Who Am I? More than a Wife. More than a Mom.

I am More Than a Special Needs Mom Too

Like All of You, I am More … But I am also Less

More than a Special Needs Parent When you have kids with special needs, when you are this entity called a special needs mom, or parent, it’s easy to get lost in the craziness of life. In the stress of living from one crisis to another (quite literally) you forget about the dreams that once made you into the person you are. You lose a bit of yourself.

I’m more than that, and you are too. Because we are special needs parents, but we’re made of much tougher stuff than that. It’s just, we don’t always remember that, do we? We get so caught up in living that we let go of a bit of ourselves. Just a bit. Here and there. But after a while, all those bits and pieces add up.

And we get lost.

Fulfilling an Obligation | Versatile Blogger Award | Finding Me

So part of winning the Versatile Blogger Award (um, yeah, still *YAY* over that one!) was that I had to share 7 things about me.  Now most the other folks who have won this award did the acceptance speech thing, the about me thing, and then listed 15 awesome blogs to pass the award on to all in the same post. Me? Nah. I like to be different. (And wordy … did I mention I like to talk?)

My last post – that was all full of acceptance speech goodness, including the thank you to those who nominated me. This one, it’s about finding me. So who the heck am I?

You know the best parts already. I’m a wife. I’m a special needs mom. I’m a writer, an editor, a dreamer.

But you want the real dirt, don’t you?

Who am I? More than A Special Needs Mom, but Not

    1. Tell you a secret. I’ll always be defined by the fact that I’m a special needs mother. It has changed me so much – it has changed me from the young woman I once was into the mommy, and the person I am today. Here’s a fact from the past to celebrate the change. I first entered IU-Bloomington many moons ago as a Journalism student.
    2. Sometimes, you run away from life. And sometimes it runs away from you. Just a few short years after first starting for my first degree, I left school to get married, have kids, and get away. I meant to go back. But it took me over 12 years to do so. This thing called life kept getting in the way. That’s a whole mess of a secret I never tell a soul – and it’s part of what makes me who I am.
    3. Life changes you. Molds you. Mends you. Hurts you. And folds you into something new. When I turned away from journalism, I kept a part of my soul and nurtured it just a bit through the years. I was and always will be … a writer. So, here’s a fact from the present to mark where my passion stems from: I’m taking a semester off right now, but I am one of those ‘returning college students’ and working toward a BA in English, and a certificate in non-profit management.
    4. Sometimes, when life keeps throwing things at you, pushing you, pulling you–you break. I’ve developed into the advocate and special needs mama I am because I broke. Once, after Bobby and after Andy, and after one too many diagnoses, I crashed emotionally. I thought my children would be better off without a broken mother. And I tried to take myself out of the equation. I’m not proud of that time.

      But I’ve done a disservice to you by not talking about it. Because you can’t be a super-parent all the time, sometimes you break. One little secret and a fact not many know about me, but more should. You grow into the person you are, you aren’t automatically strong enough to handle everything life throws at you. Not all of us, anyway. Sometimes, you break.
    5. I like to think I’ve grown. Over the years my need to help others, other families dealing with some of the same things we have, has grown into some different ventures. The first is still in development, and is called The Rarelink. I’m still working on the 501c3 paperwork, but you can learn a little more at my Facebook Page for The Rarelink.  My second venture, directly relating to the rare syndrome, Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome, that my boys have, is being a part of the planning for the new Axenfeld-Rieger Association. You can learn more by visiting the Facebook Page for the Axenfeld-Rieger Association.
    6. I do volunteer work for several charities and causes online. You know most of the ones I care about, as I list them as Causes of the Week here at the Cafe and hope that you will find the want, the need, to help them as well. I help with a few different campaigns, including the Special Saturday project over on Facebook and Twitter, and more recently the Riot Rebuild project over on Facebook. You can see a bit more about each of these projects by visiting their respective Facebook Pages as well. From there, find links to their sites and find out how you can help if you want.
    7. Until recently I worked exclusively through Elance. But I have recently broadened my availability, and trained extensively in social media, so that I can specifically help with social media management and social media optimization. I am a copywriter and copy editor, and you can learn a little more about me by visiting my Facebook Page for my Writing – Kat Moody Writes. I’ve been blessed to be able to work from my home, and around the schedules of my kids and husband.

