Thriving: Life Beyond Raising & Living with A Special Needs Child

Thriving: Life Beyond Raising & Living with A Special Needs Child by Manuela Rohr #TheWellnessUniverse #WUVIP #SpecialNeeds

Thriving:  Life Beyond Raising & Living with A Special Needs Child.

Today’s inspiring story comes to us from Manuela Rohr. Originally from Germany, now living in Santa Rosa, CA

The 24-7 overwhelming challenge of being a mother to a special needs child brought me to my knees.

By searching for who else I am, besides being the mother to my child, I overcame the limitations I felt. I gave the chains growing around my heart some slack and finally broke free of being the victim of my old, limiting story.

In my mid-twenties…

I woke up from a dream with butterflies in my belly.  “I want to be a mother,” I thought. It felt fabulous, but I had time. I carried this longing with me while I built my business and looked for the right guy. I wanted to share yoga with the world. Babies would come later. I never had the tiniest thought of not living the life I dreamed up with four healthy children in tow.

After losing three pregnancies, I gave birth to a micro-premie girl. She was born four months early weighing one pound, fifteen ounces and not able to survive on her own. The broken dream burned a hole in my heart.

The question, “Who am I besides being the mother of my child?” is one I had to learn to ask. The journey of raising a child with extra needs is complicated and often soul-crushingly painful. Tiny victories fight with the overshadowing losses on a daily basis.

I found the answer to my question in different places.

I developed skills that taught me how to bend but not break; how to receive when giving was a 24-hour task. It\’s on my yoga mat and during my visits in nature that I receive. There I grow what I need the most, a balance of effort and surrender, and the courage to say yes to my life wholeheartedly.

My daughter will always come first. But to feel fully alive I had to remember my other dreams. They’re creating the well from where I can give to her, myself and the rest of the world. It’s my mission to allow all my hearts desires to grow side by side.

I am thriving, and if I can leave you with one piece of advice, it’s this:

To create a distance to my daily challenges has been life-saving for me. If you\’re in my shoes, creating time to receive and do the things that fill you up often feels impossible. Pause, bring rituals into your life and learn the art of relaxation. 5-minute breaks scheduled throughout your day will protect you from collapsing and gift you with more energy.  Go for a walk, breathe, listen to a favorite song or anything else you enjoy.

Celebrate the little steps you do for yourself and look for the dreams you’ve put aside. Don’t forget to ask yourself, “What brings joy into my life on a daily basis?” Do that. Find your dreams and hold them in front of your eyes. Make them part of your journey. Let them help you realize your worth apart from your child.

– Manuela Rohr

If you found Manuela\’s story inspiring, please leave a comment for her below. Thank you.

Thriving: Life Beyond is a series of inspiring stories from everyday people who are thriving through a life challenge, adversity, illness or tragedy. These brave souls share their story with you to let you know thriving is possible.  Submit your story to be shared here on The Wellness Universe.

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