AHEART #31 | Special Needs Mom Burnout: Why Do We Even Bother?

So many moms struggle with living life in a state of special needs mom burnout.

We’re exhuasted. Done. Every day.  And yet, we keep trying. 

I recently posted a question to the moms in A Heart For All Students Private Facebook Community.

“It’s Saturday! Another school week in the books. What do you hope will be different next week and how can we help?”

Special Needs Mom Burnout: Why Do We Bother?

One of the moms in our community responded with this.

“We finally decided to do family photos after like 5 years. Scheduled them several weeks ago for Saturday & …my daughter got sick. We had to cancel. The best part is, the only place she’s been to pick something up is the doctor’s office a week ago. Sometimes I have no idea why I try.”

That one hit me like a ton of bricks. Sometimes I have no idea why I try.


My Own Mom Burnout

The reason it hit me so hard was because I had this exact narrative in my own head just a few days prior.

If you’re new to the show, you may not know that A Heart For All Students was born out of years my own mom burnout. The adoption of my son & the ensuing years of absolute chaos, stress & isolation led to the mission.


To equip moms to empower outside-the-box kids to thrive as the people God has created them to be.


It’s the root of this mission that we moms are absolutely exhausted.

We so desperately try to do the right thing for our families.

As believers in Christ, we do so also to honor God.

RELATED READING: Behind The Behavior- 4 Steps To Capturing & Influencing Your Child’s Heart, Beliefs & Behavior

Unchecked Expectations Hurt Kids & Moms

Kids who don’t fit the box of the world’s expectations often struggle terribly in the traditional systems of parenting, education and even within the church. This may look like:

  • Meltdowns (physical and emotional)
  • Rages
  • Volatile behavior
  • Inattention
  • Poor academic performace
  • Bullying
  • Shaming by adults who see behavior as always willful
  • Self-shame & more…

Special Needs Mom Burnout & Broken Hearts

When you’re the mom of a child struggling, your heart breaks daily. Fighting for the right supports, for others to show compassion for your child.

The doctor’s appointments, interventions (speech & occupational therapy), tutoring, late-nights reading everything you can to help your child.

Physical exhaustion of it all. Then add a child who struggles w sleep every single night for 6 years. True story.


Special Needs Mom Burnout Is For Real

Mom burnout is real. If you have a child w special needs such as ADHD, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Anxiety, dyslexia, etc… it’s even more so.

But we still try. We still bother. Because we LOVE our kids fiercely.

Even though we know deep down that there is a high likelihood that it’ll all fall apart, we still bother.

My thoughts on why we should even bother. What God spoke to my heart just a few days before I read from Sweet Kara of AHFAS tribe of moms.



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Special Needs Mom Burnout Needs To Be Acknowledged

Special needs mom burnout is real.

It’s imporant that we openly aknowledge our pains & struggles. Our needs matter.

If we pretend they don’t, we end up stuffing them deep down until we explode & then we’re no good for anyone.

In today’s episode, I’ll also address the topic of motherhood & shame.

RELATED EPISODE: Obey Right Away? Is That What We Want


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Special Needs Mom Burnout & Shame in Motherhood

I discuss shame’s role in our mom burnout and how we must fight against it.

We take those shameful thoughts captive to Christ and then we teach our children to do so as well. So, We bother because we love our kids and families so fiercely.

And sometimes, it’s the bothering that’s the whole point.

My Gifts To You: Parent & Homeschool ADHD, Autism & More


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Special needs mom burnout is real & debilitating. Whether raising a child with ADHD, Autism or other executive functioning issue, the issue of mom's level of mental & physical exhaustion must be addressed. Mom shame, the church, adoption and so much more in this episode.


Links And Resources From This Podcast


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  • [03:41] Family Formal Pictures
  • [05:29] Why Do We Even Bother?
  • [06:34] I Try And Bother
  • [08:15] Family Photo Op
  • [11:15] Bent Out Of Shape
  • [13:16] Some Days Are Going To Be Hard
  • [15:12] We Just Do Our Best

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