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One day at a time

February 12, 2015
Maria Smaldino Spencer , MOV Parent

I know I'm speaking for all of us when I say we all worry about our kids each and every day. We worry about everything-appointments, procedures, school issues, etc. - my list can go on forever. I truly feel that the common denominator through all of these things are the decisions we have to make each and every day for our special kids.

And the worries stem from wondering continually if we are making the best decisions for their immediate needs, and for their future.

I was raised in a traditional Italian home. Love, hugs and food were a consistent part of my daily life! Along with all of that, it was modeled to me that the more worry you had for someone, the more you love them. That's just the way life was. I never knew any different.

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When my daughter got sick as an infant, and we weren't sure what her future held, I went into a worry mode that I had never been in before. I thought if I wasn't outwardly worried about her constantly, then I didn't love her that much. For the first two years of her life, that's all I did. I focused on all that she couldn't do, instead of what she was capable of doing. As you can imagine, this was exhausting. I finally surrendered all that I worried about to the One who chose me to be her mother, and started focusing on my decisions, and how I could help her.

Please understand that this doesn't mean that I constantly have it all together, and don't ever worry about her. It is a daily-sometimes hourly-conscious choice to focus on the positive rather than worrying about her future. I've learned that I have to channel my energy into things that are productive, rather than living inside my thoughts that won't benefit her at all.

My prayer for all of us this month is that we are aware of the amount of time and energy we spend in worry mode, and that we will trust and have confidence in the daily decisions we make for our children's futures.

Can you pinpoint the main things you worry about? Can you identify how they present themselves in your daily life? Are you aware of how they affect you and everyone around you?

These are questions I feel that we need to truly digest and take note of on a regular basis. We should "check in" with our thoughts and actions as we go about our busy days. If we are honest with ourselves, I feel we can get better at channeling our energy in the right direction. When we are in a constant state of worry, it is very difficult to think rationally and truly take care of those around us. (I am speaking directly from experience).

Let's commit together this month to first identify how often worry and fear interrupt our days. How much time in our day is taken up by thoughts we can't control? We need to take inventory and think about what we're thinking about. Next, we can write down the things that are consuming us and try to put them in perspective as we put them down on paper. Seeing them on paper, and out of our minds, gives them less power to eat us up on the inside. Lastly, once we truly take note of all of these things, we can begin to make wise, rational decisions for the next step of our child's journey.

I feel if we are serious about making a change in our thinking and our actions, everyone around us will benefit. The decisions regarding our child's care, education, and services won't seem so insurmountable. We will be able to think clearly about the next decision and be confident that it is right for the moment. Let's take one thought at a time, one decision at a day at a time.

Maria Smaldino Spencer is a special mom to Olivia; she and her family reside in Poland, Ohio. She is a parent consultant and inspirational speaker. For more information about her services, contact



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