But I must confess, when I started to read it I struggled a little bit. Because our kids are so unique (I mean, not many people can truly relate to having a six year old and a three year old who cannot walk or talk), sometimes I feel like I'm outside of any scenarios that are mentioned in most books. Sometimes in life I feel like I'm an outsider because I'm a special needs mom. I don't know what it was exactly about the book, but I was resistant at the beginning. I even commented on the No More Perfect Kids facebook launch group page that I was struggling and Jill Savage asked if there was a specific fear that was holding me back.
I didn't know what to say to that. I had to think about it for awhile. I couldn't really put it into words. Eventually I emailed Jill with my reply:
Jill,I commented a couple weeks ago on the NMPK launch page that I was struggling with starting the book because of my two special needs kids. You asked if I had a specific fear that was holding me back. I didn't know how to answer that. But I have been thinking about it and I think the hardest part for me is I really do not know what to expect with these kids (they are currently 6yr and 3yr and both are about 10-12mos developmentally). We have no definitive diagnosis, no one will give us any idea of what they will be capable of or not. I don't know what goals to have for them because I don't know what they can do. Sometimes all I want is for them to be able to walk and talk. I want to hear "I love you mommy". And frankly, I don't know if I ever will.
I wasn't actually expecting a response but was pleasantly surprised to get one later that same day from Jill herself.
I'm so glad you took time to think about the question. I'm sure not knowing what to expect is huge. Sometimes the unknown is harder than the known...
Keep focusing on what you DO know. Your children need love. They need limits. And they need you to be their cheerleader in life. Regardless of what they are capable of...they need those things without a doubt.
I am thankful for Jill's words of encouragement to me. I am partway through the book and I am so glad that I continued reading. There is much wisdom to be gleaned from this book. The combination of Jill's real life stories and Kathy Koch's expertise really provide a great guide for reprogramming our minds to stop criticizing and embrace our imperfect children (and ourselves) just the way God made them. And there are so many helpful tips of ways that we can move forward loving and encouraging them to be themselves along the way.
Just like my kids (or anyone for that matter), I am a work in progress. God is still shaping and molding me. Thanks goodness I know He's not done yet!
It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.
-- Joyce Maynard
Bonus Week is March 13-23--Pick up a copy of the book that week and get over $100 in free bonuses including ebooks, printables and audio workshops!