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Life In General

Patti’s Story: Succeed, Fail, Pray, Regroup

I’m excited to share Patti’s story with you today.  Patti’s journey through motherhood is a challenging one, and I’m continually inspired by her resilience and her attitude of faith despite setbacks many of us would find so daunting.  She’s an amazing mom, and a skilled advocate for her children.  This is her story:

woman with sparkler

My husband Mike and I have four children.

That is a statement that stops a lot of people as it is something they seem to need to absorb. Then when I say their ages they often congratulate me and say, “Wow you have your hands full. I don’t know how you do it.”

It’s okay though, I need the ego boost because the truth is, there are days that I think I am the worst mom ever and after I pray and regroup, I am ready to go again. “I am an human. It’s okay.” I tell myself, and it is okay. My kids are perfect and I am doing the best I can with what gifts I have been given.

My life is my normal. Some people work and parent. I work at being a parent.

I am not saying that others don’t but I have had to study up on Autism as my son Ryan,10, was diagnosed at 4 with Autism PDD NOS.  In plain English, that is Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified.

Thomas is also diagnosed Autism PDD NOS ADHD.

Zoe has ADHD (so does her mother) which is Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

Ruth has DS or Down Syndrome.

That is a handful of doctor’s notes and research! All of those acronyms indeed take a lot of energy to memorize. They all mean we have a gene via our Maker through Mike or I (and I don’t want to know).

Except for Ruth.  She is just another random act of God and a reminder if how precious life is. Ruth is a blessing and is adored by everyone who meets her. Her 4 therapists plus a social worker through the Children’s Network, rave about her. She goes to Junior Kindergarten this September and the teachers are excited.

There are those rundown, tired days where I am not sure if I will make it. Laundry, dishes, lunches, chores, homework, forms, forms, forms to fill out, sports, doctors, groceries, bills…..and so on.

You, know, the mom thing times four.

It is said that He never gives us more than we can handle. That phrase often makes me wonder if God thinks I’m Wonder Woman. I’d wear her outfit because she was a diva (haha) but no, I am not Wonder Woman.

There is a lot on my plate and it is evident when I peer over laundry mountain, over to the abyss of lightly used clothing my family has been blessed with, I can gratefully say we are surrounded by a community abundant with love. We are truly blessed, not burdened.

School is the place that I need to brace myself for. That is the sole reason the kids are diagnosed.


They are very talented in their own ways. Some areas they excel and others they struggle. Special Ed. Departments need the labels to be able to apply IEP’s (Individual Education Plan) in order to gear learning toward an individual.

I tell myself that when I go to a meeting at school to talk about my anxieties that my sons and daughter are getting all they extra help they may need and that people need to be aware that they are almost silently different. They don’t even pay attention to the world around them sometimes and it’s like they have gone someplace better.

If I didn’t get involved though they would be passed over or punished for being lazy. Teachers don’t automatically know about special needs.

I have fought and cried with people at the school. There have been days I thought life was so unfair but I choose to look at life with a sense of humour and a little humility. If my child gets a C in math and tried their best with the resources available, then hey, I’m happy. They are good kids and constantly make me laugh at their randomness.

My kids are high functioning on the Spectrum of Autism and labelled as such so they can receive the best care possible medically and academically.

They are good kids and no matter what label society needs to ensure they get the best education and job possible for them to succeed in this system that our country has created. They are perfect just as they are.

I have learned also that I need to take care of me in order to be top notch for them. We take Goju karate together and keep fit and focused. Ryan can now focus much better and is proud of the medals he has won in tournaments. Zoe is a ballerina and Thomas is a cowboy and takes lessons at our friend’s farm. We also have a house full of rescue animals that reside in our home (a small zoo) and, well that is another story.

The kids are compassionate, normal, high energy and intelligent.

Mike and I are the parents of four kids.  We succeed, we fail and we pray and regroup for the next day.


Patti lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband Mike, and their four kids.

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Rene Dumas

    Wow what a SUPER mom – I was really touched by “labelled as such so they can receive the best care possible medically…..” I’ve worked in the healthcare industry and seen good and bad stuff. I pray that the system changes someday so that lovely children like this don’t have to be “labelled” to receive a certain kind of care. We should all get care regardless. Blessings to this beautiful family
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  2. Lindi

    This is a beautiful story and message! I hope to have four of my own one day (we are working on two!). Each child is a blessing 🙂
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  3. kungphoo

    Its not easy even with 1 kid.. sometimes with our 2 we do the same thing.. Just regroup and see where it goes.

  4. Jamie

    I always say that God only gives us what we can handle…even if there are sometimes we need to ask for help. What an amazing story and amazing Mom!! 🙂
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  5. crystal

    I want to give you a big hug. I have one daughter that has NLD, impulse and sensory issues.
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  6. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    You are amazing! Those kids are sure lucky to have you guys as parents.

