Control What You can Control

Kate 7

I had the honor of speaking to a room full of mothers a few weekends ago. To say it was a group of amazing women is an understatement.

These moms are strong, resilient, brave, kind, and have the ability to find humor and joy even on their darkest days.

They are no stranger to disability. Or stepping into the role of nurse/therapist/teacher. And driving to and from therapy centers. Living in waiting rooms. Children’s Hospital. And living on hope.

They became advocates simply by giving birth. They inspire me.

These are the women who paved the way for my son. And the ones coming up after him.

My speech came straight from my book. And when I was done, another mother spoke, and she thanked me. She said…’there is no section at the bookstore for people like me. Thank you Kate for writing what I needed to read. A story about my life.’

She’s right ya know. When my son was diagnosed I searched the book stores for a story like ours. There were none. And that isolation alone broke me.

So I wrote it. The story of us. The story of a boy and his family. And his autism. And our journey. My voice still shakes when I speak. My hands still sweat. I don’t know if that will ever go away. The fear. But if I help just one mom. That’s all that matters to me.

Here is an excerpt from my speech. It’s a part of my book. And I would be honored if you preordered a copy of my book. You can grab a copy on Amazon Forever Boy or at SubText: A Bookstore.
“So here is my advice. You can only control what you can control. And that is you. Your attitude. The way you look at what you have been given.

Every morning, before my feet hit the ground, whether it’s 3 am or 5 am, I tell myself that I will find at least one joyful thing today.

And eventually, my attitude changed. I changed.

I stopped measuring and carrying jealousy and anger around.

I started living.

Don’t miss your child’s life focusing on the hard parts. Yes, I still worry. I will get caught up thinking about his life after I am gone and sometimes, I find it hard to breathe.

Because he is so vulnerable. Who will love him like I do? I don’t know the answer to that question. I am not sure I ever will. But again, control what I can control.

I can build a beautiful for my and our family. I can put supports in place and teach him independence.

Take it from an mom that has been doing this for a while.

That’s no way to live.

So mamas, you got this. Control what you can control. And let the rest go. And focus on finding the joy. No matter how simple. Or how small it is.

And hold onto it.

Thank Chad Greenway’s Lead the Way Foundation for giving me the opportunity to share our story!

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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