So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Burnout, depression, anxiety. These are not happy words. They are pretty darn scary. Throw in career stress, a special needs child, money worries, and well, you have a recipe for disaster. Or maybe not? You see, as an anxious child, anxious teenager, then later anxious adult, I had been building up to my burnouts all my life. The first one occurred in my early thirties with a major move away, a job loss, and being thrown off balance of all I knew. I recovered. It was an isolated incident or so I thought. Then I realized what I had learned in that burnout. I need to take better care of my health, mental and physical. I need to pace myself, go out and have fun with friends, stop being so critical.

I did all right for a while, then came motherhood with all its beauty and glory. I was thrown into caring 24/7 for another human being and lost a lot of what I learned. Add to this that said little person has autism and anxiety, and I was trying to hold it together for him. This would be challenging to any parent, but a worrier like me who tries to be all things to all people, (can someone say superwoman complex?), and well, burnout number two hit in my early forties with no surprise.

It was even scarier than burnout number one.

But you know what else. It was the freakin’ best thing that ever happened to me. My eyes were opened so wide climbing up from the darkness and moving into the light. I needed to do a complete personality makeover to be there to enjoy the next leg of my life. First to go was my all- consuming need to control everything. I learned a new word: delegation. I learned how to say no. That was hard because then guilt crept in. I worked on myself, I went for massages, I went underwear shopping for real sexy pretty underwear. I did a massive career change. Why? Because all of this scared the heck out of me and it was time I got scared. My burnout did the equivalent of throwing cold water in my face. When I came to, I was rattled and picking up the pieces I rebuilt and became stronger.

I learned at 41 years old how to take care of myself, really take care of myself – body, mind and spirit. I stopped taking crap from everybody, most importantly myself, and I learned that meditation, yoga, exercise are not luxuries for a special needs moms. They are survival necessities. I also learned that I need to write all the time. No excuses. This is my therapy, my salvation, my spirit, as is the air I breathe. And yeah, I’m a little on the anxious side still, but have done a 360 from the yes woman, push down your frustration super woman I was.

Now I’m Joanne. Perfectly imperfect.

Learning each day how to be stronger, better, healthier and helping other moms to do the same. You see, as a parent coach to other moms, when I say I know what you are going through, I mean it 100%. My forties have turned into the best time of my life. The personal makeover I’ve given myself is the best gift there is. And I’m hoping to show my son that you don’t have to wait until your forties to do your own thing. You can and should be yourself now. I feel like I’ve finally come into myself, beautiful inside and out, accepting my flaws, my strengths, and loving me anyway as it should be. So I am grateful for that deep dark time, and I am the first person to agree with a good friend who told me “at forty your life begins.” So it does.

Joanne Giacomini

Joanne Giacomini is a writer, editor, speaker and parent coach at Exceptional Parenting/Exceptional Balance http://https://creatingexceptionalparenting.com/. She helps special needs parents by offering them tips and tools for their parenting journey, so they and their children can live life happy, whole and in balance. She also blogs about how her son with autism is raising her at Exceptional Mom/Exceptional Child https://exceptionalmomchild.com/. Joanne is very excited to have her articles published on Her View From Home, and loves the support of a community of women helping women achieve greatness. You can follow Joanne on Twitter https://twitter.com/exceptmomchild. Joanne also has a FREE EBOOK available entitled "5 WAYS TO MANAGE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY" at the following link: http://exceptionalparenting.site88.net/

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex

In: Health, Kids, Motherhood
The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex www.herviewfromhome.com

I currently have four kids in elementary school from kindergarten to fifth grade. My kids have not experienced any sexual abuse (to my knowledge); we have been very careful about any potential porn exposure; we closely monitor their involvement with pop culture through music, movies, books, and even commercials. While we might seem to err on the side of overly sheltering them, what we have also done is be very open with our kids about sex. We have told them the truth when they’ve asked questions. And have they asked some questions! Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been asked...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does

In: Health, Mental Health, Relationships
I Don't Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does www.herviewfromhome.com

I don’t have anxiety but my husband does.  We should have realized this years ago but we missed it. The realization came suddenly and as soon as it popped in my mind, it came out of my mouth. “You have anxiety.” I said. He looked at me trying to determine if I was joking or serious. “I am serious, you have anxiety.” His eyes left mine and found his phone. He picked it up and said, “Hey Siri, give me the definition of anxiety.” As the virtual assistant read off the definition she may as well have been reading my man’s personality...

Keep Reading

This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids

In: Health, Journal, Motherhood
This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids www.herviewfromhome.com

I’ll never forget the time I was standing on a dock in the middle of a lake, casually draining my long hair of water, soaking in the summer heat surrounding me. Little did I know, my right breast had escaped the clutches of my bikini top; it must have popped out when I dove into the cool lake. But because I wasn’t wearing my hearing aids—I can’t wear those babies in the water—I couldn’t hear those back on land who were calling at me to shove it back in. So, there I stood, clueless of the fact that I was...

Keep Reading

Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s

In: Health, Humor
Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s www.herviewfromhome.com

Do you remember that day in the fifth grade when the boys and girls were separated for the “Sexuality and Development” talk? Some nice old lady health teacher came into your room and gave you some straight talk about how the next few years were going to go for you. It was awkward and shocking and you knew your childhood would never be the same. When you hit your mid-thirties, there should be some kind of Part Two to that conversation. All the ladies need to be rounded up, lead into a dimly lit classroom that smells vaguely of pencil...

Keep Reading

How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

In: Health, Journal, Relationships
How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

He walked over to the table I was sitting at with some friends and casually, yet confidently, pulled up a chair. His voice was deep and he had a luring accent that immediately caught my attention. His distinctly cut jawline along his perfectly trimmed beard made him seem older, I thought, than the age I’d soon learn he was. Our paths had crossed before like two ships in the night, forbidding us from ever quite meeting as we did that day . . . eye to eye, energy to energy He chatted with me and our mutual friends for a...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Mom With the Anxious Soul

In: Journal, Mental Health, Motherhood
To the Mom With the Anxious Soul www.herviewfromhome.com

I see you, mama. You’re the one sitting alone at the family party. You’re the one hovering a little too close to your sweet babies at the park. You’re the one standing in the bathroom at work for just a moment of quiet. Your thoughts are swirling constantly, faster and more fearful that a “regular” mama. You find yourself spaced out at times, and hyper aware at others. You’ve heard the words “just relax” and “everything is fine” more times than you care to count. Sometimes you wish you could make everyone understand why you are the way you are...

Keep Reading

I Am My Child’s Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me

In: Baby, Child, Health
I Am My Child's Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me www.herviewfromhome.com

What started out to be a normal Thursday ended with a race to the children’s ER with my six-month-old. I was terrified. My adrenaline was pumping. My baby was struggling to breathe. The day before, he had been diagnosed with RSV. A simple cold to most healthy toddlers and adults turned out to be life threatening to my infant.   Once we were admitted, I knew this was serious. I knew he was in danger. I could sense the concern and urgency in the doctor’s voice. I knew the gravity of that wing of the hospital he was being wheeled...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections