Do you need ways to encourage a special needs mom?
but just don’t know what to do…
I have collected over 27 ways for you to encourage a special needs mom!
You have a heart for her, you love her, but how can you help? You recognize that a special needs mom has a lot on her plate; but is there anything you can do? Maybe you are in the parking lot after a T-ball game and see a mom struggling with equipment and car seats and a screaming child. Do you step in? What is acceptable?
This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase we will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Have you tried Amazon Prime?
If you have ever wondered this you are in the right place! Whether you have a friend who has just received a diagnosis of her child, or there is a new mom at your church that you are just getting to know, we have some answers!
I have found that special needs moms are so strong. They are also some of the most down-to-earth, loving, giving, and joyful people you will meet! They rarely complain. This, for the most part, is because they have come to a place where they know what Real is. A little like The Velveteen Rabbit who has most of his fur rubbed off is a little loose in the joints and is a bit shabby, they see past things that most of the world obsesses over and are content with things that bring real joy.
The love special needs moms have to share comes from a very deep spring that they have learned to tap into by necessity and they will bless you greatly. However, that sometimes makes it hard to know what they need, or if there is a need. At times that mom can be feeling quite isolated and you will not even know it! Sometimes it is hard to know just what to do to encourage a special needs mom. So I collected some inspiring bits from my friends, a little peek into those needs from those who know.
At the heart of encouragement (from a special needs mom to you)
I have been the recipient of inspiring cards and notes.
I have had precious souls ask to watch my kids so I can run errands. Alone 🙂
I have had timely meals brought to my house in hectic seasons.
I have had gifts (and cash) in tight times that made me feel quite loved.
And I have been pampered with a manicure and dinner out (just us moms)
I have the dearest people who listen while I let my frustrations and disappointments out. Without the slightest hint of judgment.
I am blessed.
But there are times. There are always those times.
Being a mom of a special needs child can create some awkward situations
Having children can create some very awkward times in your life. Having a child with special needs creates EVEN MORE awkward circumstances!
If you have ever been witness to these kinds of situations and didn’t know what to do, this next bit is for you. If you are ever around when awkward or embarrassing things are going on in the future; this is for you! This is from my heart to yours. No judgment. Mostly, people genuinely just don’t know what to do so they err on the side of caution and just ignore us and pretend they don’t see.
Don’t do that <3
One big way to encourage a special needs mom is by not ignoring an awkward situation!
Address the need.
Sticky situation #1
I have been in parking lots with numerous acquaintances around while juggling papers, or pot luck dishes, bags or other burdens when one of my children was uncooperative (this could mean sitting down in the parking lot and refusing to move, running away toward cars, or trying to get back to the building) and no one came to lend a hand.
- Ask if you can carry her things while she handles the child. It is MORE embarrassing for people to act like they don’t see.
Sticky situation #2
I have been at a retreat when my hands were full with a baby and a small child when my pre-teen boy who was almost as tall as me (and stronger- shh, don’t tell him!) sat on the ground refusing to go back to the room at night. There were grown men within arms reach who kept on with their conversation like nothing was going on, although I knew this had to be difficult as my son was yelling quite loudly!
- If you know the mom at all, offer assistance. In this case, a teenage boy came and asked if he could help! All my son needed in this situation was someone who was stronger than him to come alongside him, take him by the elbow and escort him part way down the path! Most moms can express to you what you need to do in simple steps in these cases. I will note, however, that this would uncomfortable from a complete stranger at a public event And you should ask first and listen to the need because all situations are different. Don’t be shown up by a teenage boy!
Sticky situation #3
I have had my 5-year-old daughter run into men’s changing rooms and bathrooms! Yeah, awkward!
- Again, if you know the mom at all promptly offer assistance! Please! Just a quick, “I will get her” and then do it. If you do not know the mom, you could still give her info, like that the bathroom is unoccupied, etc. She may be at her worst right then. don’t judge. When my 5-year-old daughter escaped my grasp and ran into the men’s changing room at the pool I ran to the doorway where I could see her and yelled in my grouchiest tone “you get over here RIGHT NOW!” Good parenting? no. But what else are you going to do? If you have a better plan, let me know! Just then a guy and his 4-ish looking boy rounded the corner. He gave me a look of complete disdain and walked right by. Again, Don’t judge. Actually, this might be a good time to pretend you don’t see, just smile and walk on by 🙂
Special needs moms like their lives despite the struggles
For the most part, us special needs moms wouldn’t change a thing. Our love for our kids is deep and fierce and strong, the more so for having to fight hard for things typical moms take for granted. But that just makes the sweet spots even sweeter!
None of us would want your pity.
We like our lives.
However, the struggles are real and most days are long and even then there is not enough time.
I would love for you to try my Free 30-day Journal, Fearless!
for those times when the obstacles seem overwhelming.
Therefore, I’ve compiled wisdom from some awesome moms who know what it’s like!
