Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

My Mommitment journey and car decal giveaway

A year ago I was suffering from a major judgemental spiral. Being a special needs parent I had more than enough stares, disapproving looks, and snide comments. It was always when my son was reacting to his environment of being too loud, busy, and over stimulating. I still remember a very public sensory meltdown that ensued when we were in a McDonalds. After a day of travelling for hockey I chose a quiet place to have his happy meal than an amped up hockey team pizza night. Well little did I know that the town was going to see a spectacle in that quiet venue. 

It always starts out innocently enough of they didn’t have the toy he wanted. So we go for plan B and they don’t have that either. After those options we decide to eat our meal by this time I have an upset child running up and down on the bench. To any outsider this looks like my son is spoiled and I’m a passive parent. When really it’s an impending feeling of doom for him struggling with preservasive behaviours that his mind is telling him he needs. 

We always have a set routine at our McDonald’s, but this isn’t our local one so making do is our only option. That’s when the judgement bus comes rolling in and I feel hot, stifling, embarrassment and then a instant cup of angry for my son being judged. I ended up overreacting and gave those diners quite a show of what it feels like to be prisoner in a sensory overloaded moment. I left that restaurant feeling defeated as I had to pick up my son and go back to the hotel. 

I brainstormed, wrote a blog, and had to think of a way to change this negative to a positive. So I prayed on it, I always believe when the student is ready the teacher appears. That’s when Mommitment came into my life. Now I judge less, and ignore more, I spread awareness of Sensory Processing Disorder than anger, and I love and forgive myself and my son because life can be as unpredictable as how his central nervous system and senses are. Today a year later I’m still a work in progress but I stick to my Mommitment mindset and proudly wear this decal on my vehicle. This is my check in for the day, week, and month to remind me of my Mommitment and now that I know better I do better. 

  
Without further ado here is the Giveaway details. Follow the Rafflecopter guidelines from Tues, Feb. 23 rd to Tues, March. 1 st. Two winners will be chosen for a Mommitment decal that you can proudly display. 

What can you do to support a Mom in your life and community by showing compassion and non-judgement? 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5 ways to make 2016 my year 

Happy new year blessings to you!  I rang the new year in the same way I do every year cuddling with my sleeping children. They try to make it to midnight and watch the ball drop in Times Square on Dick Clark’s Rocking New Years Eve party. Earlier I spent an hour in the hot tub with my husband talking about our goals for the new year. This is a list I’ve come up with as result of that conversation. I’m in restoration than resolution mode as these are ongoing gifts I will be giving myself and my family. 

1. I will love myself more. 

I’ve gone through a lot of self reflection and introspection throughout last year. Every problem, issue, or obstacle that stopped me in my tracks is at the core of my not loving myself enough. I will be changing that from this day forward as I deserve to look in the mirror and say I love you and really mean it! 

2. I won’t let fear hold me back from my persuing my goals. 

I’ve accomplished a lot of amazing things in 2015. Submitting my writing to various websites, guest blogging, growing my blog and social media followings, being accepted into the Wellness Universe community to spread love and positivity, and being published as a contributor in Lose The Cape-(Never Will I Ever than I had Kids). 

  

Available on Amazon Kindle store in ebook and print format

I’m so grateful for these fabulous opportunities in my life! This has been amazing to know I did all these wonderful things yet I know I could’ve done more if I didn’t let my fears and anxiety take over. 

3. I will have faith in myself and my abilities. 

I had a tremendous cheerleader in my life and that was my beloved Mama. After she died I felt a piece of me die with her. She always told me I could do anything I set my mind to. I did do that in the instances I wrote of above, but I had so much fear! I fought through it the best I could but this year I will put faith in God, myself, and the project at hand at the forefront. 

4. I will continue to put my self care as a priority in my life. 

I did this in 2015 which led me to being 30 lbs and 20 inches lighter! I’m very proud of this accomplishment as I learned more about myself on this health journey while getting my stress levels in check. I did this with the help of some amazing people like my coaches on each fitness challenge. Game changers have changed my life for the better and made me a Beach Body Coach. I’m excited to reach even more fitness goals for myself and my family. 

