wear the painter’s suit giving us the potential to be the muse, the process, the artist, and the art at various stages of life, or all at once.

How are you wearing the painter’s jumpsuit at this stage in your life?

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“Disability Awareness” does not have to be your New Cause


Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman

Let me just start by saying that I have met some amazing moms of special needs children who are now championing the cause. I am in debt to them and truly need them in my life. I look to them when I need encouragement, inspiration, perspective, or tangible help with a specific problem.

I also feel that people need me, and my perspective. Let me explain.

After my kids were diagnosed I knew I had to somehow reinvent my life in a meaningful way, a way that would redeem this experience. At first, I thought that autism would be my new cause. Forget marching for political prisoners, feeding the hungry, bringing gifts to children who had a parent in prison, championing the cause of creativity in the classroom, bringing spirituality back to the arts, teaching young Latinos the value of their culture (all of which I was very interested in pre-kids). My new cause was now autism, because this is what is affecting me most right now, this is my new life. Can you hear me trying to convince myself?

But frankly, when the autism walks came, I didn’t feel a pull to join. The thought of walking with my kids in the hot sun (the walk is in June) hearing one complaining the whole way while trying to hold on to the other, did not appeal to me. Even if I left the kids home and walked by myself, I did not want to hire a babysitter or have my hubby take care of the kids so that I can do something outside of the home that was autism related. I was so bogged down with the day to day that I rather go out with my girlfriends or have a date with my husband. That would have been more self-caring. But I struggled with how I could continue to be of service while mothering my special needs children. It doesn’t mean I am not an advocate for my children. But I also don’t want to be the poster mom for autism. Autism is not my brand.

As I continued to try to find meaning through this experience, I went on to the next idea. I could be a special education teacher. Before Dan was born, I was already on route to becoming a certified art teacher, I’ll just change course and do my specialization in special education. I would make the perfect special education teacher because I have special needs kids myself. Who better to understand special needs children than me? I thought that this is what the world needed, a special education teacher who knew the ins and outs of a special needs child. Again, trying to convince myself but you don’t have to convince yourself of your passion. I had to ask myself, “is this my passion?” A resounding “ NO!” came from the depths of my inner being. Would I have thought of becoming a special education teacher if my kids did not have special needs? Again, “NO!” Did this idea make me come alive? “NO, NO and NO!” There are many special education teachers with special needs children of their own and this makes them come alive. This is indeed a beautiful thing but I had to realize that I would not be of any service if I didn’t do what made me come alive. I did not have to make autism my cause just because my kids have autism. This was a hard lesson for me to learn because I felt that the only way to make this difficult, sometimes gut-wrenching experience meaningful and worth it was to be spokesperson for this issue. I felt a duty to bring uber awareness to this cause through everything I did. I was called, chosen by God, and I must now follow. But God does not work that way. The Bible says Jesus came to give us life, and life to the fullest (John 10:10). A cause shouldn’t be a burden, it should make your life full. Now that I was convinced that this was not my path, I also felt I had to take on the task of convincing others.

“A cause shouldn’t be a burden, it should make your life full.” – Nellie Escalante

As a special needs mom, you have to heed the challenge and find that which makes your heart sing, and then you have to do it! Because, let me tell you, when you have a special needs child(ren), one of the things that is going to get you through to the next moment, give you patience, give you some sense of sanity and power, is your passion. This does not have to be your job. I understand that many of us take jobs to make ends-meat and sometimes it takes a lot of time to make a passion turn into money. But you need to find something that makes you come alive. That very well can be opportunities connected to special needs and that is great and fine. But if what makes you come alive is not directly related to special needs, that’s is quite okay too.

What makes you come alive?

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Friendship and Special Needs Parenthood

weed your friends listAs special needs parents, isolation is part of the package. This may not be a problem for an introvert but as an extrovert, who is quite energized by people, it is! In fact, I need friends all the more on this journey.

Before I had kids, I possessed that “friends” experience; I had my own Ross, Monica, and Rachel and we would sit on couches, in each other’s homes, and talk about anything. I loved that! But now that I have two special needs kids, it has become a lot harder to have that group interaction experience and spontaneous outings have to be super planned. Our family dynamic is very different from families with typical kids. I envy parents that go everywhere with their kids. We simply cannot do this, Dan’s need for structure and his sensory sensitivities require meticulous attention to detail, and we usually need an exit plan during holidays or other family outings.

For this reason, the people in our circle have to add to our lives and not detract from it. Sometimes we hold onto friendships because of nostalgia, or routine, or sheer desperation. We may be so lonely that we settle for a person that is nearby or in your circle by default. But as I get older and realize my power, the need to stay in friendships that don’t work has lost its grip. I have also realized that there are certain things that I require in a friendship.  To be my friend, you have to match my level of vulnerability. If you are armored, keep walking. I just do not have the energy to chip away at your wall.

To be my friend, you have to match my level of vulnerability. If you are armored, keep walking. I just do not have the energy to chip away at your wall. 


