Regular moms vs Special needs moms

This is a REPRINT from an interesting site called, One Place for Special Needs Thank you Dawn for giving everyone the permission to reprint (with proper credit!)

Regular Moms vs Special Needs Moms

Moms, a stranger walks among you. We look like regular moms, but we are the hybrid to your standard engine. Our child’s disability altered us, enhanced us. Many words describe us: resilient, creative, protective, emboldened, sympathetic, fierce and determined. We are special needs moms. How do our lives stand apart from your own? Take a look under the hood and see for yourself.

by Dawn Villarreal, One Place for Special Needs, May 2010

special needs momRegular moms tell their kids to wake up and get dressed in the morning.  And they do it.
Special needs moms put on battle gear to get our kids ready to start their day.

Regular moms ask their kids if they brushed their teeth.
Special needs moms prompt, “Brush your top teeth.  Brush your bottom teeth.  Did you get the sides?  Open your mouth.  My God, give me that toothbrush!  You’ve left half your meal in there!”

Regular moms wave goodbye as their kids run off to catch the school bus.
Special needs moms get awesome door-to-door bus service for their child.

Regular moms know the names of all their friends.
Special needs moms know most of their friends by their username.

Regular moms judge other moms when kids have tantrums in stores.
Special needs moms say to themselves, “Hmm, I wonder which disability he has?”

Regular moms complain about driving their kids to sports and recreation classes.
Special needs mom grin and bear the weekly trips to tutors, doctors and therapists.

Regular moms’ kids have a teacher.
Special needs moms’ kids have a team.

Regular moms talk about accomplishments.
Special needs moms talk about skills, as in play skills, conversation skills, life skills, social skills and vocational skills.

Regular moms relax with their kids during the summer.
Special needs moms start their second job as home teachers, therapists and skills coaches.

Regular moms think accommodations refer to hotels.
Special needs moms have memorized the top 20 accommodations for their child.

Regular moms hope their child finds a good career.
Special needs moms are hopeful someone gives our child the chance to work.

Regular moms soak in the tub when they want to unwind.
Special needs moms consider a bathroom break a luxury.

Regular moms enjoy reading the latest best selling book.
Special needs moms should receive an honorary degree for all the disability books they’ve read.

Regular moms go out for dinner and a movie with their husbands every month.
Special needs moms have a date night with their husbands every…wait, what decade is this?

Regular moms complain their kids won’t eat their vegetables.
Special needs moms are so desperate we consider chicken nuggets to be a legitimate meat product and throw in ketchup as a vegetable.

Regular moms’ kids go to play groups.
Special needs moms’ kids go to therapy groups.

Regular moms meet for a ladies night out.
Special needs moms get together at support groups and forums.

Regular moms have medical claim forms that fit in one file folder.
Special needs moms will tell you a small forest was cut down so we could receive our claims.

Regular moms think OT means overtime.
Special needs moms know more acronyms than a NASA engineer.

Regular moms complain their husbands sit on the couch while they do all the work.
Special needs moms…well how about that?  Some things do stay the same!

Got more?  Let’s hear them!  Send your “regular moms versus special needs moms” to

Dawn VillarrealAbout the writer

Dawn Villarreal runs One Place for Special Needs, a national disability resource that lets you find local and online resources, events and even other families in your neighborhood. She is also moderator of Autism Community Connection, a Yahoo group for families in Illinois. Dawn has two awesome kids and strives for a day when communities can effectively reach out to support all special needs. Reprint permission granted by including: Reprinted with permission from One Place for Special Needs

17 Responses to Regular moms vs Special needs moms
  1. Heather Laurie
    May 4, 2010 | 2:06 pm

    Here’s my addition:
    Regular mom’s budget for new clothes, new size every season for their children.
    Special needs mom’s know the anguish of 3 winter’s in the same clothes

    Anyone else have one?

    God bless
    Heather Laurie

  2. Marya Mesa
    May 4, 2010 | 3:48 pm

    This was great. I know all about clothes that fit forever!

  3. Jaces Mom
    May 4, 2010 | 4:03 pm

    Regular Mom’s “show up” to their kids activities
    Special Mom’s are in there prompting and herding.

    I want to “show up”, and am looking forward to the day when all of our families hard work might make that happen!

