Mothers bear the brunt of the child-raising, often. Raising a child with Down syndrome can be as exhausting as it is rewarding. Kerry Daugherty made it seem light. Here’s the first of what we hope will be many entries, from a mom’s perspective. Thanks for reading. As always: Expect. Don’t accept. PD
Hello. I am the woman behind the man behind the woman. That would make me Paul’s wife and Jillian’s mother, Kerry. After months of hearing from Paul and Jillian, Paul thought it was time for my side of the story. When he started writing the book, I teased Paul that the working title should be A Single Father’s Guide to Raising a Child with Down Syndrome. Paul is a wonderful father and has done an excellent job raising both of our children, but I was there too. At least give me credit for the birth!
All kidding aside, raising any child is a team effort, but especially when raising a child with a disability. Whether your team is a spouse, extended family or the networking of professionals and other families in your situation, it truly takes a village. An Uncomplicated Life is a beautiful story of raising Jillian from a seedling into the awesome woman she is today. I have enjoyed the wonderful response to the book. So many people wrote to Paul and expressed their appreciation for such an honest and open account of raising our daughter. I’m grateful that you have found a connection in the words he wrote.
I would like to use this space periodically, to tell the mother’s side of the story: How to stay informed of your educational rights (trust me, it will become necessary), or how even the most seemingly inconsequential situation can become a “teaching moment”. Or the more serious topics of teaching Jillian how to enjoy shopping (it involves food) and the importance of starting a conversation by asking about the other person’s day (especially when calling to ask for money).
I stayed well versed on the law and thus well-armed for the IEP meetings. I researched the college opportunities for Jillian. I shopped for the prom dresses. I know some things, from the practical to the coping, that you might find helpful.
Perhaps I will write a book and title it A Single Mother’s Guide to Raising a Child with Down Syndrome. (LOL) I would love to hear from you as well. If you have any stories you would like to share, please contact me via the social media of your choice:
I look forward to our discussions and exploring this wonderful world of parenting together.