5. I will continue to write out my goal list every day to give me incentive and accountability to keep persuing what I desire. 



I did this for 90 days, everyday for 3 months and my life did indeed change! I was able to start writing my book and work on various other passion projects, be published with the Lose The Cape Team, find an amazing publisher who wants to see me reach for the stars with her guidance and expertise. For my son I was able to secure funding for his therapy team at preschool and at home, and recently got accepted for funding for our family to have respite care. For my husband and I our couple is our goal to make more a priority and stronger in the new year. It’s easy to lose sight of each other as special needs parents. Our children deserve to see us closer, united, and in love more than ever. 

Thank you 2015 for all the life lessons, learning, and showing me I’m stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally than I ever thought possible. Hello 2016 I’m ready for your love, gifts, guidance, and abundance of awesome! 

  This has been submission to the January Blog Hop with Blogs & Business-Mom’s who do it all there are a lot of other talented bloggers who joined in check them and their blogs out today. Thank you! 

January Blog Hop List #1

1. Mrs and Momma

2. Souls Searcher Mom

3. Blessed be the tie

4. Tiggy Poes and Flutterbys

5. Kids Kicks and Cloth

6. Cook with 5 Kids

7. Stay at Home Yogi

8. Harlem Parent Xpress

9. Kids Money Lessons

10. Mommy Gone Tropical

11. Western Newyorker

12. A Kreative Whim

13. Life Lemons and Lemonade

14. Hello Little Bean

15. Sequins in the South

16. Beck List

17. Messy Cutting Board

18. My Dysautonomia

19. Aileen Cooks

20. Jsack’s Mom’s Blog 

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Lose your Cape-Book Review

  

Today I’m going to tell you about a wonderful book that I read this month, and fell in love with. I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC (Aquired Reading Copy) for my honest review. I knew with my first child that I wanted to be a super Mom so badly. I stayed home and spent endless hours reading and researching on how to be a good Mom. As I look back on it now I realize all I had to do was love my son, feed, change, protect, and put him first and that was being a good Mom. In Alexa Bigwarfe and Kerry Rivera’s book I saw myself as a first time Mom relating to the anecdotal responses from other Mom’s like me. And all the mistakes that I made trying to wear that cape and be that Super Mom. From the newborn to the toddler stage they cover each part of parenthood with honesty, joy, and humourous anecdotes. I felt so connected with their advice and the advice of bloggers they interviewed. Each chapter begins with a quote and for a quote junkie like me I loved it. Chapters covered are preparing for life with a newborn, spousal support at home, tackling chores, keeping organized, and family mealtimes. Also included are information on single parenting, getting the help you need to tame that laundry beast. I appreciated the pertinent information for surviving in today’s world as a modern day Mom. Including all the excellent websites, blogs, and books recommended. I loved this book so much with its’s honest approach to just loving and accepting who I am as a Mom, and just lose the cape because to my kids I’m already a SUPER  hero MOM without it. My favourite tip was the chapter on family organization. Learning about the different calendars and apps to help my family get coordinated with our busy schedules. As well as all the tips on mealtimes and how to appease picky eaters. Which I could write a book on myself with my son’s food texture issues!  Special thanks to Alexa and Kerry’s blog tour coordinator Alison for granting me the pleasure of beta reading this wonderful book. And to the authors for writing such a fabulous, candid, heartfelt book. 😃

You can preorder your copy here release date April. 26 th 2015

 Amazon link
You can follow Alexa and Kerry on social media sharing their book here:

http://losethecape.com/

https://twitter.com/LosetheCape

https://www.facebook.com/LoseTheCape

https://www.pinterest.com/losethecape/

Authors Background Information

Alexa Bigwarfe


Alexa Bigwarfe is a freelance writer, wife, and mother of three children and a dog. In addition to raising her children, managing her home, and writing, Alexa’s heart is in advocacy and raising funds to support nonprofit organizations involved with infant, children and women’s issues. Alexa launched her writing with her personal blog No Holding Back, (katbiggie.com). Here she chronicles topics including health and wellness, living with autoimmune diseases, and most importantly, her grief after the loss of one of her twin daughters to complications from Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). Alexa took the experience from that painful life event and channeled it into a compilation book for grieving mothers entitled Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother. She has also been published in two anthologies, The Mother of All Meltdowns and The HerStories Project. Alexa enjoys writing articles about parenting and children’s health and wellness topics for regional parenting publications and online magazines. In her “spare” time, you can find Alexa enjoying time with her girlfriends or hiding in her closet for some “alone” time.


