Today I'm very excited to introduce you to my friend, Jodi. I mentioned that we met in person a few weeks ago and I am thrilled she is sharing some of her life's story here. Once you read her post, I know that you will find her as intriguing and all around awesome as I do. I really am amazed at both her and her husband Josh and the love they have for their family.
I'm so thrilled to be here, doing a guest post for Malisa. In case you haven't heard, Malisa and I are friends in real life. I can say that now because a few weeks ago, we finally met in person after following each other's blogs for a little while. *insert very happy, excited face!*
I'm Jodi and I blog at Life and Oh-La-Dee-Dah. I also run an online vintage clothing shop as well as a personal style blog. My husband and I recently moved from Kansas City to the San Francisco area about 7 months ago. We're originally from Florida, so we've sort of made our way across the U.S. and landed in one of the most beautiful areas possible.
We have two sons, Judah is four and a half and Jacob will be three in January. Being a mom of a two toddlers is hilarious and challenging and fun. Being a mom of a special needs child and a typical child adds even more hilarity. I love to laugh and I'm 100% sure the Lord gave us these two kids because He knew that. Even in the midst of toddler drama that mostly centers on poop disasters, middle of the night wakings and sometimes tantrums, these kids manage to add a twist of humor to our lives.
Judah has global developmental delays and Jacob is right on track with his development. I could go on and on about the things Judah can't do: he needs full assistance for almost everything, requires strict routine, doesn't talk...But after tucking these few, short years of motherhood under my belt, the one thing that's kept me afloat is focusing on the successes.
A friend emailed me a few years back and said that when she gets overwhelmed with life, she makes lists of the good things going on. Even if that "pro" list is much shorter than the "con" list, it still gave her perspective. I love practical solutions (doesn't everyone?) so I jumped on it.
When the in-home therapies, doctor's appointments, lists of milestones Judah was not meeting were piling up and when Jacob discovered the joys of pulling everything out of the kitchen cabinets, decided not to nap and wanted to be held all the time, I took her suggestion. I made lists, both mental and on paper. One day in particular, I remember writing down every single "pro" thing that happened, almost minute by minute, and you know what? That silly little list gave me perspective, which in turn, gave me joy.
Perspective is key to having that deep down, real kind of joy in the season I'm currently in. For me, making lists of the successes, even if the triumph for that day was that Judah looked me in the eye and smiled back or Jacob ate his first pickle, still gives me perspective.
Parenting two boys with such intensely different needs isn't always easy; I still have those emotionally charged days, but I deeply love being a mom. I truly find joy in my children and on those emotional days, when watching the differences between my children nicks my heart a little, I pull out the list and almost every time, that list brings me right back to that place of deep joy and contentment.
What do you do to maintain the joy in the season you're currently in? I'm always open for suggestions, just in case my "pro list" fails me :)