Johanna is the mom of two.
Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do?
I work full-time at Grace Church as the Worship Ministry Assistant.
What do you do to relax?
I like to spend time with my girls, read, listen to worship music, and watch NCIS.
What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
I have been a single Mom for almost eleven years. I love Jesus and my girls. Nothing makes me happier than spending time with them with our family and friends, just enjoying life.
What benefits has Connecting for Kids brought to you and your family?
Being a single Mom can be very isolating in itself, and adding special needs multiples that, at least for me. Connecting for Kids has so many great resources and so much information to help navigate every aspect of being a parent of a child with special needs. My daughter participated in the music therapy class and that was wonderful. There is always someone there to offer support and advice if you need it. There is no judgment. CFK has helped me to not feel so alone.
Which have been your favorite Connecting for Kids resources?
My favorite Connecting for Kids resource has been the staff and parents. The info on the website is such a blessing, but talking with people who have been in similar situations has been the best part. The encouragement from the staff and parents has been incredible.
My greatest lesson learned...
is balance. Having two children, one with struggles and one without, has taught me balance because I need to always make sure both of my girls feel loved and wanted. Spending time with each of my girls is important, both to them and to me. I have had to learn how to balance this dynamic in our family, and it has been a blessing to all of us.
The area where I have grown the most...
is in asking for help and advice. I used to think I had to do everything and have all the answers. I used to put so much pressure on myself to always get it right. Being on this journey has taught me that I do not have to do it all or know it all. There are people out there who have similar experiences. I have learned to trust God through it all.
The best thing about parenting a child who struggles is...
it helps me to keep my perspective. Celebrating the small victories helps me to see life in a different way. My daughter is an inspiration to me because even though she struggles every day, she keeps fighting and keeps pressing on. She continues to teach me life lessons, and I am thankful for that.
We'd love to know if you have any go-to resources such as blogs, websites, or books that we can share with other parents.
As for books, the Bible is my biggest resource. There are so many great resources out there as far as websites go. Besides CKF, I like the Sensory Spectrum and Understood.org. Is there anything else about your journey that you would like to share with other parents?
You are not alone. Even though it feels like it at times, and you think it is easier to stay home and not reach out, there are people who understand. There are people who want to help and offer encouragement. You have to take the first step and reach out, get connected. I promise you it is worth it.