The Journey Begins

As a working mom of twin boys – one with autism – I find life throws me something unexpected, challenging, exciting, or heartwarming almost every day.  All stories and insights shared in this blog represent my personal views and insights.

I recently attended a webcast with others in my office who are part of PwC’s Disability Caregivers’ Network. We watched our colleagues share their personal stories as parents of children with special needs, including how they balance work, life, and the unique demands they face, and how the firm has supported them through their journeys. There was not a dry eye in the room when the webcast ended, and I walked away inspired to share my own story.

As a mom of 14 year old twin boys, Jordan and Ryan, I have many experiences, thoughts and feelings to share – some funny, some serious, some frustrating and some heartwarming. When I think back to the first couple of years of Ryan and Jordan’s lives, which I’ve dubbed The Zombie Years due to the severe lack of sleep, all my husband, Dan, and I wanted so badly was to survive them. We thought if the boys could just start sleeping through the night, life would become easier.  In retrospect, we should have held onto the innocent baby days as long as possible, as dealing with developmental delays and finally getting an autism diagnosis at age three for Ryan was only the beginning of a long road.

Over the last 11 years we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve screamed, we’ve loved, we’ve learned and we’ve grown. While the road ahead will likely be filled with more twists and turns, this blog, Tiny Giant Steps (also the title of a poem my mom wrote), celebrates the journey so far.

People often ask – ‘How do you do it? How do you balance being a mom of twins – and one who has special needs – with a demanding job and manage to have a social life outside of that?’ I don’t think I ‘do it’ any better than other parents. Dan is engaged and always willing to help however he can – which usually involves food shopping and cooking (he’s much better than I am), doing undesirable (i.e. smelly and more physical) household chores, and taking over whenever I’m out of town. We’re so thankful to have a support system of wonderful family members who live close by and amazing babysitters we’ve ‘adopted’ over the years as surrogate big sisters to Ryan. And I’m very lucky to work for a firm that values work-life balance and actively promotes ‘Be Well Work Well.’

I may make it look easier than it is because I’m typically a positive person and can laugh at many of our situations and turn them into entertaining stories, rather than taking them too seriously. Sure, having a child with autism is serious and certainly not easy, but I’ve found having a sense of humor is essential to surviving.

If you’re interested in reading more about my experiences and insights, look for posts here every 3-4 weeks – maybe even more frequently when I get inspired. In the meantime, I’m sharing a link to a blog I wrote which Autism Speaks published in 2015, titled ‘Four things I’ve learned raising a child with autism.’ It’s still very relevant today and is the epitome of ‘Tiny Giant Steps’ – in other words, celebrating those accomplishments that may seem so small to one person but are huge for others.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing more with you soon!

28 thoughts on “The Journey Begins

  1. I’m excited to read more and follow along with your journey. Looking forward to more of your posts!

  2. This is so beautifully written! I am very proud to be part of your support system! Watching Jordan and Ryan grow and develop into the wonderful young men they are is a very special part of my life!

  3. You are so inspirational, both as a writer and as an incredible woman. Looking forward to reading all the blogs. And I love the title “Tiny Giant Steps.” How very true!

  4. Jodi you have done it again — you are such a great, inspirational writer and I love reading your work. Thank you for being such a strong model for a working mom and for sharing with your true heart.

  5. It is great to have someone with a positive attitude dealing with challenging aspects of raising a family, with the added challenge of having a child on the spectrum. I am looking forward to your future posts.

  6. Amazing, Jodi! Your writing is so natural, what a special gift you have! I can’t wait to read more. Thanks for sharing with me!

  7. Jodi, both of these stories share volumes about the love and care you and Dan have put into both your boys to make them the best they can be, and more. I’m happy to see that Ryan has gone far beyond expectations that others had for him. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Love this! You are such a talented writer, Jodi! I am glad you started this blog. Now I can stay updated with all the amazing things Ry will do in his life.

    1. Thank you, Bindi! The stories will span across the years (eg there may be a current ryan story followed by one from the earlier years), but you will certainly get to read about what he does in the future!

  9. Everyone has a journey that we feel at times is so difficult, whether with children, siblings, aging parents–when I read what you have to say, I realize that having support and listening to others helps us all so much. Knowing your children really helps me appreciate what you have to say, how you say it and how much meaning is behind every word. Thanks for Sharing with us all. Trish

    1. Thank you very much, Trish! I appreciate your comments. Feel free to follow the blog to read more! (once you get an email confirmation you’ll be following)

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