it's monday, and i'm super excited for the start of a new week.  in the past, i really hated mondays because it meant the start of another long and arduous week of wrestling children, constantly tackling a messy home, and running endless errands.  but, recently i've learned that my mondays didn't have to start out on a sour note if i didn't want them to.  because when it comes down to it, how my week turns out is dependent on the attitude i have when it first begins.

life can be happy, or life can be sad.  it's up to us to determine how it will turn out.

which is why i'm super excited to be starting out this monday with another "Motherhood Is..." post.  

this time, incredible mama sandee will be sharing what it is like raising a child with disabilities.  

i first met sandee when we were both serving in my church's young women program.  she always had a smile on her face and was more than happy to help out with whatever she could.  it wasn't until i had know sandee for a few weeks, that i learned she was raising a child with disabilities.  i was really taken aback by this, because if i were put in sandee's same situation, i can't say that i would be able to maintain the same sunny disposition sandee always seemed to have.

sandee is truly one of kind and i am super excited for her to take over from here and share her incredible story of 

raising a child with disabilities

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how to raise a child with disablities

Motherhood is learning to love and sacrifice in a way you never dreamed possible of yourself. I have been stretched and molded by the unexpected challenges that I have faced. My oldest son was born earlier than expected with spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and a slew of other diagnoses. Typically this is found and prepared for prenatally by ultrasounds and blood work. Ours wasn't. And boy, were we taken for a rollercoaster ride. Our intro to parenthood was very different than what I had dreamed it would be. It took me months to adjust to our new normal, but I healed and learned to find joy in my very different picture of motherhood.

parenting a child with disabilities
parenting a child with a disability

I have learned with time that hardship as a mother is not a lonely battle. My challenge might look different than the next woman, but we ALL have something. We are all stretched and made better by our individual experiences. I imagine that the form I have currently taken is only just the beginning of the chrysalis that motherhood has offered me. It is hard to shed some of the identifying characteristics of my past in order to make room for the new me as a mother; however, I hope and believe that the end result will be beautiful and admirable.  

raising a child with spina bifida

raising a child with hydrocephalus

One of the hardest struggles for me as a mother is learning to let go of fear. I am afraid of countless things I can't control. I am afraid that I am inadequate. I am afraid of failure. But fear is crippling. When I am able to let go of that fear, I am free to believe in my current abilities and hope for the added wisdom and strength that only God can extend.  

living with spina bifida

 I have been blessed to be surrounded and taught by amazing, thoughtful, loving women...especially my own mother. They have taught me through generous action. The work can be exhausting, never-ending, and may never acknowledge my growth with awards and promotions. However, it is worth-while, especially when my sons say it with a hug and kiss. It is a legacy of sacrifice and service that has been fueled by love. It is a legacy, that as a mother, I am privileged to continue. 

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since knowing sandee, i have learned a lot from her.  she not only is an incredible person, but an incredible mom.  constantly teaching me that no matter what trials may come our way, life can be an incredibly joyful journey.  

raising a child with disabilities is such a difficult trial to face as a mom.  there are many hard days that come with the good.  but, when you take time to step back and look at the bigger picture it's amazing to see the amazing love and blessings that are in your life.  


you can read my other "Motherhood Is..." posts below.

Motherhood Is...Infertility to Adoption

Motherhood Is...Being a Military Wife

Motherhood Is...Creating a Loving Home

> > photography by the amazing justin hackworth < <


  1. Thanks for sharing this Michelle. If it weren't for your blog I would have missed out on some inspirational messages. I appreciate your devotion to making the world a better place for everyone.

  2. I loved this! It is so neat to get a glimpse of other people's families and view of motherhood. What a wonderful series!!