And that’s it. Iknow – I’m really not all that exciting. But it was past time for me to share a bit of myself with you all. Don’t be too scared! Yes, I’m a special needs mom, and that makes up a large part of who I am, but I am so much more!

How About you? Are you more than a special needs parent, more than a mom or dad?

 

Katrina Moody

Katrina Moody

Graphic Designer, Wordpress Addict, Blogger at Kat's Media & More
I'm a special needs parent before just about everything else in life, but also a passionate advocate for my three boys and husband, who all have a bit of awesomeness about them. Awesomeness = Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome, Autism, Epilepsy, Dyslexia, Cerebral Palsy, and more. It all adds up to some awesome kids and an amazing family.
Katrina Moody
Katrina Moody
Katrina Moody

Latest posts by Katrina Moody (see all)

  • http://30daysofautism.wordpress.com/ Leah Kelley

    Absolutely Brilliant! I think it really helps others to see that we are not always strong and keeping it together.

    Ring the bells that still can ring

    Forget your perfect offering

    There is a crack in everything

    That's how the light gets in.

    Leonard Cohen

    Thank you for sharing so openly and bravely… and what an honour it is to find out a bit more about you! Hugs ❀

    • Katrina

      Thanks Leah – we're so conditioned to only present our best side to everyone, that sometimes I think folks forget that we can't be perfect, parents or people, all the time. And we do sometimes break. it's part of the living process. Thank you, and thanks for sharing the wonderful quote from Leonard Cohen – I love it!

  • http://blog.gracobaby.com/ Karen Hartzell, Grac

    I'm not a special needs parent, but I have many friends that are. I love that you see yourself as more (as we all should) and see past what some ppl think may define us.

    We define ourselves and should never lose our focus that we will always continue to evolve.

    Have a great day and Congratulations on the award!

    Go YOU! :-)

    • Katrina

      Karen, thank you so much for stopping by. I agree – everyone should strive to see themselves as more than they are. You must aspire, dream, to be more so that you can grow as a person, special needs parent or not. Thanks again, and for the congrats as well. Hope you have an awesome day!

  • http://marieleslie.com/media Marie

    Great post, Kat. We are all more than just the sum of our roles. I've come to learn that it's like the blind men and the elephant. Each person sees me by the small part I play in their life. But I am more than that and more than those all together. And I need to remember that I am who I choose to be in response to the experiences in my life and not who someone else says or thinks I am.

    And we all continue to change and evolve. After all, it beats the alternative. Thanks for sharing a little more about you.

    • Katrina

      I like your comparison Marie. We are always more than the sum total of the parts we play. Always. And with your roles expanding to include more areas folks are not used to seeing you in, it's even more important to remember, for yourself, that others aren't able to see the full you. It's a drawback of this world we live in. Thanks so much for stopping by Marie. Can't wait to chat with you again soon!

  • http://adamsorganizing.com Elise Adams

    Love this–it's so beautiful and true! Celebrating the wholeness of ourselves is so important. This is especially true when we are heavily invested in giving to others. I often don't want to comment here because I can only imagine your daily sacrifices and burdens–and I don't want to say 'I understand'. From an outsider's perspective what I feel completely qualified to say is—your attitude shines in this online world. Thank you so much for sharing so openly with those of us who will never understand what you battle through to keep on smiling!

    • Katrina

      I think we each have a journey to walk in life, and to each of us, that path is at times difficult and other times rewarding to walk. But we each have a journey, we each have our challenges. :-) No one has 'greater' issues than me, only different ones. I pray for the ability to be a true voice online and off. I'm so appreciative of comments like yours that tell me I have been able to do do so. *hugs*

      Thanks so much for stopping by Elise! Please never hesitate to reply – I treasure each comment!

