Children With Special Needs Have a Lot to Teach Us!


What if you could wake up each day smiling in the face of the challenges ahead of you?  What if your health challenges were seen as an obstacle course to play through instead of a ten foot tall brick wall blocking your future?  What if happiness through it all was possible?

Having a chronic illness or disability can be difficult.  Having a chronic illness as a Mom can be totally overwhelming!  We need to adapt to; symptoms, medications & their side effects, medical equipment and the way people respond to that equipment, and many other things.  That, along with the energy we use being a Mom can be really tough.  I’ve noticed that some people struggle with it all, while others seem to stroll through their life with a smile on their face.

I’m all about happiness!  So, I’ve been focusing on those around me who deal with health issues in a positive way.   One day recently, I started watching some of the kids at a pediatric therapy center where my kiddos went to play. That’s where I learned the secret.


A happy, positive attitude can truly make a difference!


Here are some of the things I’ve learned about children with special needs. (I want to wake up every day with their attitude):

  • Young children with special needs aren’t embarrassed to have their diagnosis.
  • Young children with special needs don’t feel guilty for being sick/challenged.
  • Young children with special needs don’t judge anyone.
  • They like everyone and want to be friends.
  • They have reasonable expectations for themselves.
  • They are willing to try do to do things we might not think they can do, and often succeed.
  • They don’t pity themselves
  • They don’t blame others for their problems.
  • They have the biggest, most authentic smiles.
  • They push themselves to be the best they can be without focusing on the difficulty getting there.
  • They believe they are great.
  • They are great.
  • They see their wheelchair/walker/braces as just part of makes them “them.”
  • They hope, and plan for, the future, a future as bright as anyone else’s.
  • Therapy is fun for them…PT, OT, Speech… they can’t wait to go and succeed.


We need to view our challenges through the eyes of our children.  If we believe in ourselves and focus on the positive, we will overcome great odds.  We will feel better and live happier.  We can be miracles to!

Do you want to learn how to have fun again?  Has your life become a boring pile of to-do lists?  Check out the new book coming out in June by Jen Hardy, “The Sick Mom’s Guide® to Having Fun Again: If I can do it, you can too!” at

I LOVE Being a Mom!

I LOVE being a Mom! I love holding those tiny, soft hands; gazing into those deep, innocent eyes; and listening as youth forms its own fascinating opinions and hearing its take on the world.

For a long time, it seemed like loving the “Momness” just wasn’t cool, and when that was true, I was definitely going against the grain.



I was a baby-carrying, breastfeeding, crunchy mama before I even knew what crunchy meant!

Now there is a resurgence of love and acceptance for the love of being a mom, and I am so thankful! Gone are the days of the fantasy super-mom who works 60 hours, tantalizes her husband in the evenings, and bakes 100 cookies for the bake sale on the weekend, then patting her perfect children on the head as they headed up to bed.

Real Mom is back, and she is AWESOME!


I still love the idea of being a superhero, but my superhero is more realistic. She might be in bed more often than most, but she rocks those cute jammies until noon. She loves the heck out of the kids, but has balance, and spends some much-needed time on herself too—she has more to give that way, you know. And as for her husband? Well, they’re a team now. She’s not just his helper, but they are working together to create the fabulous family of their dreams.


I LOVE this life! And I love that other people love it too. We, as moms, needed to move away from the “me” mindset and into a team model. Sure, me time is important, but when it’s over, then the focus goes back to all of us. And the time for judging other women, because they do or don’t work, what school choice they make, or the myriad of other things we used to judge each over is coming to an end. Thank goodness!

Our children are seeing the difference, and they’re liking what they see. They get that time for themselves is good, and it’s OK to tune out—for a bit, but after that, things are much better when we come back together as a loving family.



No matter what kind of mom you are, be proud! Parents have the most important job in the world—overseeing our future. Stay-at-home Moms feel guilty sometimes for not earning money. Working Moms feel guilty sometimes for not being home all the time.  Guilty Mommy isn’t as fun as relaxed mommy, and it’s just not doing anybody any good. You are who you are—go with it! Embrace it! Find other Moms who understand you and love you and hang out with them! I love having friends who do all kinds of different things. We learn from each other.