I also don’t want to chase you. My role in friendships, pre-kids, was “scheduler.” I brought all my friends together, I am a planner that way. I suppose I still do this to an extent. But now, my special needs kids require over-the-top planning. I have to plan IEP meetings, therapy schedules, school visits, case worker appointments, doctor visits, outings, dentist visits, follow up calls, etc. You get the point. The last thing I want to do is have to track you down for a date. It needs to be a mutual investment. I don’t usually like to pull out the autism card on my friends but, you know what? This is a darn giant and heavy card and I shouldn’t have to pull it out. True friends will see this card from miles away.  I am not saying that all your friends should bow to you and do whatever you say. It is a give and take with friendship. I realize that I also have to give.

I don’t usually like to pull out the autism card on my friends but, you know what? This is a darn giant and heavy card and I shouldn’t have to pull it out. True friends will see this card from miles away. 

Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been my decision to let go of friendships. I have actually lost a couple friends since having the boys as I suppose that THEY have weeded ME from their lives. A lot of people can’t handle Daniel. I have had failed play dates because of his meltdowns. You have to really like me to stick it out with us!

And the important people WILL stick it out. Thank God, because, we need all the friends we can get! I currently have a couple of extraordinary friends. But this happened over time. When you stop investing in friendships that don’t serve you, God opens the doors to people that genuinely want to be part of your life. The friends I invest in now are super vulnerable and I don’t have to chase! We have a mutual, unspoken agreement that we want to be part of each other’s lives, so we both make the effort to keep the friendship going. I call one day, another day they call. There’s no chasing, no games, and no constant excuses. If one of us cancels and can’t make it there are no underlying feelings of resentment or wondering where we stand with each other because we are both invested. We both know where we stand. It’s exactly what I need at this point in my life.

At the end of the day the lesson I continue to learn as I gain friends and lose others, is that people that really want to take the time to know you, that want to continue investing in the friendship, that want to continue on this journey with you as you share the good and the bad, those are the people that will understand your life and try to be flexible so that they can be part of the ride. These are the friends worth keeping. You can’t choose the cards you are dealt but you can choose who you play with.

What is your experience with friendships on your journey as a special needs parent?

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Grace is Here!

GRACE IS HEREOne morning, two years ago, I was on my way to the Metropolitan Museum of art with all sorts of thoughts on my mind:

-ugh, I forgot to do my bible reading

did I forget to put Dan’s snacks in his book bag?

Micah’s ELA exam is tomorrow, he’s so anxious

-Lord, I’m tired and I feel scattered…

And then this sign, right there on E. 84th street and Lexington. GRACE IS HERE. It was in the window of a beauty salon. A place where people get the external all dolled up. But I would have walked in and asked for Grace for the tangled mess that was my inner thought world this morning, it sure wasn’t pretty.  I hoped Grace took walk-ins cuz I needed a massive makeover.

I once heard Shonda Rhimes, television producer and writer, say, in an interview “moms have to give themselves permission to be okay with the fact that something will always be lacking.”

I might have forgotten Dan’s snack and didn’t get a chance to quiet myself with God but perhaps, or better yet, I am certain that Grace fills in those gaps. She is here! What good news!

I didn’t read the Bible that morning but there it was on the street, in a sign outside a beauty salon window.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.   – 2 Corinthians 12:9

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Mother yourself like a Real Motha!


For some, Mother’s Day can bring up feelings of sadness and loss.  In recent conversations I have had, people miss and still need their moms despite how old they are. I could relate,  and I came up with this thought that I felt led to share with you.

No matter how old you get, you still need your mother. Whether she is still with you and thriving, whether she lives far away, whether she is sick and no longer the same (like mine), or even if she has passed and is no longer with us.

I am 40 something years old and I still need my mom. And in those moments, when I can’t get to her quick enough, I have to be my own mother. I have to affirm myself as if she were right here sitting next to me. I have to love myself with ferocity, like a real Motha! 😁

As parents, moms especially, special needs moms most definitely, we tend to mother everybody but ourselves; our kids, our spouses, even those younger than us at our jobs. We mother hard. And I, particularly, learned from the best. I have a very affirming mom. Still, in her sickness, she’s doling out advice making sure I take care of myself. She mothered fiercely, like a mama bear, well, like a real Motha!

I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs;

I will tear open their breast,

and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would rip them open.

Hosea 13:8

But for those of you who never did, or don’t have a mother like that, or maybe whose mom is far away, (and whether you have kids or not), I venture to say to mother yourself like the mother you wished you had. Be that mother you longed for, and say those things to yourself that you wish she would have said. I do it all the time. I still need a motherly voice to tell myself ” I’m proud of you” to tell me ” I’m proud of what you’re doing with your art, your kids, your life”! “you turned out to be a great woman.” I hear this from my husband (and I need to continue hearing it from him) but there’s something about hearing it from my mom that I miss and also need, so if I can’t get it from her, I say it to myself and in some small way I feel better and it eases that longing that I continue to have.