Very real takes on ways to encourage a special needs mom!
I asked some of my friends to give us some insight and the results are amazing! Some of these ideas may be duplicated in the main concept, but the wording or application make it stand separate. Contributions are from moms (or siblings) of people with special needs themselves.
Speaking of encouragement! All of these designs are completely uplifting and encouraging 🙂
And If you click through from here you will get a 10% discount Yay! The discount code is Beanpost10 if it is not automatically applied at checkout.
6 Arrows Designs also has necklaces, keychains, earrings and more!
Experts in what moms of special needs kids might need:
27 ways to encourage a special needs mom
- Give her positive affirmations!
- Remind her of her strength and her big heart!
- Offer to help her with the kids, maybe plan an outing with the mom and kids, or find a respite worker to take care of the kids and take the mom out instead
Julia & Micheal Toronczak
You can connect with Julia
On her blog Beyond The Waves Blog
On Instagram @Beyond the Waves blog
- Offer to help keep other kids so she can get her child to therapies.
- Cook them dinner. Or sit down & have meals as friends/family time.
- Have play dates with typical and differently abled children. It benefits both.
- Get plugged into online communities.
- Help raise awareness about their child’s diagnosis.
- just be there, physically, emotionally or just from afar if she isn’t ready to be near you in person. We all process things differently and in our own time and should be allowed to do so.
- Write her an old fashioned note telling her your thinking of her, send her a text, leave a voicemail or send a digital message if she isn’t responding. Don’t use this as the time to figure she doesn’t want to be bothered. If she doesn’t respond, just keep reaching out unless she tells you to buzz off (likely not going to happen). Silence from her may mean that she isn’t ready to talk but she will see your messages, they will mean more to her than you can ever know.
- Basically, just be an altruistic friend for a time without expecting anything (not even a return call) in return, it will mean everything.
- Listen. Really listen. SN moms are juggling a ton of balls in the air at any given time – nurse, therapist, teacher, guardian, accountant…the list goes on and on. When they find they need a break, often times its adult conversation they crave. Someone to hear them out. Be there.
- Have an adult play date, if possible, even if it’s a walk around the park, a coffee or lunch. If Mom can find a sitter, take in a movie together, get your nails done or go shopping.
- Offer to help with a tough task. Making a phone call to a support group might not be as easy as picking up the phone. If you can be there to help keep emotions in check, dialing that number might not be so intimidating.
- Help find activities for the family that might be accessible, affordable and fun. Many city programs offer cost-effective solutions.
- Childcare. If possible, offer to be with her child while Mom and partner head to dinner, a movie or a walk on the beach.
- Help her research. Many times, information about resources and support exists, it’s just making the time to DO it. See if you can’t get some background and check out some local agencies for guidance and direction.
- Realize that it might be hard for your friend who has a child with special needs to accept help, or even take some personal time for herself. Remind Mom that her glass needs to be re-filled to do her best for others. Time with friends; and simply time to rest; might be just what she needs.
One way to encourage a mom who has a child with special needs is to make her and her child feel special. I know “special” is a word that people don’t like to hear who has a child with special needs, but the definition of special is “better, greater, or otherwise different from the usual”.
- Always make sure that this mom feels better when she is down. Listen to what she has to say and take action in a way that you know will make her and her child feel better.
- Let her know that she is greater. Tell her often how awesome she is as a mom. Make her believe that there is no greater mother for her child than her.
- Surprise her occasionally with something different from the usual. Maybe you heard her talking last week about how she keeps losing her baby’s pacifier. Surprise her with a cute and safe pacifier clip! One less thing for this mama to worry about.All of these things will help that mother feel special and encourage her to be the best mama she can be!Meghan DeeseYou can connect with MeghanOn YouTube: Down Syndrome DiariesOn Instagram @Down Syndrome Diaries
- Listen without judgment. Being a mom of a child with special needs is difficult at times and sometimes we just need to vent. We need a safe place to complain without fear of being judged or looked down on.
- Plan a mom’s night out, spa day or just coffee. We all need a break sometimes but a special needs mom isn’t always willing to admit it or may feel guilty about planning something without her kiddo. But if someone else plans it, she is more likely to attend.
- Take time to learn about their child’s special need. I want my friends and family to be educated on what Down Syndrome really is and what it’s not. Taking the initiative to learn on your own means so much to us as parents.
- Support them even if you don’t understand their choices for their child. When we decided to go Gluten-free with Stella, so many people voiced their negative opinions about it. Realize that, unless you have been in her shoes, you will not understand and that’s okay. Just be supportive.
- Do occasion check-ins. It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in our day to day lives especially when our schedules can be overwhelming with doctor’s appointment’s therapies, IEP meetings, etc. Understand that we don’t mean to ignore you and that we appreciate occasional mental wellness checks.
So there you have it! 27 ways to encourage a special needs mom. I hope this has inspired you. Now get out there and do it 🙂