Being a parent is hard work. It involves a lot of self-sacrifice, long hours, and at times seems endless. Being a special needs parent entails even more. What person would willingly sign up for a job like that, were it not for the love of their child or children?
Still, even with this love, there are times as a mom who has a child with autism, that I've felt isolated and alone. I've been lucky to have a great support group for special needs parents that I still attend regularly. Those moms have become like my extended family now. I also joined some terrific online parent support groups, but for me as a writer, the power of words to connect has always been strong, and helped me in all areas of my life. Writing has gotten me through the happy and sad moments since I was a child.
I write poetry, fiction and short stories, but there was something more in me that wanted to connect to people and write about what I had discovered almost two years ago, how my son with autism was raising me as much as I was him to be a better human being! I began seeing all the ways my son helped me come out of my shell, fight for him, and embrace the life I wanted to live, and that even with the struggles of raising a child with special needs, there are joyful moments too.
Blogging became my way to connect to other parents in a natural way, and connect as a writer and artist to something else on a deeper level, my creativity, and need to share my own learning and growth as a result of my son. I wanted to reach as many people as possible with my message, though I was not technical in the least. I was so worried about getting started. I figured it wouldn't matter, as only a few friends would be following anyway. I did not envision my blog growing and a whole other business spawning from it. But here I am almost two years later, blogging daily and working for myself from home, a dream I did not think would be possible after my son was diagnosed with autism, and I had to leave the workforce six years ago.
Blogging is still therapeutic for me, kind of like journaling, even now. It helps me remember I am not alone, and I believe I show other parents that they do not have to feel isolated in their journey either. I love to receive comments from followers about how my words have touched them. I now truly feel I am making a difference not just in my personal life, but in the world at large.
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