For the Mom of Children with Special Needs

{Mom Unity} Episode 2: Children with Special Needs

I hope you were challenged to lend a lot of grace to moms around you after reading Episode 1 of this {Mom Unity} series, in which I shared the heart of an adoptive mom. Read it here, if you haven’t yet–it explains the heart of this series & gives insight into the struggles an adoptive mom faces.

This morning, we will hear from a couple of moms who have precious little ones with special needs due to health conditions.  In my book, these mommas are heroes, and it is my joy to better understand how to love them well.

Remember, in this series, I have asked all of the moms these three questions:

1. What is your greatest need?

2. What do you want my kids to know about yours?

3. What do you desire most from other moms?


Episode 2: Moms of Children with Special  Needs

What is her greatest need?

I fully expected that the answer to this question would be something like, help with the kiddos or running errands.  So, I was startled to hear from both of these mommas the same thing.  Her greatest need is to be included and invited. She understands that because she has to decline more times than accept, the invitations become fewer and further between.  But, she desires this community of women and moms, and she needs us to keep inviting her.

In the same vein, she wants us to understand that when she has to decline an invitation, especially one involving bringing her medically fragile child to a germ-filled environment, she doesn’t need your judgement.  She works hard to give her child fun opportunities (probably harder than you or I have to work at it), and doesn’t need any help with mom-guilt.

What does she want our kids to know about hers & what should we do when we see her in public?

You ready for this mind-blowing tip? Say, ‘hi.’ She sees us pulling our child in the other direction, she hears us shushing their questions about her child who looks different. She desires that rather than pulling our kids away, we would let them ask their questions. The more we pull our children away from those who are different, the more room we make for fear of what is different. Instead, this momma, encourages us to let our children notice and celebrate that each child of God is unique and different in his or her own way.

She also reminded me that when I act uncomfortable and resist asking my own questions, my children will follow suit.  So, let’s be the example here, mommas.

And, let’s help our kiddos know about these sweet children with special needs that they love to do activities, read books, and have treats too (hmm….sounds oddly like this section in Episode 1). They are kids, longing for friendships just as our kids do.

What does she desire most from other moms?

Oh, ladies, this answer makes my heart ache, because I think as a community of moms we might be missing it here–I know I have.  The momma of a special needs child deeply desires to be included. It may require extra patience on our part as her schedule isn’t as flexible due to treatments, feedings, appointments, etc. She desires to have community, relationships, authenticity. She’s grown accustomed to women stopping mid-sentence with phrases like, “Oh, never mind, this is nothing compared to what you go through.” She is fully aware that each of us fights different battles and she wants to be included in your victories and your trials.  She wants your encouragement and wants to encourage you.

Let us stop isolating moms whose trials look different than ours; let’s learn from their tenacity and tenderness, encourage them when they’re weak, and allow them the joy of being included in our trials as they turn into victories.  Next time, my daughter tugs on my arm to ask a question about someone who looks different, I’m going to lean in and help introduce her to that little someone.

Let’s keep lending lots of graces to other mommas, and strive to include those who are sometimes easier to exclude.




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