Nacho Mama’s

Yesterday was the day. The day where all your stress comes together packaged so nicely for you to just find yourself crying so hard you are not even sure if you can stop.  The more your husband would hug you the more you would cry.  Then those thoughts pop in your mind where, you just want to walk away.  Yep, these things actually happen to people like myself.  Writing this probably scares some of my family and friends but the fact is being a special needs Mom, at times you want to just give up and move to the beach and open a food shack and call it Nacho Mama’s.

It’s been a rough time for us all lately.  You think you know what will help fix what’s happening and what you find is it is just compacting things even more.  Everything you try seems to part more distance between vs. bringing you back together like a team.  You find yourself squeezing every bit of energy in these small chunks of time you have between Cody’s 45 hours of therapy and his big brothers busy sports and high school schedule and next thing you know, you are so numb to the little things and it catches up with you.

I keep telling myself, I can take one more day with things being thrown at me. I can bear one more day of and then the next day I will catch up on my rest.  Your family and friends keep saying don’t forget to take a day for yourself.  You nod your head ok, but hell, if it was that easy, I would but today those times are far in between.  All I do know,  is how fast my heart starts beating and my anxiety can literally feel like too much when the worry sets in and you immediately seek the ways you know that make you feel calm again even if its temporary.

Then you start questioning your own self why you feel like you have a right to feel this stressed when your youngest son is fighting such a huge battle?  Then your guilt starts settling in and you start trying to play the strong, always has your shit together mother who can take on any hurdle thrown her way.  But, when no one is looking you are so tired of feeling like you should be stronger and find yourself with your hands on your forehead crouched over your knees crying again.

I then start questioning myself if I am doing enough for Cody but at the same time I am sick and tired of the therapy sessions and the doctors’ appointments and just want a regular normal day.  Often times Brad and I find ourselves making sure Cameron, our oldest feels normalcy too.  This poor kid can’t even come down stairs in his own home and grab a bowl of cereal in his boxers in the mornings without running into a therapist.  He too has had to alter his every day in his own home.  Brad and I will power through to make as many normal attempts so Cameron does not look back years from now and see how much he had to sacrifice as a teenager even though we could both just curl up in a cave and hibernate for an entire winter.

This blog is not intended to be a cry out for help and or sympathy or suggestions on anti-depressants.  It’s just me expressing my thoughts today.  It’s been a sad horrible weekend that peaked from weeks and weeks of tension and stress that have built up.  I hurt today.  My brain hurts even more.  I’ve been at the edge. The edge of losing the momentum we have going with Cody’s progress. The edge of losing connection and bond I have with Cameron. The edge of losing my bond between Brad and I, my sanity… my “self”.  I have been on the edge more times than I really want to admit.

But here’s the thing, though. I can’t quit. I can’t give up. I am not allowed to. Brad is not allowed too.  WE are not allowed to quit. If we give up, deep down no one else will advocate for Cody like we do. No one will love your child the way we love our boys. We are stronger than we even realize we are. We have been doing this full speed for 2 years now. We are taking time for our self, even if it’s just a short breather to turn off your mind and read something familiar or grab a burger at LSA in Denton.  We are doing it.  We celebrate the little things. We witness the pure joy when our children are proud of themselves weather its swinging his new bat and hitting an far outfielder or when the therapist takes a photo of Cody getting ready for his equine therapy this coming Saturday and he is walking around in a helmet and boots in therapy sessions because that is a struggle to get him to wear.  It’s just different than we used to do things.  We are strong parents. Today, it’s time to turn the corner and pick ourselves back up.


God chose us to be Cameron and Cody’s parents. We were born with what it takes to get through this and not give up.  Today might be an ugly day but deep down I know we got this and I would not change it for the world.  I have a strong connection with many Mom’s and know I am not alone.   I have a strong marriage with a man that loves me.  I have a wonderful support group where I can get answers and ask for suggestions or their experiences.

And even though I know we can do this and will never give up, I also know that there will still be nights I might  stay awake worrying how I might  get through another day.  I might find myself digging deep down and question if I have what it takes to persevere and get my child the support he needs and that’s when YOU, the other Mom with a Special Needs Child, A family member, a friend, a husband or even a stranger will remind you through a post, text, phone call or in person, that you got this.

Published by mamalamaneustupa

Bio My name is Shelley Neustupa. I am a mother of two cool boys and a wife of 22 years to my high school sweetheart. My oldest son attends the University of Oklahoma. Boomer! My youngest is in 2nd grade and was diagnosed with Autism and Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder at age 2. Since his diagnosis, I promised him I would advocate and educate as hard as he works each day in therapy. I began writing and have been able to touch many parents that may be new to this journey providing them with actual experiences (not candy coated), support and resources through my entries. Writing is my therapy and my hope one day that my nonverbal son will be able to take these diaries and speak about his own journey and how autism relates to his own experiences. Who knows he and his older brother may become National Speaker’s one day? Come along on our journey to better understand our lives through the eyes of a boy with autism, his Skilled Companion dog Jude, his big brother (and best friend) and mom and dad. My raw vulnerability captures the everyday moments of our journey and will bring even more awareness. A week does not go by where we do not learn something new about ourselves and I want to share these chapters with you. My Sons Undeniable Strengths… Extremely smart and figures out things quickly. Has a memory that allows him to remember more things than I could ever hope for. Persuasive by his personality and sheepish looks. Overabundance of stamina and strength. Loves the outdoors. Enjoys life and always has fun with an unforgettable smile. You can find us here: Writer: Autism Through His Eyes Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Canine Companions for Independence News Interview Cody and Skilled Companion Jude - Our Story

10 thoughts on “Nacho Mama’s

  1. Great Post…
    It’s just God’s way of reminding us that we’re only human and we all have breaking points regardless of how invincible we like to think we are. Both of our boys will look back one day and realize how lucky they are to have such an extraordinary Mom like you and I can’t even fathom how you could do any more than you already do. You are the glue that keeps us together and while were going to continue to face difficult times throughout this journey, I couldn’t imagine anyone else I would want to have by my side.
    Love You, B-


  2. Shelley, thank you for sharing this!!!! So often parents of special needs children have shame for feeling this way … and they hold it in and continue to keep it bottled up inside. Everything you shared was spot on! Other moms need to know it is ok to remove the armour once in a while. So often, when I get to this point I have to lean on my husband because no one and I mean NO ONE gets it more than him. Others try to … they really do. This includes my mom, dad, step parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins, BFFs, therapists, PAs, doctors, teachers, etc etc … I work extra hard sometimes to keep it together and stay strong in front of them. If I break down, they don’t really know what to say or do. They say things to try and help which more often than not makes things worse. And even though it’s with the best intentions I find myself shutting down. It’s too exhausting to try and make them understand … because at best they will understand only on the surface. While all these people (therapists, PAs) are here to help (and they are a huge help), it can sometimes be smothering. At times, my brain literally feels like a pinata … and maybe the best way for me to decompress is to have my house to myself and blare some angry Alanis Morissette music …. and sing really loud without anyone judging me. What I do know for sure is this … we NEED these moments.


  3. Love you, sweet friend!! You are one brave mama!! Even those of us supporting kiddos with “little special needs” like ADHD feel the need to run away from life sometimes. It always hits me at the beginning of the school year when it just seems so overwhelming to get teachers to understand my sweet little girl…

    Liked by 1 person

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