If you have a special needs child in America who is in the public school system, then they likely have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This plan is to ensure they get the most out of their educational experience based on their individual needs. Since every child with special needs is different, no two plans are the same. Every child has their own weaknesses, strengths, and skills they need to be working on to help them learn and succeed to the best of their ability. The plan helps make sure that the child is working on daily and weekly tasks to reach specific goals set for the child. I have been reflecting about this, and I decided that every special needs mom should have an IEP as well and here are three reasons why.
The first reason why is that I believe it is important to have a WRITTEN plan. Special needs moms are typically busy and overwhelmed. Having a written plan is important because it will help us set goals for ourselves. Goals are important because they give us direction in life. We have goals for our children. Why not for ourselves? It is important to reflect on what we want to accomplish in our life and get clarity on the things we need to do to start working on these things in our daily life. How many times have you got to the end of your day and felt regret for the things you wanted to do but didn’t make the time for? If we have a clearly written plan and agenda like what the teachers do for our children, we will be more organized, intentional, and productive. This will help us accomplish the things we want in our day which will make us feel more happy and accomplished.
The second reason is that having a plan will help us organize our daily habits. I believe that one secret to living a happy, fulfilled life is tied to your daily habits. Your habits are THAT important! Believe it or not, the little things you do or do not do each day can either limit or launch you in your life. Your daily habits shape who you are, how you feel and where you are headed. Each thing you do is triggered by a good or a bad habit. Your habits impact the direction of your entire life. Habits not only include the things that you do each day but also the way you think. You can implement a daily habit of exercising but if you do not work on your mind and the way you think nothing will change in your life. We do not really think about how our negative thought patterns can be a habit, but they are! Our thoughts affect our actions and our emotions. Creating a plan helps us think about our habits and what is working for us in our life and what needs to change so we can improve.
The third reason we need an IEP plan for special needs moms is that it reminds us to make ourselves a priority. We often forget to think of our own needs. We are so busy trying to “to it all” that the thought of caring for ourselves does not even cross our mind and when it does, we feel often guilty for taking the time for ourselves. Having a plan is a way to remind ourselves that we are important too. We have things we need to work on for ourselves to continue to learn and to ensure we are living the most productive, happy life we can live. It is important to remember that to be the absolute best you can, to give the very best of you and to live your best life, you need to be a priority in your life. The people around you deserve the best version of you and that can only happen if you are taking care of yourself.
I hope I convinced you the importance of making your own version of an IEP for yourself. It will help you come up with a plan, establish daily habits and remind you to make yourself a priority. It is important to feel like we are living our best life and doing the things that matter to us.
I am starting a 30 day goal setting challenge soon to help jump start you on your own journey of creating your own plan, setting new goals and implementing new habits. I will be sharing soon how you can join me to work on implementing change into your life.
I am excited to help you create a plan for YOU!
With Love and Gratitude,