I wanted to share the joy I’m feeling with you today. There’s been a few rough weeks in the posts here. Mourning is hard, and sad, and that carried over into my writing. It’s better now, and I’m back to my peppy self. I can’t wait to see what the future holds here at Chronically Positive Mom. Big things are coming…

YOUR CHALLENGE FOR TODAY: Take a minute to look into your child’s eyes today and ask what’s on their mind. You’ll both be glad you did! They need you. Even when they don’t seem to want you because they’re too old or too cool, they still need you. They’ll be thankful for your persistence, and you’ll hear about it when they’re older, I promise.

In an Emergency–Your Medical Information Needs to be Accessible


Hi everyone,

Last week, I had the longest phone call that I’ve had in a long time. It was so nice to sit and talk, uninterrupted. My friend, Tiffany, is one of the women from our Chronically Positive Facebook Group. We talked about our families and our health, plus she had some really good ideas for my book. I LOVE her ideas!   I’m so happy to have so much input!

One of the things that Tiffany talked about was the importance of having emergency information prepared for our families and medical team in case something happens to us. I know from personal experience, six separate week-long stays in the hospital, that this is imperative, but I didn’t realize how many people don’t have everything together in one place.




Today I’m asking you to prepare all the info your family needs, just in case you have an emergency. When you have enough energy, take it a step further and put EVERYONE’S info together.

You will feel relaxed having your emergency list prepared & one less thing to worry about

Not only will it come in handy if someone has to call 9-1-1, but you can take it when you travel too.

 Get a checklist of the 10 most important things on your list

when you sign up below


Do you already have your emergency information all together? That’s fantastic! We’ve got some special info to add about the kids and their school to write down too.  You’ll get them when you sign up.


Have a great week,



p.s. Tiffany is a virtual assistant, if you’re looking for someone who is professional and creative, her Facebook page is here:

Do you need help? Start HERE!










You really are a SUPERHERO Why?  Because, even though you feel awful, you are going to GET THINGS DONE!  Because you are getting accomplishing things with half the strength of a normal human.  You’ve had days you thought you’d never get out of bed again, but you did it, and you’ll do it again.

And now you’re here, reading this so you can find ways to get it done easier.  Chronically Positive Mom is going to help. 


You're stronger than you think!




  1. I need help parenting when I’m sick/having a flare. Jen Hardy has written a book just for you!  Learn how to ditch the guilt, find joy, and have FUN again! It’s available on Amazon:
  2. I wish someone would check in with me and make sure I’m OK regularly. Sign up for the e-mail list Sign up for our e-mails HERE, we’ll be sending you messages and you can message us back!
  3. I’m all alone out here, and I need someone to talk to who “gets it” CLICK HERE to join our support group on Facebook.  It’s full of women with all different conditions, helping each other out.
  4. Everything around me is “blah.” HERE is an article about creating beauty around you.  We’ll be discussing that more, so if you sign up HERE for the list, you’ll get new articles as they happen.
  5. I just can’t get the kids to help out at home! CLICK HERE for the fist in a series of articles about getting the house in order, even when you don’t feel well.
  6. I need to get my house together, but it’s so messy it’s overwhelming. CLICK HERE for an article about tidying up your home in less than an hour. It’s a great place to start!
  7. I’m having trouble dealing with my symptoms, but I don’t know what else to try. We’re working on a new video series on our YouTube CHANNEL.
  8. I need to make more money, but don’t feel up to getting out more. Check out THIS ARTICLE outlines some ways you can make money right there on your computer
  9. I’m having problems with people arguing around me and it’s stressing me out. HERE IS AN ARTICLE that talks about the importance of not engaging to start with, there are links to more at the bottom of it
  10. I feel so alienated, I wish other people knew what to say. There are two articles, one that tells people WHAT TO SAY, and one that tells them WHAT NOT TO SAY.  We also have t-shirts with the top 10 lists, so you don’t have to speak for them to know.  HERE’S THE LINK TO OUR T-SHIRT STORE. 