  • http://www.wow101.com Alexandra McAllister

    Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your life. You are truly an inspiration! I agree "Life changes you. Molds you. Mends you. Hurts you. And folds you into something new."

    Also, congratulations on the award!

    Much love and blessings!

    • Katrina

      Thanks so much! I'm glad that line spoke to you – I wrote it and sat back for a minute and wished the rest of my posts would be so easy to write. :-) Life is this continual journey, though, and an amazing adventure. Thanks about the award as well. :-) I love "love and blessings" and value your visit. Thanks so much for taking a moment to connect!

  • http://www.hillarology.me Hillary

    Love this post! I think as a special educator, a lot of us just see the parent as an extension of the child…and forget to really stop and think about who the parent is outside of the child. Working inside the home with an autistic child really taught me about getting to know the whole family outside of just the disorder the child has – it's fascinating! It's great getting to learn a bit more about you :)

    • Katrina

      Thanks so much for stopping by Hillary. I think I've already told you special educators have my undivided respect. It is, perhaps, easy to lose sight of the parents on the other side of the child, but then again, you're focused on the most important part of the equation – the child! Can't wait to check in with you at Hillarology!

  • http://thequeenb.net Angel

    I have to say that I seriously admire you for being so strong and being able to be a special needs mom! A lot of people would do well to take a lesson out of your book.

    As for me, I'm not a mom yet– though we are trying and I can imagine it is going to change my perspective on a lot of things– but you know what? I don't mind it. It's just another step in my journey.

    Looking forward to learning more and reading more about you! :)

    • Katrina

      The funny thing, Angel? Most of the time I don't feel strong at all. :-) At the end of the day, I'm just another mom in this huge sea of parenting goodness in this world. The journey, this one called 'being a mom' – it will change you. It will. But it will change you for the better if you let it. :-) And you're right, it's another step along the journey! :-) Can't wait to check in with you at your internet home.

  • http://www.el3mentsofwellness.com Carl Mason-Liebenber

    Love the transparency of this post!

    • Katrina

      Thanks Carl! It's important to me to be true to myself and realistic as well as honest. :-) Appreciate your visit!

  • http://drmommyonline.com Dr. Daisy Sutherland

    WOW!! Kat first and foremost your site is beautiful!

    Congratulations on your award it is certainly deserved. You are an amazing woman and never forget that. You are blessed beyond belief and remember that when you feel those moments of breaking creep in. Your smile is infectious and your caring attitude is truly something to be admired. I feel completely blessed to have connected with you online and hope to one day meet you in person. Love meeting inspiring individuals and you are definitely one of those. Thank you for letting down your guard and sharing your life with us…you are blessed :)

    • Katrina

      Thanks so much for your visit! And for your generous comments! These days I don't tend to break as much. But those early days of being a special needs mom, with one new diagnosis after another, brain damage and future prognoses, they broke me over and over again.

      I think it is so important for newer parents to the process to understand that the roller coaster of emotions is normal, it's expected, and it's part of the process. Too many times we're expected to deal with it all and keep moving on, because these are our kids and we love them and it's not acceptable to be weak, to be human. I've learned, over the years, that being able to be weak, to show that weakness, is sometimes the only way we grow. *hugs*

      I feel just as blessed to have had the opportunity to connect with you and so many other amazing individuals. I'm inspired, daily, by interacting with and growing because of my contact with you all. But you're right as well. I am truly blessed. :-)

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  • http://anoterote.blogspot.com Pamela

    very nice to “meet” you
    stopping by with vB

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  • Alyson Cox

    You are truly an inspiration! Thank you for sharing so openly and bravely… and what an honour it is to find out a bit more about you! It’s a drawback of this world we live in. But those early days of being a special needs mom, with one new diagnosis after another, brain damage and future prognoses, they broke me over and over again.

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