When Sandy first asked if I’d like to be a guest contributor on her blog I thought she was joking because I openly refer to myself as the “Anti-Martha” (not by choice but by DNA.) I own one wine glass and I only bust my wrinkly, ragged table cloth out to cover the permanent maker and glitter glue that covers our dining table.

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A little over two years ago our oldest son Sawyer was diagnosed with autism, a year later our middle son Thatcher was given the same diagnosis.

Autism can be a lonely place.

Sometimes friends pull away because they don’t know how to act or support your family. And sometimes (like in my case) as a mom of two special needs kids, it’s just easier not to put myself out there.  My kids are AMAZING and have taught me so much about compassion and truly cherishing small blessings. But there are many days when the meltdowns and “stemming” suck every ounce of energy from my body.

There are times when I am so exhausted and emotionally spent, that the last thing I would ever want to do is invite people over to witness our chaos.

Last June my friend and I started a mom’s blog called Earth Monkey Moms. We were getting ready to launch our company’s first line of eco-friendly baby accessories and we knew we wanted to do more than just sell cute bibs. We used the blog as a place to open up about our lives … the good, the bad and the crazy… something amazing happened.

Moms started sharing with us how much our transparency meant to them… how they had gone through similar things or shared the guilt we place on ourselves as mothers when we can’t manage to keep up the illusion that we have it all together.  As the months pass we’re still passionate about encouraging other moms to stop pretending to be something they’re not… to stop thinking that we have to have it all together and to truly celebrate the women God made us to be.

It’s been through this journey that I have realized that we stopped entertaining when I got tired. Tired of the work, tired of pretending I had it all together and tired of feeling judged by people who didn’t understand how autism has taken over our lives. Reading Sandy’s blog and book has really inspired me to feel safe inviting the people we love most into our chaos once again. It’s helped me realize that it doesn’t matter if I only own one real glass and 1,700 plastic kids’ cups, and it doesn’t matter if there’s a pile of clean laundry on the couch or a stack (well let’s be honest… a mountain) of dishes in my sink.

The key to entertaining is inviting people you really want to share your life with.

Special needs kids or not, I know I’m not alone in feeling the pressure of needing to make it look like I have it all together. If you’re tired of pretending or just want a place to read and laugh and feel at home, visit our blog anytime, www.earthmonkeymoms.com and feel free to stop by our website www.earthmonkeys.com if you’re looking for unique, affordable eco-friendly bibs, pacifier holders and changing pads. We’d love to get to know you!

Do you know  families with special needs kids, and have you supported or invited them over for dinner?

(I’m so happy to have Lindsay on board as a sponsor of RE. I really wanted her to write this post and explain their site and what EM is about. I didn’t feel I could do “it” justice. I am so proud of Lindsay and her partner. If you’re a young Mom, and you like what you read here, or you know who could benefit from Earth Monkey’s, would you share their site and the Earth Monkey love? Thanks for being here today, Lindsay! Facebook: Earth Monkeys Twitter: @EarthMonkeys)