Click on the envelope at the top or bottom of the page to let us know what your needs are


We’d love to come take care of the kids and cook and clean for you so you can get a nice nap…but unfortunately our superpowers don’t extend that far, but we are here to listen, and guide you


Chronically Positive Mom is just getting started, and we have connections in four continents!  But his is only the beginning.  The beginning of something BIG!  We are a support network for Moms with illnesses all over the world.  We’ll help you, and you’ll support each other.  We aren’t alone anymore!



YOUR INVITATION TO: The Chronically Positive Moms Group!






WHO: Moms with chronic illness

WHAT: THE BEST group on Facebook for Moms with chronic illnesses and pain.




  • Need someone to talk to who’s living the struggle?

  • Need help figuring out how to parent when you can’t even get out of bed?

  • Need to know how to keep your home livable when you can’t get up to do much?

  • Looking for some friends who won’t get upset that you can’t get out today because you’re too sick/have kids/have doctor’s appointments?

  • Want to find out how other women are handling their symptoms?



Join us and invite your friends! Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, PCOS, MS, there is no end to the list of health issues that women are struggling with. No matter what challenges you face, we want to be a safe place to share and be nurtured.




Can’t wait to see you there!




Parenting Teens & Tweens: Do Not Engage!


This is a topic that applies to parenting every age group. When it comes to conflict with your child, DO NOT ENGAGE IN AN ARGUMENT! You are the parent. You decide what does and does not happen in your household. If your child does not like what you are saying and starts arguing with you, do not respond with more arguing. You need to keep your emotions in check and stop the arguments before they happen.

So what’s a frustrated Mom to do? TAKE A TIME OUT. Take five minutes, an hour, or even a day until you can have a calm discussion about that topic.  Saying, “Let’s talk about this later when we’re both calm,” both stops the argument and shows your child that you are willing to listen, but not be yelled at. This can be very frustrating for the other person who wants to get their point across NOW, but it’s important to stop the fighting before it starts.

Respect the fact that emotions run high for teens.
Take a time out for everyone to calm down, then have your discussion.

Teach your teen/tween how to have a discussion without yelling. This is a skill that will help them throughout their life.  Fighting in your home is not only taking away from your ability to relax and enjoy your family, it is detrimental to your health.  The Mayo Clinic has a good article on the ways chronic stress puts your health at risk HERE.

When you’re both ready for a calm discussion, sit down, look each other in the eye, and take turns talking and listening until you  work it out. Sometimes your child just needs to be heard. Sometimes, you might need to go outside your comfort zone and let them have their way. Sometimes you will need to say that you’re the parent and things will be your way in your home and this is one of those times. You will know which one it is with better clarity if you are calm.

You have a chronic illness and already don’t feel well. The less arguing around you the better. The best thing for you is total peace and harmony. OK, let’s be more realistic. The best thing for you is to surround yourself with as much peace and harmony as possible. How can you do that with a teen/tween in the house? (it doesn’t have to be difficult)

Here are a few things to try:

  • Work on better communication (read the article on listening HERE)
  • Understand that your child has his/her own ideas and viewpoint. The older they are, the more different from yours they might be.
  • Sometimes people can have opposite ideas and can BOTH be right (and neither one is wrong)
  • Don’t have unspoken expectations of each other (article on that is HERE)
  • Catch your child doing things right. Watch for things to praise them for. (Older kids need this just as much as young ones)
  • Don’t belittle what they say just because they are not an adult. Statements like, “you’ll change your mind when you grow up,” or similar statements negate the value of anything they say, and put them on the defensive.
  • Be willing to listen, listen, listen. You might not always agree with their viewpoint, but they will be more willing to hear what you have to say if you listen to them as well.
Having respectful discussions, even with opposing viewpoints, makes everyone feel better and allows for more open, honest communication.

In our home we do not always share the same viewpoint about everything. Sometimes we have very spirited discussions about things, especially things that we are passionate about, but we know when one of those discussions gets too intense that it’s time to take a break and either revisit it later, or just drop it all together. It gets easier with practice.

Your challenge today is to decide not to engage in arguments. Sit down with your teen/tween (or maybe even others who argue with you too) and talk about how you plan on handling conflicts of opinion in the future so that they know what’s coming. Please leave a comment below and let me know how it goes!