    Nice article!

  4. […] I have nothing to write about today and so I’m sharing this article about Regular vs. Special Needs Moms. […]

  5. stjoeacademy
    May 5, 2010 | 5:01 am

    Regular moms forward funny mom e-mails.
    Special needs moms can only send a list like this to other special needs moms- regular moms would be offended if we suggest they don’t understand what we deal with every day!

  6. annsjamminagain
    May 5, 2010 | 6:52 am

    Regular Moms worry about fat and sugar….Special needs Mom’s worry about Gluten, Casein, Oxalates, and have a working knowledge of (FDA approved) food additives!

  7. lsawgle
    May 5, 2010 | 7:30 am

    Regular moms are asked to volunteer to chaparone for field trips.
    Special needs moms are required to be there so their child can go on the field trip.

  8. Theneffzoo
    May 5, 2010 | 7:47 am

    I can relate. I have 3 kids and all 3 are special needs. I would love to just ‘show up’ to a play group or outing and be able to chat with the other parents while my kids play. I guess I’ll never know what that is like. …oh, and thank goodness for online shopping, or I’d never get new clothes.

  9. Jeri
    May 5, 2010 | 8:34 am

    Regular moms can relax that their child will eventually pick up reading in their own way and time frame.
    Special needs moms know they have to go after this critical skill for their child with the utmost “mom-research-abilities” and with a sense of urgency that outstretches other educational needs.

  10. Michael
    May 5, 2010 | 1:26 pm

    Regular moms occassionally have to worry about one or two allergies.
    Special needs moms have memorized the top 50 allergens, preservatives, chemicals, and hormones!

    Regular dads spend a week teaching their sons to pee in the potty and maybe a month teaching them to poop.
    Special needs dad’s keep trying, sometimes for several years.

  11. opfsn
    May 6, 2010 | 12:02 pm

    Some good creative writers out there! I’ll add these to a second parent list as anonymous or first name only. I also sounded off in Heather’s turf war post about why some parents take offense to the list. –Dawn

  12. Heather Laurie
    May 6, 2010 | 12:13 pm

    ROFLOL the allergy one still has me chuckling!! I am super impressed all around friends!
    Thanks for dad’s input, this is definately a family thing!

    God bless
    Heather Laurie

  13. opfsn
    May 6, 2010 | 4:53 pm

    Dad’s input definitely needed! Thanks Michael. Here’s a second link of your comments and others that have been sent to me. I decided I also should address the regular moms that may have been offended.

  14. Lisa
    May 8, 2010 | 1:01 pm

    I’m a mom of special needs children (autism, epilepsy, developmental delays, sensory integration dysfunction, asthma, among others). I really liked the truth in this post, as far as what we do have to go through on a daily basis – but. . .

    Do you think this may be a little divisive? We can’t expect moms (and dads) of typical children to understand exactly what we go through. And – that’s not their fault. It’s just the way things are.

    I’m all for tolerance and understanding (and believe me, with a child with autism, I’ve definitely dealt with my share of rude and hateful people). But having a we vs. they attitude does not help to build a bridge of understanding between those of us who deal with special needs, and those who don’t.

    If we’re parents, we’re basically in the same boat, even if some parents have to row a lot harder than others.

    Thanks for an enlightening post, though. :)

  15. GiGi's Mom
    May 19, 2010 | 12:30 pm

    I just stumbled to this site feeling sorry for myself, and my daughter 4 yo with down syndrome.Today her doctor recommended that her thyroid levels be checked but she believes the she has adhd. I knew my special child was a little more special from other children with ds. Being a parent of a special needs child is a struggle, no one understands what we go through unless they have a special needs child. The physical and emotional toll we endour is high, but there are no words for the reward we get at seeing our special babies achieve even the smallest challenge.

  16. Jen B
    October 2, 2010 | 9:55 am

    I loved this!!!
    Regular Moms have a sense of humour about regular things.
    Special Needs Moms have a sense of humour as a main means of keeping ones own sanity!
    Fantastic article. 😀
    LOL at the dad comment! Mine is getting better. I tell people he didn’t come out of the box like that. I put in years and years of creation! LOL

  17. Elisabeth's Mom
    January 8, 2013 | 5:20 am

    Three years later …

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