If you are a caregiver of a child with special needs, then you’ll probably relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed and never getting a break. Which begs the question: who is caring for the caregivers?
Today’s guest, Jessica Ronne, is a true warrior and inspiration: she is a wife, mother to 8 kids, author, teacher, and founder of a non-profit dedicated to providing respite breaks for special needs caregivers, The Lucas Project.
After losing her first husband to a long battle with brain cancer and suddenly becoming a young widow and mom to 4 children under the age of 6 (including a child with special needs and a newborn), she decided she had two choices: wallow in her misfortune forever, or make the best of her difficult and wonderful journey.
In this episode, Jessica shares with us the importance of finding people who can truly relate to your journey, how she met her current husband Ryan (a widower and parent like herself), how caregivers can find help and respite, and what to do in the face of isolation.
Her documentary, Unseen, will be premiering in May of 2022 and is an eye-opening project that helps illustrate the struggles of caregivers, why it matters, and what we can do to help.
Key Takeaways with Jessica Ronne
- How caregivers can seek rest and support, and why this is so important.
- What to do if you feel isolated/alone in your community.
- The reality of a day in the life of a caregiver.
- How society is failing parents of children with special needs that are dependent for life.
- Making the distinction between mothers and caregivers
- How important it is for caregiving mothers to eventually outsource some responsibility.
Jessica Ronne Tweetables
- “You need to be surrounded by people who care about you and will really help you when you need it. We aren’t meant to live this life alone. Seek out community like your life depends on it, because it just might.” – Jessica Ronne
- “There is this martyr mommy mentality where mothers think ‘no one could ever do this as well as me’. And I would challenge that: when typical kids turn 18 or 19 years old, we let them spread their wings. With our special needs kids, we can let someone else do the bathing, feeding, diapering… so we can just be their mom.” – Jessica Ronne
- “It’s always a choice: you can choose to wallow in the injustice/unfairness that life throws your way, but it is a choice to rise up and walk towards something life-giving. That is where the joy is found.“- Jessica Ronne
- Jessica Ronne’s Website
- Coffee With Caregivers Podcast
- Connect with Jess on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest.
- Sunlight Burning at Midnight by Jessica Ronne
- Blended with Grit and Grace: Just Keep Livin’ When Life is Expected by Jessica Ronne
- Official Unseen Documentary Trailer.
- Get tickets for the online premiere of Unseen.
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