The Importance of One on One Time

Whether you have one child or many, spending special one on one time with them is priceless.

We often think that as long as we are all at home, our child’s “Mom time needs” are being met. But they also need time with us when we are totally focused on them.

As I’ve said before, games are one of my favorite ways to connect with our children. I like them because games can be played at any age, and there are so many fun games for all ages out there. Also, when I’m playing, I’m not thinking about or doing anything else except being present with the people I’m playing the game with.

We also like to take turns taking each of the kids out for “dates” one at a time.  It gives us a chance to get to really focus on what the other person is saying and get to know each other better one on one. If money is tight, even a little thing like sitting in McDonalds and eating a parfait will work. It’s all about the child knowing you’ve taken the time just for them.  We do this with all ages, not just younger ones.  Teens and tweens need Mom time too even if they aren’t specifically asking for it any more.

Children of all ages need one on one time with Mom.

This is also possible for those of you who can’t get out of the house easily. I had a friend with eight children close together in age. Making times to take each one out on their own was a very difficult feat.  When they were growing up, they each got two hours once a month just with Mom on the couch while Dad took all the other kiddos outside or in another room. Now, that might not sound like much to some people, but to a child, knowing that they are having that much time completely focused on by Mom is special. You both can even get dressed up, have special snack, or play games right there on the couch. Make the most of ANY time you have together!

Want some more in-depth information about the importance of one on one time with your kids? Read the article, Getting to Know Your Kids, One on One By KJ Dell’Antonia by CLICKING HERE!

I don’t recommend having one on one times involve TV or electronics of any kind. It’s so easy to look at and focus on those things and completely forget about the person next to you. Technology has its place, but not in one on one time with your child. There is a great article in Psychology Today about the effect of technology on all of our relationships HERE.  Family movie nights are also fun, but one on one time needs to be interactive with your child.

It’s amazing to me that the article above was written in 2010 and is even more relevant today. Although technology has the ability to bring people from all over the world together in discussion, we still need to take the time to build our personal connections face to face without it.

Your challenge for today: Make a plan to spend one on one time with your child(ren). Put it on the calendar and keep it a priority just like a meeting from work would be. Your child will enjoy it, and you will too. Let me know how it goes!!!


One Word Will Keep You & Your Teen Closer–LISTEN!

Parenting teens and tweens is seen by many as a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

The thing that seems to be the most difficult for parents and the most important to children is for parents to listen. I’m not just talking about walking through the kitchen on your way to work with a pop tart in your hand saying, “uh-huh” as you go out the door. I’m saying stop, face your child and LISTEN!


Our kids have so much to say to us. And, while they don’t always seem to want us around, I have some insight for you. No adult looks back and says that they wish their parents listened to them less.

A note of caution here. If your child opens up to you about something in trust and you betray that trust, it is very difficult to get it back. Please understand that for your child to talk to you about the things that are precious to them, they need to know that you will keep their private things private (as long as they will be safe.) Also, there is a difference between reacting and responding to someone. Reacting can lead to a quick, harsh word whereas responding requires you to take time and think about what’s been said and your answer before saying anything.  Responding to your teen not only encourages them to open up to you, but teaches them the proper way to have a conversation with others.

One thing that comes from having a chronic illness is our need to rest our bodies. What better time to communicate than having your child sit and relax with you? Have them grab a snack and just come sit down. No agenda, just relax together. It will lend itself to some good conversation.

So, how do you listen to your teen or tween when they seem to be too busy to talk and sometimes they just talk about things you don’t always understand? You just keep doing it. Have family meals as much as possible. That’s a biggie for us at our house. Even if the adults have work to do and the kids have schoolwork to do, carve out time for family meals. Also, no electronics at said meals. Even you, Mom! Put those phones in another room and sit together.


If sitting together and talking is something new to your family, it might seem awkward at first. But keep on practicing. Practice just listening. Your child might have some issues that they talk about and you might want to jump in and fix them, but many times they can solve their own problems just by hearing themselves say them out loud. Once they’re used to you just listening, then talk, but if they don’t think that you’re going to listen, they will stop talking about important things. I’m the same way. If someone tunes me out or just jumps in with their own thoughts every time I open my mouth, I don’t open up to them often.