You can follow Alexa here:


http://katbiggie.com/

https://www.facebook.com/NoHoldingBack1212

https://twitter.com/katbiggie

Kerry Rivera


Kerry Rivera is a full-time working mom of three kids with a to-do list that stretches to “infinity and beyond.” Between a demanding corporate gig, the nightly homework and kids’ activities, and managing a household with her full-time working husband, she blogs about the “juggle” at BreadwinningMama.com. Her career journey started in the newsroom trenches and has since transitioned to working for one of the largest global automotive companies. She additionally writes for corporations, government agencies and brands in her “spare” time, and especially enjoys sharing the joys of modern parenthood around the web. Her love for content creation is only trumped by her love for content consumption. Her Kindle and nightstand are equally full, and a stack of magazines can be found in every room of the house. As a Southern California native, she takes advantage of the outdoors, enjoying both the beaches and mountains with family and friends, and loves to caffeinate with Starbucks Refreshers and Coke. She aspires to perfect a handstand in yoga, but is still working on touching her toes.


You can follow Kerry here:


http://breadwinningmama.com

https://www.facebook.com/BreadwinningMama

https://twitter.com/breadwinningmom

 

Now go on a get your ebook preorder link here: release date April.26 th 2015. 


http://www.amazon.com/Lose-Cape-Realities-Strategies-Survive-ebook/dp/B00UWCLY9M/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1427760438&sr=8-1&keywords=lose+the+cape




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Surviving, Thriving and needing a #Friendship Revolution

I’ve been struggling lately on being a friend and making friends. With being a friend because I’ve allowed judgement to cloud my vision and heart. Making friends because it’s been easier to stay home when I’m dealing with a cranky preschooler, and chronic pain. Friendships have never been a tough reality for me before now. But add in my age, job transfers, having a child with special needs I found my struggle is real. Plus wanting to hang out in my Netflix pants than be social is a chore. I’ve moved around a lot when I was younger between my parents, Grandparents, and older sibling. I survived all that because I was relatively close by. Except when I moved five provinces away and was the new kid on the block and going to a new school. 

Every town I’ve lived in I’ve been blessed to connect with the like minded people. I still have a very strong connection with the Moms that I meant when I just had one child. We met, supported, and fell in love with each other and our children, on this journey through Motherhood. I know they’re only a phone call, text, or email message away. And we text regularly so we can keep each other in the loop of our lives. I’m happily married Mom of two and my husband gets transferred a lot. In fact this our fourth move as couple and the third for our children.

 Why is it so hard to make friends? I live in a city and not everyone is a stay at home Mom that I do encounter. And some work full time and I only see them at play groups on their days off. Recently I attended a gathering that I read about on Facebook. I didn’t know a soul there but I put on my brave pants and went anyways. I ended up having a great time and finding out that the hostess only lived thirty minutes away from me in my prior residence. 

Now I’m happy to say I’ve made a friend and we have a social meet group where we can post events that are happening or request a get together. I have Mom friends that I’ve met at playgroups, now I’m befriending young married couples. I’ve connected with a Mom who’s son is best friends with my oldest. It’s been wonderful as her youngest is close in age to my own. The one thing that’s ironic is the majority of friendships I’ve made have originated online or in my reality have taken a long time to develop. 

Why is it so hard for me to make friends? I’ve been lonely for a long time and I found myself searching out old high school friends and reuniting with them. It’s been great to reminisce about the good old days and meet their families. They’re very busy so we connect when it’s meant to be. I joined a theatre group these people became my family. We spent two days a week together learning each other’s names, faces, and lines in the play. Come performance time I was with them 4 days a week plus performances on weekends. Now I never hear from them, no numbers were exchanged, only one Facebook friendship requested. I asked myself why is it so hard to make friends now at my age? 

