Jodi and I are new friends. Even though it’s just been a short time of ‘knowing’ each other, it didn’t take long for me to feel inspired by her. She’s an enthusiastic writer and a strong woman.
After following her blog, Rants N Rascals, for just a couple of weeks, I knew I had to ask her to be a FF. And she agreed. Thanks Jodi!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a SAHM of 2 boys and 1 stepson. I began writing over 15 years ago, romance novels which I’m currently in the works of publishing. I published my first story online with Chicken Soup for the Soul: Love Stories in 2009 and then Chicken Soup Divorce and Recovery in 2010. I met my husband back in 2004 through an online dating site called Match.com and we got married a year later. Writing is in my blood and something I do daily. I love writing. I also enjoy scrapbooking and hockey.
Rants n’ Rascals is a Canadian friendly site open to everyone. It’s a personal site not just filled with reviews and giveaways. At Rants n’ Rascals I share my daily life on raising boys, dealing with my disability (bipolar depression, anxiety disorder and slight agoraphobia) as well as what it’s like being a special needs mom to a son with Asperger’s and CP and acting as a caregiver to my husband.
I blog daily (for the most part) and will share with my readers anything and everything I find interesting from television shows to what’s going on with other mom bloggers. I also talk about life in the Fraser Valley (where we live), news and events that are going and sports since I’m a huge Vancouver Canucks fan.
So all in all Rants n’ Rascals is a family friendly place and I look forward to connecting with others.
Why & when did you begin blogging?
I started blogging at the end of 2009. I was looking for a way to connect with other moms and parents who deal with having a child with special needs and being a caregiver to someone who has disabilities along with dealing with my own disabilities.
In 2010 I made the move to WordPress and fell into product reviews and giveaways and the rest is history.
You have some special challenges in your family. Can you tell us about that?
Yes LOL…where to begin?
My husband is a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) survivor. In 1990 he had an accident on his motorcycle before his 19th birthday. 18 days later he woke up from his coma and basically his entire past had been wiped out. He remembered his mom, a few friends and his sister but all of his childhood memories, places he’d been and experiences he’d gone through were gone.
He spent the next 6 years in recovery doing occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy. He had to learn to walk and talk again and do the little every day things we all take for granted.
It’s not easy, because every night my husband goes to sleep he wakes up the next day forgetting the events from the day before. His short-term memory is severely damaged. It makes life for us interesting.
In 2006 we gave birth to our beautiful son Trace, and discovered he was born with Cerebral Palsy (a brain injury). My husband laughed at the irony. I didn’t find it so funny but my mom told me that God chose me because I was already a caregiver to my husband and prepared to be an ambassador for my son.
Life at our house is unique and challenging in the way that because Dad forgets everything, raising kids can be somewhat difficult, but we laugh at lot. It’s hard to fight with someone who forgets why you’re fighting so our marriage is easy breezy. ‘
Sometimes my husband will yell at the kids for something they did a week ago or remember something that didn’t actually happen. Mix that with the special needs of our son and let’s just say I’m going all day. We live one day at a time and enjoy every moment that comes along.
Can you shed some light on Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s Syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy.
Asperger’s or (AS) is characterized by poor social interactions, obsessions, odd speech patterns and other peculiar mannerisms. Kids with AS often have few facial expressions and have difficulty reading the body language of others; they have difficulty understanding when someone is joking or not; they might engage in obsessive routines and display an unusual sensitivity to sensory stimuli (for example, they may be bothered by a light that no one else notices; they may cover their ears to block out sounds in the environment; or they might prefer to wear clothing made only of a certain material).
How do you manage the busy life of a WAHM and the special needs of your family?
Ha, I don’t. Most of the time I feel I’m falling apart and barely keeping it together which is why I blog a lot. I do my best to enjoy every moment of every day and take life as it comes. We don’t think about tomorrow; we can’t with my husband’s brain injury and we try to have as much fun as possible.
Scheduling is important to our family. So I set up times to work, times to play and so on. We have date nights with the boys and campouts in the living room on weekends. We talk and communicate about our day at supper (TV off) all of us at the table.
Having depression is a struggle when you are a mom of a special needs child and husband. I have learned though that life is precious and making time for your family is just as important.
What advice might you give to other moms/families with special needs?
Listen to your heart. As a mom you know if there is something wrong with your child and you are the best advocate for your child. Never stop fighting and never feel guilty or allow others to make you feel bad as a parent if they do not understand the difficulties or disabilities your child faces.
Ignorance is common in this respect. I rely on my friends and family and community support.
Don’t be afraid to let them in and share your experiences because not only will it help others but help you in the long run. Enjoy every moment and every milestone with pride and always remember God sent you a precious little being and chose you for a reason, so believe in yourself that you can do the job and never give up!
Where do you find your inspiration?
My husband, family and friends. They are my life line at home. My husband is a unique person because he has no baggage because he has no memory so I had to learn to let things go. All the crap we carry with us daily bogs us down, things like resentments, bitterness, grudges and anger. They serve no purpose and through loving him I have become a stronger person, better mother and happier individual in my life.
My other inspirations come from other mom bloggers. I cannot even begin to tell you what an amazing sisterhood it is to be allowed into the lives of so many wonderfully, strong, independent, struggling and yet never giving up and keep going strong ambassadors online.
Mom bloggers are unique and I’m proud of the friendships I’ve made online and learn a lot from them and that helps refuel my strength as a person and a mother.
What is the last song you listened to on your iPod?
Six Feet From the Edge – Creed
What is the last book you read?
Saving Women’s Hearts