Another great way to naturally have a chance to listen is to play games. There are some amazing games out there, and it really doesn’t matter which you play as long as your teen/tween likes it. That means that honestly you do not have to like the game. I know that might sound rough, but we’re working on getting people to open up here, and if they know that their preferences are being taken into account, it’s just one more way that you’re showing that you care. Play games that aren’t too in-depth and allow for easy conversation while you’re playing. For instance, chess is a great game, but takes too much focus for great conversation. One game our family loves called “Exploding Kittens.” It’s a unique game, and all of the older kids enjoy it. (the link is below)

Invite your child’s friends over and spend time together as a group. They might not like that idea at first, but you really need to know who your child’s friends are. They spend more awake time with their peers at school than they do with you during the week. You should know the kind of things that they talk about as well.

If these concepts are new to your family, they will take some getting used to. If your family already spends time talking together KEEP IT UP! The older kids get, the more they naturally pull away. That’s just how they get ready for adult life. But until they are eighteen, graduated, and moved out, you have a responsibility to them. And they have one to you also. You have the authority to  decide where their time is spent. Especially during these years.

Time passes so quickly. Soon your child will be living on their own, and they won’t have as much time to talk to you. So many parents wish away their kids’ childhood, only to regret it later. There is no getting that time back. Take all the time you can with them. It will enrich both your lives.

Special note about boys. As boys get older, many of them are not as open as girls tend to be. Don’t let that deter you.  Your son just needs to know that you’re there to listen, even if he’s not doing a lot of talking. Respect that and keep being close. He will love that you’re taking time for him even if he doesn’t say or show it.

Your challenge today. Go into your child’s room and sit with them for fifteen minutes for no reason other than listening. Want to freak them out? Bring some hot cocoa and cookies with you. Yes, just set that snack down next to them, sit down, and listen. Of course, create some conversation if there isn’t any, but be willing to listen as soon as they pick it up. A good start is to ask questions that require more than yes or no answers. Some awkward silences are ok. It’s going to take some time to re-build the relationship you had when they thought that you were supermom and you knew everything. Make the time, your child is worth it!

Some of our family’s favorite games are these, pick one up today!  (You’ll find a free trial for Amazon Prime on the Presents Page HERE, just in time for the holidays!)

“Your kids will start helping you clean today!” Part IV Bedrooms

Your bedroom should be your sanctuary.

 It is YOUR place to sleep and relax. If you’re like me, you spend more than a typical eight hours in your bedroom.  Do you feel relaxed when you step into your room? Many of us don’t. We take care of the rest of the house, and since no one else will be in our room, we let it go. I say we need to take back our bedrooms! Starting today, focus on making your bedroom your special retreat.

We’re going to work on our room in 15 minute intervals. Each paragraph below is one 15 minute section. If you can get through a section in less than 15 minutes, move on to the next one.  Stop if you feel tired and start up again when you feel better. No job has to be done all at once. That’s where a lot of us get hung up and just don’t start cleaning,  then everything piles up and we are totally overwhelmed. Start small. Clean a piece at a time and before you know it, your room will be your sanctuary. You deserve it!

Start with your bed. Strip it and wash the sheets if it’s been a while.  Then make your bed. Your bed sets the tone for your whole room. I used to think it was pointless to make a bed just to get in and mess it up, but now that I make it every time I get out of it, it’s a lot nicer to walk into my room. This is a great time to teach your child(ren) how to properly make a bed if they don’t know.

Next, check out the area around your side of the bed. How does your nightstand look? How about the floor around there? Sometimes mysterious little pieces of trash and toys and stuff appear there. Now is the time to get rid of them. Little ones can take their things out of your room and put them away.

OK, now we’re going to work on the floor in your bedroom. Have trouble bending down and picking things up? Set the timer and make a game to see how fast the kids can get everything from the floor onto your bed. Make it a game, and it will go faster. Now you just put those things where they go.

