Special Needs & Working Mom – How’s it Going?

The fact that October is just around the corner seems a little crazy.  I’ve already been working two months and our family has pretty much settled down into our new routine.  I realize I’ve not really updated about how the transition has been going. In truth, I have about 10 half-completed posts just waiting for me to finish. I still think about writing a lot, it’s just been a little more difficult to finish writing what I am thinking.

I have so many topics coming up – like, my first venture behind the secure doors of the NICU since just after Owen came home.  Very surreal. Oh, and it’s almost October so some of my favorite preemie topics are constantly on my mind.  Cold & Flu, hand washing and vaccinations.  Don’t even get me started. (That’s right, this is me, the hand washing princess/queen/nazi).  There also was the little boy in Kellen’s class that momentarily broke my heart with his comments about Owen.  That was a hard mama bear roar to suppress.   I’ve started writing about the guilt that comes with holding your kid down for medical procedures.  It never gets easier.

As you can see, and as many of you live, working a job outside of the home doesn’t mean life as the mom to a special needs kid has ended.  Now, I’m both.  Career mom and Special Needs mom.

I’m not going to lie.  I’m loving it.  For me, dedicating time to my professional life has been refreshing and healthy.  We also have been incredibly blessed with how things have worked out.  I found a job that gives me the flexibility to go to Owen’s doctor’s appointments.  Seven specialists adds up to a lot of doctor’s appointments.  We also found the right help.  Owen’s nanny takes him to all of his therapy appointments, each of the therapists has called me to tell me how pleased they are with her.  The biggest sign is that Owen’s development hasn’t missed a beat with the transition.  He’s really doing well with “La-la” (his name for the nanny) and barely seems to notice I’m not home (which admittedly is both a good and hard thing).

Kellen’s had a little harder time with the transition.    In the same month that I went back to work, he also was moved to a new classroom with new teachers.  He’d been lucky enough to stay on the same teacher’s roster for 3 years in a row and we knew he needed to move on to another classroom, but it was just one more change for a little boy who doesn’t have a lot of history with “good” changes in the life that he can remember.  There were several days that I cried on my way to work after seeing him so sad to see me leave.  Finally this last week was the first week that he didn’t cry any of the days. Over the last couple of months, he found every opportunity to test my love for him.  I had to constantly remind myself to stay calm and remind him that I love him through his best 4.5 year old battle of the wills.  We talked a lot about my going to work and he admitted that he feared my going to work meant I wasn’t coming back.  Nearly two months in and I’ve come home every night.  He’s starting to get more secure.  The best thing for him was when I took him to my office.  It seemed to really help him see where I work and he loved that you can see the Twin’s stadium out one of the windows (something I had never even noticed).

He also tested the nanny.  She’s a mom and a seasoned care provider and, finally, Kellen is realizing that she cares about him too.  Yesterday he called me by the nanny’s name.  I’d been told it would happen and I expected it to really hurt.  Can I confess, it didn’t hurt?  It made me really happy to know that he clearly trusts her enough that he’d get her mixed up with me.  I know that probably sounds a little silly, it’s just that to me, his calling me her name didn’t mean that I’m less of a mom.  It just meant that when I’m not with him, he still feels safe.

So, that’s how it’s going so far.  It’s good.  Really good and just like everything in life, it’s taken work and adjustment and it hasn’t come without tears.

In case you wondered, the boys are still cute too!


Something pretty big happened…



He tried really hard to be brave.

20130929-221127.jpgBut don’t worry, the curls and the smiles are still plentiful.


© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

7 thoughts on “Special Needs & Working Mom – How’s it Going?

  1. Um ok so forgive me if this is a duplicate – just got an error.
    First, I am SO happy that your balance is balanced…that, even though it hurt, Kellen called you by the Nanny’s name. That means it’s working right? Right! And hello to the curls remaining and the first big boy haircut. I love it. I love that this is all going so well for you. Perfect photos. Adore.

  2. Glad to hear Tatum! I have been wondering … so thankful it’s going well. A good nanny= pure gold. Boys are looking adorable as always!

  3. So happy that your transition is going smoothly. I can relate to those tears on the way to work (I do it everyday). I know my twins will get used to the nanny and so will I. It will just take time.
    Thank you for sharing those beautiful photos! The boys look so happy, and of course adorable!!! Here’s to week 2 without tears from your little man 🙂

  4. I felt joy when I read this post. Thanks for sharing and I’m glad the transition is going fairly well. I took Oliver with me to work the other day, which overlooks the Longhorn stadium. Didn’t mean much to him, but maybe someday soon.

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