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An unexpected path: The mother I have become

Daria Mochan essays, Special Needs

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When I started out on my motherhood journey, life was quite normal. Aside from one illness, my first-born and I only saw the pediatrician at wellness checks. I read the baby guides and checked off each milestone that Anna effortlessly met. I fretted over little things like using cloth or disposable diapers and wondered if I didn’t enroll her in Kindermusik if her music ability would be stunted. I worried about Anna’s food pickiness and her tendency to only want to eat crackers and cheese. I was a new mother finding her way along a typical path.

Everything changed when Gia was born. Her situation was not what we had expected and I was thrust into a world I did not think I would ever visit. I was nervous of the added responsibilities and the unknown. Tired of hospitals and doctors. I felt so isolated, so alone. I wanted my normal back.

Less than an hour after her birth, without me even seeing her, doctors told that me Gia was “atypical”. My midwife visited me minutes later. She told me everything would be OK. There was a whole new world waiting for us. A world we didn’t even know existed before Gia was born.

She was right.

I have swallowed the redpill. I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. I’ve taken off the rose-colored glasses. My life will never be the same.

It’s a different world here. Little things are noticed and they are beautiful. Everyday I am appreciative for the progresses, however small, we have made. I am thankful Anna has become so caring and helpful. I’m relieved to know my marriage has made it through some rough patches of the first year of parenting a special child and has survived. I am proud of myself for handling Gia’s challenges and guiding her toward her future. I am more comfortable being a mother, know (most of the time) what is best for my children and take action to give them the opportunities to succeed. I will never stop believing in all they can accomplish in life. It’s made me a stronger and more confident mother. It’s made me a better mother.

And I am not alone.

The friends I have made on this journey are the most compassionate and caring I have ever met. Friends who I can laugh with, cry with, vent with, and confide in. When times are rough, friends that are close reach out in person; friends that are far give much-needed cyber-hugs. And, like me, they find even the little triumphs are cause for much celebration. My family’s situation may be unique but we are definitely not alone.

The mother I have become is so different than what I could have ever imagined. I find myself on a path I would not have chosen, but I am so grateful to be here.

And I wouldn’t change a thing.

A big happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mamas.

About the Author

Daria Mochan

Daria Mochan. Wife. Sister. Daughter. Pet Lover. Biologist. Photographer. She answers to many titles, but her favorite is Mommy. Daria spends most of her time as a mom to 2 wonderful girls, each very special in their own way. Follow Daria's blog, .

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