Time to pick up everything on the flat surfaces of your room. Dressers, desk, etc. all need to be cleared off. Get them as empty as you can. Leave the things that make you feel happy out, but everything else must find another home. Have the kids take things into other rooms and put them away.

The last step is dust and vacuum. If you’re not feeling well, then just dust and vacuum your room. Don’t feel like you’ve got to do the whole house right now. This is just about YOU and your space.

How does it feel? It’s much more relaxing, isn’t it? It makes me feel happy and a lot calmer to have my room neat and clean. I hope you feel that way too. If you make your bed every time you get up and just spend five minutes every day picking up the stuff that manages to appear in your bedroom, you will notice a big difference in the way it looks and feels. Try it and let me know how it went!

Once your room is done, use the same plan for every other bedroom. Kids get overwhelmed by looking at huge messes and I know mine need to have me break down picking up their rooms a section at a time. Have them do it just like we did for our rooms, just tell them one part at a time and it will be less stressful than if they have to look at a huge mess all at once. They’ll feel better being in such clean rooms too!

Your challenge for today: spend 15 minutes working on your room. Even if you can just make your bed, you will feel better being in that space. Let me know how it went! Send a message HERE.

Remember Your Daily MEDS

You deserve to be taken care of! And it needs to start with YOU!

There are so many other things to do; caring for children, spouse, cooking, cleaning, work….the list goes on and on, but I will tell you this, the more you take care of yourself, the more helpful you are to everyone else.  Taking care of yourself first will make you a better parent!



What are they? You might find this list similar to something you’ve seen before, but this one is just for us…





MOVE! Notice here that I did not say exercise. Maybe you can exercise and that is GREAT! Do that! But if you, like me, can’t do a little bit without having some serious problems, then find ways to move that keeps your body going without completely wearing you out. Stretch when you wake up, walk an extra few steps when you’re going somewhere. Move as much as you can safely do.

EAT! Eat properly, you know what that means for your body. Put some snacks together at the beginning of the week so you’re ready to eat good food & not grab that bag of chips or cookies. Plan your meals in advance so you’re not panicking at four p.m. and just going through the drive-thru because you can’t get dinner together. Let’s face it, sometimes those things are a nice treat, but if that’s all your eating, you’re not going to feel your best!


DATE! This means take special time out with each special person in your life. Schedule social times on your calendar just like you would for any important appointment. Date your husband/significant other, make time with friends, and take time out with each child and make them feel special. You will be able to truly hear what they are saying, and regular times with Mom are the kind of times your child(ren) will definitely remember. Forever. Now, you’re not going to have a date every day, but you can look at your calendar every day and see that you have a special plan with someone coming up and it’s going to make you feel positive and hopeful! THIS HARVARD MEDICAL ARTICLE  talks about the importance of strong relationships.


Not feeling well enough to get out of the house? Schedule time to turn off the TV and phone and have a nice candlelight dinner, or to sit with a child on the couch and cuddle up and talk or play a game or read. It will make you both feel more connected.


SILENCE! You need it. Whether it be prayer, or meditation, or just 15 minutes a day when you don’t have any pressure to do anything but sit and relax and think, or not think, whichever is better for you. Turn off the computer and the ringer on your phone.

If you’re lucky, you have little nappers at home. That can be a great time for you to have silence. If not, I will share my secret, it’s called QUIET TIME. Quiet time is for any age child who can safely be alone. We’re even talking older kids here! It’s a set time, use a timer for younger ones, an hour is a nice time, start shorter and build it up. For that time they are in their room, QUIET. They can read or quietly play, and that is it! They learn how to be alone and have their silent time too, and you get to have some silence, then rest or get some things done.

In her article, 6 Reasons You Should Spend More Time Alone, Sherrie Bourg Carter gives some great reasons for you and your kids to have alone time. You can read them HERE.


Here’s a bonus S, SLEEP! You know you need it. Enough said. Need more reasons? CLICK HERE to learn more!


YOUR CHALLENGE FOR TODAY: Take at least one of your daily meds today, two tomorrow, three the next day, then four. Continue doing all four every day until you turn them into habits. You will feel better, and your family will thank you! Let me know how it goes!