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I am Tired: Confessions of a Special Needs Mom

I am tired. There, I said it. It’s not like me to publicly admit such a thing. I am strong and independent and I do my best to soldier on without complaining. But 7 months into this pandemic, I am too exhausted to care anymore.

I am a special needs mom of a beautiful girl who is about to turn 10 (despite the doctors who said she wouldn’t live more than a few months). She is immune-compromised. The run-of-the-mill, everyday cold sends her to the hospital for a week. I can only imagine what a virus like COVID-19 would do to her body. And I don’t want to find out. So, we have been isolating since March. And I am tired.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve enjoyed spending so much time with both of my girls. I’m soaking in all the positives this time at home has given our family. But I’m also worn down and exhausted.

Quarantine Adds a New Layer to Special Needs Parenting

Being a mom under normal circumstances is hard. Being a mom under quarantine is even more tiring as we are forced to do even more for our families and children. And being a special needs mom in this circumstance is a special kind of exhausting.

Not only do I spend my days being all the things a typical mom has to be these days…playmate, referee, cook, maid, etc. But I am now also a teacher, 4 different kinds of therapists, and nurse. None of which am I even slightly qualified to be. I’ve had to learn on the fly with no training how to do the jobs of my daughter’s speech, occupational, hearing and physical therapists as well as her special education teacher.

And it’s not just the tasks that are tiring. It’s not the physical act of having to do all these extra things. It’s the mental and emotional toll it takes on me. With the help of her actual therapists, I can figure out how to help her with different tasks and therapies. But watching her struggle to be successful is not easy. It’s hard on a momma’s heart and the emotions make it even harder for me to help her effectively.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to help both of my girls to be as successful in life as is possible for them. I don’t want to let the teachers or therapists down. So, I push through and I try not to take my frustration and exhaustion out on my family.

I am tired

It’s OK to be Tired

This isn’t very positive and for that I apologize. But it is real. And I hope it helps some other special needs moms out there know that they are not alone.

Trista Gangestad

Originally from Florida, Trista Gangestad and her family moved to CO ten years ago and live on a small hobby farm with a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains. She and her husband have 2 daughters, the oldest of which was born with Trisomy 18, a chromosome disorder. Trista has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and worked in Communications and Event Planning for more than 10 years before becoming a mom. During the pandemic, Trista discovered a need for clean burning candles that don’t emit soot or chemicals into our homes. She formed Clever Cow Candle Co. in 2021 and makes hand poured, 100% soy wax candles with clever, inspiring and sometimes sarcastic designs on the containers. Check out her candles at When this busy mom has time for herself, she enjoys sewing, crafting, shopping, drinking “candy coffee,” and watching guilty pleasure TV shows.

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