I never thought I would be the mom to a child with special needs. When I thought of the future, I always saw my picture-perfect life with my absolutely perfect children in it. Wesley's Down syndrome diagnosis rocked that world I'd created for myself. And then getting Vivian's Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis rocked it even more. But you know what? My kids are absolutely perfect for me. They have grown me and stretched me. They have shown me that life doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. They have completely changed my perspective on the world. I am so thankful for their diagnoses every day because I am so much better for them. The best part about being a mom are the hugs, kisses, and cuddles. Hands down, those keep me going during the day. And hearing "I love you" from both of my kids. (It usually sounds like "Wuh yooooooou" from Wesley.)

I wish I could hold on to the stage of saying whatever comes to their mind. The things that come out of their mouths are hilarious! (And oftentimes inappropriate - oops.) I wish I could bottle up the way these two find the funny in the littlest things. They're usually cracking each other up in the back seat of the car over something tiny and silly. I need to record their laughter because it's contagious.

I really try to embrace who my kids are, not who I want them to be. I study their strengths and play to those when teaching them. Wesley learns best through play and music. Vivian learns best through stories and letting her try (many, many times) before stepping in. I've learned to pick and choose from what the parenting books say, because no child is one-size-fits-all and not everything is going to work for each of my kids.

Hang in there, moms! You are doing a better job than you know. Show yourself some grace - this parenting thing isn't always easy.


Ashlee also provides magical and delightful services for: newborn photography, cake smash photography, baby's first year plans, maternity photography, family photography, and Newborn mentoring for photographers.

If you have a milestone or special moment you want to remember forever, let's chat! Ashlee loves to photograph in the woodlands and around downtown Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, and Greenwood. She also has a professional studio space available for sessions.