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Challenge: Raising kids is stressful. Let’s share ways to make it less so.

The Practical Special Needs Mom's Survival Guide

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*This works for All Mom's!

I am just going to cut to the chase and jump right in here with my guide. Because, we both know that your time is limited and your attention span is fleeting at best...or maybe that's just me?

As special needs moms, as parents...we frequently find ourselves frazzled, scattered and well quite honestly...tired. Often when we are in this scattered, frazzled and tired state we don't necessarily make our best decisions.

So pour yourself a cup of coffee, and glance over this Lilliputianesque list (that may or may not keep a few of you busy). My hope is that, just maybe, it will be of some help to get your Ducks in a Row and stay on track when times get tough, hectic, busy, and demanding. Which, incase you didn't know, for special needs parents that is basically the waking hours...and frequently the supposedly sleeping hours.

*The following list is intended to be a gentle reminder, a subconscious utterance if you will...just picture a diminutive little me sitting on your shoulder, in a long and flowing frock, whispering these pearls of wisdom directly into your brain...

1. Haircuts. Don't. This is probably the most important thing ever, and it has taken me years to master this least I think I have...

Don't cut your hair...not when it rains, not when you are mad and especially not right after you have given birth. It will seem like a good idea, the best ever in rarely is.

You will think, "This is just what I need to boost my spirits!"

It's not.

I have walked out of more than one Super-Master-Quick Cuts bearing a strong resemblance to Tom Selleck, this will not make you feel better...learn from me.

I beg you...throw it in a ponytail and sleep on it. I feel 99.9% confident in saying, "you will feel differently tomorrow."

2. Chocolate. I don't care what your budget is, buy it. You have to have a stash. Build it, hoard it, hide it. It is mandatory, essential, necessary, and about eight other words I don't have time to Google.

Trust my experience when I say, "you will not survive this with out it."

If you encounter people who say they don't eat it, drink it or use it. THEY ARE LIARS.

Cultivate your collection. Keep it safe and above all else...never ever disclose its location. I don't care how sad or pitiful or upset the people in your family distressed your best friend is...DO NOT SHARE.

This is your life line to sanity.

3. Coffee. The life's blood of my people.

The magical cure all elixir every traveling snake oil salesman and Side Show Bob wishes they had invented. It is the special needs parent's Crack.

As essential as the air we breath, take it away at your own peril.

I think if I were one to use this phrase, I would insert a " 'nuff said" right here.

4. Alone time. Frequently you will hear this described as "me time" or "time for myself".

It's usually said in a whining tone, coming out of the mouth of some tiny woman in head-to-toe coordinated workout wear, that is trying to convince you "hot yoga" is all you need to feel good and possess unlimited energy.

Bless her heart, just smile and nod.

You can make fun of her later while you are pouring yourself a cup of coffee, eating some chocolate and talking to your best friend on the phone it the bathroom...which is also known as my hiding place...but maybe that's only me.

5. A best friend. They come in all shapes and sizes, they are found in all kinds of places and to say something cheesy, "They are totally aces!"

For the special needs friends are life savers.

They are the people who, when you fight with your husband, will back you up when you are mad at him, but never judge you the next day when you say you can't imagine being married to anyone else.

They are the ones who are there with a laugh just when you need it and they cry with you when your heart is broken. Because...that's what friends are for...For good times...and bad times...they'll be on your side for evermore...that's what friends are for...(that's a little Dionne Warwick flashback for you)

Best friends are hard to find...they are more valuable than chocolate, than coffee (maybe) and especially "hot yoga"...whatever that is.

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