  7. mrenkema79

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your story!! Strength to you in your challenges! <3

  8. Christina

    Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Terri Ramsey Beavers

    My mom had 4 daughters and I don’t know how she managed us esp during that time of month. Poor thing. But that is the only challenge she really had. I had 3 kids and I can’t say anything stands out as a challenge. This story is amazing and I’ll be praying for strength to see things through. What a blessing.
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  10. Coupon Gal (Andi)

    grace, grace, and more grace – sometimes that’s what it takes
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  11. Brittany at Equipping Godly Women

    For the record, most teachers don’t automatically see students as lazy. If they do, they are probably being lazy themselves. Most teachers genuinely want to help kids and will go above and beyond to do so
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  12. Chelley @ AisForAdelaide

    This is so powerful. We get what we can handle, as a whole- I’m sure- but there are days in between, that it’s hard to get a grip. I love that you’re so honest.

  13. Holly Marie

    Powerful post! Goodness is she strong! Thank you for sharing her story with us!
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  14. Melissa

    Thank you for sharing her story with us! It was so powerful. I totally agree that prayer is the best way to regroup after a “failure”.
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  15. Cynthia L

    What a great post. It is a blessing to have children, no matter what. Each child is different (thankfully) and each brings his/her own challenges. Some more than others. It sounds like the family is full of love and that is what counts the most.
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  16. Amanda

    Such beautiful pictures to highlight such a beautiful family. I love hearing about all of the amazing families and how they all work together to face many of the same obstacles we face as a family. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Danielle K

    What a beautiful and inspiring story. It sounds like you’re a super-mom and you’ve got a wonderful, supportive family to help keep things in perspective. Thanks for sharing your story.

  18. Robin Gagnon

    I only have one child. She has both autism and apraxia. People sometimes say I don’t know how you do it being a single parent… but she is all I know of motherhood, so it sort of just seems our normal.
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  19. Liz Mays

    That’s quite a lot going on with all the kids each day. It’s inspiring to hear the stories, struggles and realities.
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  20. swell conditions

    That was a wonderful story, thanks for sharing. It reminds me how easy I’ve got it and to appreciate that.
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  21. Nicole Herose Escat

    This is so inspiring, before what I’ve done was always failed, pray is the only help. This time I felt good and I know there are many things would be come in our lives.
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  22. Beth@FrugalFroggie

    It can be hard to be a parent. Especially when you have children with extra needs. It sounds like you are handling it as best you can.
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  23. Geanine

    Patti is an amazing mom, God Bless you and your four perfect children! I to say God only gives us what we can handle, and on hard days I tend to sing and ask God for strength to help me through, and then I burt out laughing to hear my little girl singing with me all off tune.:) Little moments of laughter, that get us all through.

  24. Sharon Wong

    This was so touching. I love hearing stories about getting through hardships.Glad that you had a lot of support. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  25. Erin Kennedy

    This post is so touching. I cannot believe all that you have on your plate, but your story was filled with grace and dignity and the love you have for your children really stands out. A lot of people couldn’t deal with what you have, but I am sure you see your life as one big blessing.

  26. Roselynn

    I never thought superman was real, but apparently he has actually been a she and the world’s most amazing mom. I’m not a mom myself, but I could honestly not imagine going through so much. I can see school being the biggest fear, children can be so cruel and it’s completely out of our control what goes on. But your children are so lucky to have such a courageous mom like you to guide and teach them.
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  27. Maggie

    He never gives us more than we can handle but wow, you have a lot too handle! You must be such a strong woman and just remember your kids will remember how strong you are and draw their strength from you.
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  28. Danielle

    This was such a great piece to read and you are awesome for being able to tell your stories. Having been an educator I have seen so many parents get caught up in their own fears of labels and miss out on opportunities that would benefit their children in the long run. Good for you, I plan to share this story.

  29. April Decheine

    What a story, wow your children must look at you like you are an amazing woman. So glad you have support to help you stay strong.
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  30. eliz frank

    What an inspiring post. It ‘s never easy managing a household with one kid, let alone 4 kids, so I applaud your spirit.

  31. Jillian Fisher

    I think you are amazing. These kids are blessed to have you and your husband as their parents.
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  32. Alysia from My Domestic Dish

    PATTI!!! If you read this, I wanna be buds!! lol
    Actually though… we *also* have four children, my stepson diagnosed as ASD, and I know how that bit of things feels (as well as the “mom times four”). We also live in Ontario- in Welland, near Niagara Falls, if you’re familiar with our area.
    Shoot me a “hi” and get in touch please!
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