I came to the conclusion that I needed to start a friendship revolution. While I was lonely and spending late nights crying, reading, and writing on social media that I would start to connect with people online. What I found was lonely people with insomnia like me. Through my blog I started to connect with my readers and form friendships. Wonderful, loving supportive people that became my tribe. I refer to them as my bunker family that Punk Rock Papa originated. as a safe place to express our thoughts, share our pages, blogs, and respect for another. I even met two of them as I found they lived close by, and one visit still pending. Even though I haven’t met most of them I have formed a kinship with a kindred soul bond. 

We reach out with love, support, and kindbess, by reading each other’s blog and frequenting each other’s pages. We haven’t sat together in a coffee shop, or passed each other by on the street. But we’ve shared stories of family’s, our children’s successes, and our own private pain. I don’t believe that online friendships originated on social media aren’t real. I never discount the amazing Mama’s and Papa’s that I’m blessed to have in my life. They’ve got me through sleepless nights, early mornings, misbehaving kids, and temperamental doctors. I shared more with them then my own family at times! Why you may ask? Because I could, the door was open and a mutual respect torch was passed from one to another. 

Now I’m very proactive about getting my needs met. I need social interaction in my life whether it’s online or in person. And I recently started to attend some support groups and a parenting family workshop each week. I’ve learned a lot about myself as I’ve shared my life, loves, and struggles. I’ve learned that no parent is an island and we all need love, understanding, and acceptance. It’s what we all crave in life with a great dose of respect on top of this social sundae.  

Since I moved a majority of my friendships are online. Not that I haven’t tried getting to know people in person without a screen. The interactions were either short lived or forgotten about. Recently I attended a support group and all of us Mom’s had the subject matter in common. We talked for over an hour after the meeting ended, sharing stories and getting to know one another. Each commenting that we were lonely and looking for friendships. Then we all went our separate ways without numbers exchanged or a promise to friend each other on Facebook. It was the strangest thing to ever happen to me. I appreciated the conversation but not one person said lets get together again, except me that waved goodbye and said you can find me on Facebook and my blog. 

Life in the city is so different for me this time around. When I had my kids I connected with other Mom’s and their babies through playgroups. Now I connect with them online and then meet up in person to create a friendship. Is this the way of the world now, is it the way life is in the city, or is it just people’s comfort zone levels now? I think it’s a combination of all the above and everything I’ve written about here. It doesn’t deter me from not trying to establish that connection the old fashioned way. Now it’s parks, playgroups, and play dates that have become my social life outside of my screen. I know two people on my block and really that has to change. This may not work for everyone and it’s my own personal, and honest viewpoint on this topic of modern day friendship. I feel like a pinoneer forging on my quest to start a friendship revolution. Who’s with me? 😃

  

I’ve linked up today with some other great bloggers to start a #friendshiprevolution. Follow the hashtag on Facebook and Twitter to read some other interesting blogs. Thank you ❤️ 

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To the woman who judged me #mommitment 

To the Mother who judged me, I lay awake thinking of what you said. How you blurted out your casual comment not knowing it was like a serrated knife to my heart. Or maybe you did know that and didn’t care. It felt like you had an agenda the first time you laid eyes on me. We were on a busy commuter bus, going to the same destination; and I thought I’ll never see you again. But I asked you to back off and you didn’t. This is me wearing my heart on my sleeve and pouring out my pain in that moment. 

The Judgement Bus

How can you sit there and judge me? 

While people just stop and stare. 
I’m shocked by what you said to me. 
I didn’t ask you to share. 
You don’t know me or my child, or what’s his story. 
You just spouted off your ignorance and didn’t even say sorry. 
I was staring at the smugness on your face. 
I said he has autism and his meltdown I wanted to erase. 
I didn’t know what to say as my hot tears stung my eyes. 
I could see you watching my child with disgust, which was no surprise. 
I’ve seen people like you where I have to hold my anger inside. 
Buckle up son, it’s the judgment bus coming through. 
And it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 
I won’t let them see that one shining tear. 
As I could fill an ocean of denial.  Sadness lives here. 

