When Dude was born eleven years ago I would have never guessed that this is the path my life was going to take. I wanted kids but I also wanted a career and I thought I could do both. Lots of women have both a successful career and a happy family, my mom did and that as my plan too, until Dude's ASD symptoms became apparent. The more extreme his reactions to life became the further my dreams of a 'real' career drifted from me. By the time he was diagnosed I had resigned myself to being 'just a mom.'
It took me a while but I eventually made peace with my role as wife, mother, volunteer and advocate and I really began to enjoy this life. I found my rhythm and felt like I had a purpose. I felt like I was really accomplishing something good by just being available and engaged with my kids. Over time I found that I was gaining knowledge and experience and because I am a talker, I began to chat with other moms about their experiences. We shared information, each learning from the others.
Recently, this casual sharing of information and ideas has morphed into something more. I am being asked to participate in conversations about education, school policies and skill development for kids on The Spectrum with people who make the decisions inside the school system. I receive multiple phone calls and emails each week from people asking for advice on how to choose the right school for their kids, how to talk to teachers and school administrators and what to do once they have get diagnosis for their child. Every day new opportunities to speak, to have a voice in matters that I am passionate about, show up on my doorstep. I am constantly humbled and amazed by this because all I'm doing is following the path that I am passionate about.
I see this same thing happening to some of my friends who have jumped into their lives with both feet. These awesome women have followed their passions in crafting, radio broadcasting, photography, cake decorating and even helping women to have a positive birth experiences and it has lead them to a life of living their dream.They are finding success and fulfillment everyday... and they are ALL stay-at-home moms!
All of them, through choice or circumstance, set aside their careers to be at home with their kids. But shelfing their careers did not mean they set aside their passion for life or their belief in themselves. They are examples and inspirations to me everyday. Their big, passionate lives silently chant, "Being a mom rocks! Being a mom rocks! Being a mom rocks!" and encourage me to keep moving forward, to keep dreaming because when you follow your passion with integrity, life will take you places you never imagined possible!
Eighty percent of success is showing up. ~Woody Allen
**Tune in to GirlTalk with Marlo tonight at 8:30CT where I will b a guest panelist discussing the ups and downs of raising a child with special needs.**