Playing Offense Instead of Defense with Melanie Oates

By December 1, 2020 September 22nd, 2021 Press

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The Special Needs Mom Podcast hosted by Kara Ryska

This week I’m sharing my conversation with Melanie Oates. Melanie as a mother of two special needs children, a single working mother and a founder of a nonprofit organization, Here For a Reason.

We touch on topics like self-care, daily balance, divorce and her nonprofit.

Melanie is a working mom and often has unpredictable days because of her children’s unique needs and abilities. She says that it often helps to go into the day understanding that she needs to have a balance in her mindset for the day. She shares that she’s has mental struggles in the past and she knows she needs a clear headspace to make sure that she can successfully maneuver her work and her children in distance-learning. We made the comparison to her starting off her day with an offense of approach instead of coming on the defense when things get hard.

When I brought up the topic of taking care of herself, we realized sometimes she does stop short. She explains how she used to do blog posts and write creatively to deal with her emotions and situations. She reflects on this as enjoyable, but she describes that she has an inner dialogue that some days “she’s done enough for herself” and doesn’t want to keep pushing. The more we talked we realized she was doing this more for other people and not for herself. I love having these moments of realization with other moms!

I do want to share a little about her nonprofit. Melanie explained how she met so many roadblocks while trying to get care and financial relief with her own children and how difficult it can be. All of the extra things add up quickly and the process is so difficult. She founded the nonprofit, HFAR, to help lighten the load for other families who are on a similar journey.

Melanie also opens up about her divorce. She describes life as a new mom, in college, married, and trying to figure out the needs of her children. On her way, she says how much social media has become to her. She describes it like one huge family. It’s a place for her to share freely and build important connections with other parents.

I definitely encourage you to follow her on Instagram or reach out if you want to talk more about anything.

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