Friday, March 29, 2013

Special Needs Super Mom Spotlight: Michelle R. Howard-Smith

Here is my second post in a series I will call Special Needs Super Mom Spotlight. I am so happy to present to you the beautiful Michelle R. Howard-Smith of Special Mom Space, Radiant Brown Beauty, and mother to CJ.

I was actually led to Michelle through a google search. I typed in "special needs mom and self care"  (two subjects close to my heart) and up popped Michelle's blog, Special Mom Space.  I was intrigued and knew I had to spotlight her on my blog. 

Describe your creative journey pre-kids to post kids. How have you been transformed?
Prior to having children, there wasn't a creative bone in my body that I knew of. I was busy being cute, shopping and stuff. It was all about me and in no way did I express that creatively, other than how to assemble a wardrobe. Now, that I have my CJ I express myself through writing, specifically sharing my life as a special needs mom.
Specifically, what kind of crafting do you do and why? 
My crafting is more in the form of written word. I have so much knowledge on the subject of beauty - caring for natural hair, skin healthy and more. I have written for several blogs sharing my knowledge but I am now focusing on sharing what I know on my own blog, Radiant Brown Beauty.
I also share creative ways for special needs moms to relieve stress. I create videos for both of my blogs demonstrating a variety of things like hairstyles and thoughts on staying sane as a special needs mom.
What is your schedule like? How and when do you find the time to work? What is your process? Do you craft full time or do you have another job?
I have a jam packed schedule. I work full time Monday through Friday outside of the home. I also attend blogger events during the week after work from time to time. I do my recording and writing on the weekends. I concentrate most of my writing late at night when my son is asleep. I'd much rather stay up really late (think 3am), get it all done and be able to spend the daytime free hours with my boy.
I keep an editorial calendar so that I am never in need of topics to write about. I focus on writing around specific subjects on specific days for each of my blogs.
For Special Mom Space I share my weight loss and healthy living related posts on Mondays. On Wed/Thurs I share a specific life experience with my son or a product review/giveaway. On Saturdays I write a Scripture and Spirit post sharing thoughts based on the Word of God, scriptures in the Bible and my life as a Christian.
For Radiant Brown Beauty, I share a hair care/style related post on Mondays. On Wednesday I share a skin care related post, and on Fridays I share beauty product reviews.
From time to time I will write additional posts on other days depending on what's happening in the media or in my life.
Tell us about your child. What is his/her diagnosis and how does it affect him/her? How does it affect you?
My CJ is one of the happiest little boys I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He loves watching TV and playing with cars. I sometimes think he has an old soul because he enjoys shows like The Golden Girls, Maude, Martin, Everybody Loves Raymond and George Lopez. He gets a real kick out of watching these shows!
My son is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, intractible epilepsy and severe developmental delays. He is 12 years old but functions like a 1 or 2 year old. Physically, he has limitations. He's in a wheelchair.
CJ does not have very many word but he manages to let us know what he wants. His favorite word as of late is Charlie. Charlie is our cat and he and CJ play so nicely together.

Besides crafting, what else do you do to relax, unwind, cope? 
I am a Christian so when stressed I pray and read The Bible. I also enjoy watching Netflix movies with my husband and son. I have an 18 year old daughter at home but, as you can imagine, she's never here! She works two jobs and goes to school.
Can you mention a particular stressful incident with your child that gave you the opportunity to employ said coping strategies?
CJ has had several epileptic attacks where he has wound up, either in the ER, or admitted to the hospital. All I know to do is pray and ask God for help. I speak the Word over CJ when a seizure comes. My favorite scriptures form my confessions, "No weapon formed against him will prosper. Healing is the children's bread and Jesus Himself took this infirmity and bore this sickness and by His stripes, you are healed." We don't have many severe seizure attacks.
What tip(s) would you give moms caring for special needs children? What have you learned?
I realize that everyone doesn't share my beliefs but all I can share is what I know and have experience with. Every mother - no every parent of a special needs child needs to develop a close relationship with God. He is our own only help and He is The Source of all strength and comfort.
In the natural, I'd say it's important to make time for yourself. Your children are important and you are their mother but you are also a woman and women have other needs. I share more tips on my blog.
Where can we find you in cyberspace? 
My social networks are as follows:
Facebook (for special needs moms):
Facebook (for beauty lovers):
Youtube: needs)
Youtube: (beauty)


  1. Thankyou for sharing. Lovely to meet Michelle and her family! Indeed such an important topic of balancing our kids and ourselves.

  2. Thanks for sharing my story and my blog Nell :-) It's Special Mom Space although it could also be called Mom's Special Space. I kinda like that too!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story Michelle. Thank you for featuring special needs moms, Nell. Awesome!

  4. Thank you all! I am glad I get to share the wondeful endeavors of other special needs moms!

  5. Thanks Kristen. Our stories are sooo unique!