On this Mother’s Day, how might you mother yourself like a real motha?!


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Find Your own Mothering Style


Mother can’t you see I’ve got to live my life the way I feel is right for me. Might not be right for you, but it’s right for me                   

 -Sarah Mclachlan, Elsewhere

Mothering style. When I first encountered this term, I thought it was weird. What is a mothering style? I thought. You simply have a child and you mother it. For me, that just meant following my mother’s mothering style. It’s all I knew and it seemed great to me.

I grew up with a father who was an alcoholic. I don’t always like saying that out loud and less so in print. Just as I don’t want to be the poster child for autism, I also know that this was not all my father was, an alcoholic. He was a man of great passion and creativity; a poet, actor, and a lover of books. He also had a great interest in real estate and business. Now that I think of it, I am very much like him. Nevertheless, he had a drinking problem and it brought great unrest and instability to our home immensely affecting my sisters and I while we were growing up.

My mom, like my father, was born in Puerto Rico. She came to the U.S. when she was nineteen for what was supposed to be a summer vacation. My mom met my father, who arrived earlier, fell in love, and never went back. The story is quite dramatic, involving my grandfather hauling my mom back to Puerto Rico and then my father going after her, pleading for her hand in marriage. I am not sure how much of this is true but it is quite romantic and I love the fact that there was so much passion between them.

My mother was the total opposite of my father. Where my father liked to go out, network and socialize, my mom was a homebody. She enjoyed decorating, cooking, and beautifying the home any way she could. She sewed curtains, bed cushions, appliqued on towels, and eventually steered all of this creativity towards my sisters and I by making us amazing dresses. My mom had many friends but she did not go out with them, she solely entertained at home. She liked the privacy that New York, particularly the Bronx offered, where you lived behind locked doors, in apartment buildings, everyone in their own file cabinet of a box. She often complained about her home in Puerto Rico where there was no privacy with open door policies, and anyone walking in whenever they wanted, whether they were related or not.

In actuality, I am very grateful to my mom for this. My mom’s love of the home, provided a balance to the chaos that arose when my father would come home drunk, break dishes, curse at her and us, and leave in a huff, sometimes for days.

But like many parents born outside of the United States and raising their children in what they thought was a foreign land, my mom’s mothering style was infused with fear. My two sisters and myself were absolutely sheltered and not allowed to do much that did not involve being in front of the house where my mother could watch us. The freedom that we did have came from being part of a church community and being allowed to go on trips with the youth.

This was okay when we were little girls but as we got older, my sisters and I often struggled for a morsel of freedom. We would joke that my mother’s act of rebellion, coming to the United States at nineteen and then staying for a boy, was more dramatic than anything else we ever fought for: wanting the right to go to school in Manhattan, wanting to date at 16 (that battle we lost quickly), or spending a semester abroad.

When I had children, I naturally tried to emulate my mom’s example. It was the only mothering style I knew. With my first born, I had various freelance jobs so I still had a semblance of a working life but with Dan, and his challenges, this was not possible. I needed to be home. I thought it would be easy because I saw my mom do it and she was so happy. But it wasn’t at all for me. I like to go out, I like to socialize, people energize me! This had not changed because I had children. My husband had (still does) a hectic job and was often not available to watch the children so that I could plan time with friends, and it was difficult to find a babysitter who understood Dan’s needs. I was lonely, miserable, and sad. I would question myself and always had mother guilt because I had this need to go hang out with friends. Why couldn’t I be content like my mom? My mom sacrificed so much for us and I was falling short. What was wrong with me? Should I have ever had kids?

I finally had to come to terms with the fact that my mom’s mothering style was not my own. Yes, my mom is an amazing woman, and she continues to be my role model in many respects. She is a great example to me of courage and resilience. She came to the Bronx at 19 years old, by herself, to live with a family friend from her hometown. This was indeed a great act of rebellion and liberation that allowed her to live the life she desired, here in the States. I don’t know if I could have done that. She put up with my father’s alcoholism, finally breaking free by leaving him. We had to live with family and friends for a while but we finally settled down and began to heal. My mom’s fierceness is what I tapped into when I finally made the decision to honor who I was as a mother. I recognized that, although we had different stories, we possessed the same tenacity and persistence.

That doesn’t mean that there are no sacrifices to be made when you become a mother. These sacrifices, however, are different for each of us. I didn’t have to sacrifice my gregarious self because I have two special needs kids. Now the work began as to how I could honor the social person I was while still being fully present for my children. It’s more complicated when you have special needs children but complicated is not impossible. I finally applied for respite services and got help. I also joined a support group that allowed me access to an array of special needs parents; fearless, warrior moms and dads who also held me accountable in this self care journey.

What is your mothering style? How can you begin to tap into what makes you you, regardless of having kids or not. How can you find a mothering style that honors who you are as a person? How can you honor yourself by creating a mothering style that serves you?

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