Special Needs Parenting Is A Marathon

Sunday, January 5, 2020

The definition of the word Marathon: something (such as an event, activity, or session) characterized by great length or concentrated effort. I would say that is a pretty accurate description of our life as Special Needs Parents, wouldn't you?

Three photos of a family at Disney, with two daughters, a mom, and a dad.

This is absolutely something that requires a great concentrated effort! Especially if we want to always be working towards being better Special Needs Parents. This is a life that takes a significant amount of work, and we cannot get stuck on those small pebbles in the road, right?

Special needs parenting is not a sprint..

The reason I compare the special needs parenting life to a marathon, is pretty obvious. I mean, it's an effort of great length. But recently, I read an article that had tips on how to get through a marathon, and I thought it applied pretty well to our lives as parents to special needs kids. I'd like to share some of those tips with you, and how I apply them.


    A little blonde girl in a blue cinderella dress, walking down the sidewalk through a field.
  • Collect yourself -
    I think it's important to do this throughout your day. Take little moments to just take a breather and gather your thoughts. Plan your next move. Consider the next words that come out of your mouth. These things can keep us from responding harshly to, say, a meltdown.
  • Set two goals -
    This actually relates to a previous post that I wrote, all about setting intentions for your child, but also for yourself. Set one or two goals for your outing, for your day at home, or whatever you are doing. Do it for yourself and your child, as having the ability to say "Hey, we did this" at the end of the day, can really feel like an accomplishment among the chaos.
  • See success -
    Again -- setting intentions. But also, see it. Open yourself to seeing it. Open your mind and your heart, to letting go of the anxieties of what could happen in your day, and see the good things that could happen and are happening. See the success of your day/life!
  • Look down -
    For running a marathon, they talk about this in regards to the shoes you're wearing. For me, I think about it with my kids (specifically your smaller ones). Look at them. Pay attention. Squat down and have a listen to what they need to say. Don't make them shout up at you, for you to hear them. Let them know that they are important and heard while you are out.. It can make a huge difference in the success of your day!

Focus on the big picture, to get over the hurdles.

These little tips may not seem like much, but I'm telling you, applying them to your daily life can really do wonders! Sometimes it's the little things, those little steps, that lead you to that finish line. And when you're a special needs parent, you've got to focus on the big picture.. Don't get stuck on the smaller things through the day or in life. The big picture is to give your kids the best possible life that they can have.


A red haired woman in sunglasses, smiling at the camera, babywearing two toddlers on the front and back of her.

So, let's do just that. Special needs parenting is not a sprint.... it's a marathon. Keep pushing forward. You'll get there.


What small steps in your day are tripping you up on your marathon? Share in the comments!

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