As I look back and read this poem, tears are streaming down my face. I recently became a proud member of The Mommitment Movement, dedicated to putting an end to “Mom Wars.” Its mission is to promote love, acceptance, and kindness instead of judgment. 

I’m adopting the motto, ‘I won’t judge you as a Mom, so please don’t judge me.’ We all came into this world the same way, with a beautiful newborn baby – without an instruction manual. The experience I had on the bus made me realize how much I have to reinforce this positive message in my life. I immediately wanted to hurt her like she hurt me and my pride. My son wasn’t even bothered; just happy to have a seat, and to watch life out the window.  I won’t change my thinking, my thin skin, or the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I will abide by this code in my backyard, while I tend to the flowers I’m growing. I’ll respect your right to tend to your flowers however you see fit. 

After the bus incident, I’m more committed to Mommitment than ever. I can’t change the world around me. I can’t make people accept my son and his special needs. But this is Autism Awareness month, and I can help change his world by spreading more awareness, education, and understanding. Having the force of the proud and powerful Mommitment movement along with a parenting support network behind me, I finally don’t feel so alone on this journey. 

To learn more about this game changing campaign, please read the post that started it all.   

And here you can sign the pledge and be part of Mommittment. ❤️

Next Life, NO Kids
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My love letter to heaven

Today I’m thinking of a special lady, an angel, my Mom on her birthday. The closer I get to this day the more I feel her around me. I hear her singing when Elvis plays on the radio. She was a huge fan of his, and I was raised with an appreciation of his music. My Mom had a beautiful voice, amazing smile, and deep love and respect for God, and her family and friends. She also had this incredible sense of humour, and could impersonate anyone after spending a few minutes with them. I think back to all the skits she performed for me from Carol Burnett, Wayne and Schuster, and Abbot and Costello. She could also mimic her friends, and she could keep them in stitches with her antics. My Mom brightened up so many peoples days other than my own. With her comedic talent, ability to really listen, and make you feel like you were heard and valued. I always said she had her own fan club as my friends came by our home to talk to her just as much as visiting me. She was so loved, admired, cherished, and appreciated by family and friends alike. She had nicknames for all her children, pets, and Grandchildren and they always made us feel so special. My Mom always had a joke to tell, a pot of tea, and friendly ear to chat. And she was a gifted writer and would write stories, her thoughts, prayers, and jokes. Her and I collaborated on many stories and would take turns starting a story and finishing it. We also sang together the classics from her era, our Irish heritage, and songs from my youth. My Mom was my best friend, and even when dementia robbed her of her memories, she was my greatest gift. I still acted like her memory was all there, because I didn’t want to confuse her. I was more gentle with her, how I held her hand, hugged her, and spoke to her. Sometimes she’d retreat into her mind and I couldn’t reach her. Those were very painful moments as I’d stare into her eyes and wonder where she had gone. And she’d smile and pat my hand, and fall asleep with me cuddled beside her. I adored my Mom, the passion she had, the fire in her anger, and her devotion to her loved ones. She loved my husband and had a special smile and a nickname for him. And when I gave birth to our son and she called him a magnificent living doll. I felt so proud and couldn’t wait to phone her and thank you for being my Mom. Becoming her daughter was my blessing, and I was so excited when she held her Grandson. She knew of my second son, and it was my greatest joy to tell her I was expecting him after a trying time of grief. She’d pat my tummy with her eyes brimming with tears and call him the marvellous one. My Mom had psychic abilities and visions and she never told a lot of people. She had always had strong awareness and knew the instant I had encountered trouble. These were the days before everyone had a smartphone and were instantly reachable. She’d look in my eyes and know if I just had my heart broken, or encountered something scary. I could never hide what I felt, what I wanted to stay, because our connection was deep. And now that connection extends from earth to heaven. And I was told by my wise and wonderful friend, when I’m experiencing my greatest joy, she can come through to me and feel that joy as well. She touched my heart, my spirit, and she was my greatest love. So today I honour her with a kiss to heaven, an Elvis song fest, and a glass of wine. Well who am I kidding? It will be more like a bottle she was a class act! To you Mama, always and forever my love and respect, happy birthday. 

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