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The Grass is Greener Where You Water It: Marriage with a Special Needs Child

Interestingly enough, this is a blog we’ve been talking about writing for a few weeks. Then Allergic Living posted this article, and I was so happy to see it. My personal experience with this is that recently, after 27 years, my husband and I had to really look at who we are together.

There was no question about what family means to us, and there was no question about what we mean to each other as the parents of our beautiful twins and as lifelong friends. But when you get to that point of asking “Who are we together?” it takes a lot of courage and honor to look at it. Respecting each other so much and wanting true happiness for each other, we humbly stood at this sacred crossroad.

As we really looked at our marriage in the context of our whole life, we realized that because of all of our responsibilities— responsibilities that we all have—it was not getting the water and sunshine that it needs.

Someone once said to me, “The grass is greener where you water it.”

We starting looking at where the water was going. It was going to keeping Lily safe every day and to helping our twins live healthy whole lives and to starting this company that we knew could serve so many with safe and healthy foods.

We reached out for help to a PHD of psychology who we really respect. In our first meeting, she said, “Of course your marriage is struggling, you’re not taking the time for your marriage and you have a special needs child, and that is always stressful on a marriage.”

It was a staggering moment for me. Those words rang in my heart because I had never thought of it that way. Of course…having special needs every second of the day. Since Lily was 3, we have had a special needs child, and every decision has been based around making sure that she is safe and that we don’t make a mistake.

That day was profound clarity for me that we needed to start looking differently at how we live our life. That we need to be there for each other, not only to be the couple we committed to be, but to hold each other’s hands in a fuller, richer way surrounding the truth of living with a special needs child.

My marriage, my family, my commitment to self care are more complete and more whole from this gift of the crossroads. I am so grateful that we continue to be able to look and learn and seek and grow. That is the true gift of living with a special needs food allergy child. She makes everyone in my family a better, stronger person. We live more fully and more courageously because of her courage and because of all the care and compassion we get from everyone around us.

Standing at the crossroads showed us that taking good care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually and taking good care of our marriage will keep our family strong so that we can be there for our precious special needs child.

Jane Pinto
Mother and Co-Founder

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