Have you ever wanted to ask an author questions? Or a blogger? Perhaps you have wondered what being a special-needs mom is like. I was recently challenged to take part in a forum where participants could literally ask me anything.
The following are a few questions from Ask Me Anything. (Some answer are abbreviated)
What’s the one thing you would have done differently as a working mom?
I am a stay-at-home now, but when Samuel came home from the hospital, I worked full-time. I worked away from home for many years. Looking back, I wish I would have come home earlier.
I remember getting emotional and shedding a tear at the party my co-workers had for me on my last day. I didn’t realize how much I needed to be home with my son. We had 24-hour nursing, and he was being well cared for, but my momma heart needed to be home loving on him all the time.
I’ve been home for several years now, and I’m so thankful. My iPhone camera is never far away from me so I can catch all those sweet, adorable moments I would otherwise miss.
Why do you think blogging is an amazing venture for moms? Do you think it’s important for every field?
Blogging gives your message and your passion a platform. As a special-needs mom, I use blogging to share what it is like raising my son who has dwarfism. Some of my blog titles include, 3 Ways To Connect To A Special Needs Mom, Are You A Wonder Woman Mom, and Perspective Of A Forever Mom.
I found writing weekly blogs helped me find an audience, but it also gave me a creative outlet. I could share what was on my heart or some experience I would have with my son, Samuel. I still blog today; however, I post monthly now. I also am a monthly contributor to Tampa Bay Moms Blog and have a column called The Blogging Guide for Almost An Author.
I believe blogging is beneficial for many fields. When I started out, I read Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform, which I highly recommend. Michael Hyatt is one of the top business bloggers in the world. He teaches readers how to extend their influence.
What is your prayer for your son? What do you wish for him to achieve in the future?
My daily prayer for him is first and foremost for his health. Next is that he continues to be happy and full of joy. (He loves to laugh, giggle, wave and blow kisses.)
My hope for his future is that he continues to touch lives all over the world. I wrote this article talking about the impact Samuel had on 3 strangers. Without a word and in one case with just one look, Samuel had a profound impact on others.
Is that not what every mother wants for her child? That they would touch other people’s lives for good. That their child would bring joy and happiness to all who meet them. His story gives strength and hope to others. Often, where no hope is found. He will blow a kiss and weave his way into your heart. This is how Samuel impacts others. And that is priceless.
Did you always want to be a writer? Can you imagine yourself doing anything else?
Yes, I wanted to write since I was a girl. I found writing in a journal was a creative outlet for me. That’s how it started. Then I wrote travel articles as a teenager and worked on my high school newspaper. It wasn’t until after my son was born that I felt I had a book-length story to tell.
I love writing, blogging and being an author. But, my other love is teaching. I have taught classes on jewelry making, trained company employees and social media strategy. I am currently writing a historical fiction book based on my father’s life in WW2 Austria. This book is different from my memoir, Miracle In My Living Room: The Story of a Little Mann and my devotional, Thriving Through Your Trials: Devotions of Miracles, Faith and Prayer because of the amount of research involved. I have created a Facebook page to document much of my research for this book. Check it out here: www.facebook.com/mannfiction.
Do you have some advice for parents who have children with physical disabilities and/or lifetime illnesses?
- Try not to worry about tomorrow.
- Take each day as it comes.
- Live in the moment.
- Find a support group.
- Have times of respite.
There is a group on Facebook called, Moms of Trach Babies. This is a very active group where moms share their cares, concerns and ask for advice. And sometimes, the posts just share the challenges of being a special needs mom with others who understand. This understanding helps you not feel like you’re alone.
I also have a support group from a dedicated and loving group of people who have been praying for Samuel even before he was born. If I have a concern or need, I reach out to this wonderful prayer team and ask for prayer. That has been a blessing many times.
I also reach out to my church and Facebook friends for help. When we all got sick this winter season, people came and brought us soup. They are a wonderful support group. I even wrote about this experience here: https://tampabay.citymomsblog.com/2018/01/25/flu-flu-go-away/
Respite care is also important. If possible train a family member to care for your little one, so you can have a time of respite. Our son’s special needs include having a trach and a g-tube. In order to be sure his critical needs are met, we have nursing care helping to provide the services he needs. This specialized assistance offers us times of much needed respite.
Did you find yourself knowing in your heart that your son would survive even when the odds said he wouldn’t?
Yes, I had faith that he would be okay. Early on in my pregnancy, God gave me peace. A peace that doesn’t make sense given the circumstances. There were many times this faith was tested. And one time, the doctors and nurses were not sure Samuel would make it. But I was sure he was okay. And he was okay. There were also many people praying from our home town to people from all over the world. I am also convinced these prayers were heard.
Even today, I reach out to ask for prayer from people who have prayed for our little guy since he was a baby. Those prayers were heard and gave me comfort in the process.
Here he is today, full of life at fifteen-years-old.
So now it is your turn. Ask me anything in the comments. Maybe your question will be featured in a future blog post or on my social media.