There comes a time in nearly every woman's life when she is called to rise beyond what even she thinks she's capable of. For some it's a divorce, a loss of a parent, the sickness of a child perhaps. I want to share this CM mom with all of you--a phenomenal woman. In a only a few years time, Deirdre Carey survived literally all of the above. At only 6-months-old her sweet baby Charlie was diagnosed with a life-threatening, cancerous brain tumor, not long after that her husband left her for another woman, and as if things could get any worse, soon after that she would have to say goodbye to her own mother. Whew. But you know what? Today Deirdre (and Charlie!) are standing strong.

It goes without saying that someone who has been on this kind of journey has gems of life-skills advice for the rest of us. But she wants to share three special tips for special needs moms (which she still is today), because these are some of the very tenants that kept her and her son alive. You've heard this stuff before, but there's nothing like the right reminder at the right time. In her words...

Follow your gut instinct!  No one knows a child better than their mother. Listen to your gut and your heart when making decisions about your child's health and well-being. I shutter to think of my son's fate if I had not listened to my heart, and accepted the pediatrician's diagnosis of "a bunch of childhood illnesses" as to what was ailing him.

Be your child's advocate! You may not win any popularity contests amongst the teachers, doctors and nurse, and that's just fine!  Do your research; push for answers, ruffle feathers, step on toes, do whatever it takes to get your children the resources, services and programs they need in order to thrive despite their challenges!  Don't take no for an answer.

Have a pity party for yourself every now and again! You're human, my sister. Having a child with special needs can be incredibly draining physically, mentally and emotionally. Having a mini-breakdown/pity party for yourself can, in fact, be very therapeutic and rejuvenating. Then dust yourself off, and get back on that horse!

If you want to know more about Deirdre, please read her riveting story  HopeFaithandCharlie that she bravely self-published. If you need support, advice or information about caring for special needs kids, apply to CM groups like Parenting Special Needs Kids and Moms Helping Moms with Special Needs Children. And if you are ready to talk, of course, I'd love to hear your survival stories.