What is “normal?”

What is normal? According to Webster, “normal” is: according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle. But any parent knows that there is no such phenomenon and any working from home parent would really laugh at the notion.

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about normalcy. Lately my life has been dictated by traveling back and forth from Arkansas and Texas taking my daughter to specialists. We thought we were just dealing with a blood glucose problem but once we got answers on how to manage that condition another diagnosis came. We now know that our almost two-year-old has high functioning, mild to moderate autism.

After researching (because writers are great at research) we’ve learned how manageable this can be and that it actually, in a way proves to us how bright we know she is. She is in good company with brilliant minds such as Bill Gates, Albert Einstein and Beethoven. This does put more work on us so that we can ensure that she will properly channel herself so that she can share her brilliance with the world.

Fortunately, I do have the privilege to work from home. Unfortunately, I have to adjust to a new “normal” that includes therapies and different tactics to help her in addition to my writing. I always knew she was a difficult assistant but now this brings on a whole different difficult.

But as an artist I’m tough. Like Anne Hathaway (Cat Woman) says in the Dark Knight Rises trailer, “I’m adaptable.” Artists, writers and especially parents must be adaptable and like cats we must land on our feet through rejection, deadlines and any difficult time.

Through careful planning and dedication I’ll discover my new “normal.” I get to be my own student and re-utilize the very techniques that I teach in my writing moms workshops. I learned how to adapt to being a writing mom through a journaling technique and I’m ready to use that again to find my routine and best way to manage my time.

Whether you are dealing with a sick child, a looming deadline, a new venture or anything that strays you from your normal routine, you too can adapt and discover a new normal. Life gives us curve balls that constantly defy our precious norm. This is why I don’t believe in “normal.” I believe in “typical:” combining or exhibiting the essential characteristics of a group or situation.

I believe in typical days and we can work on managing the rest as constant students in our quest to find more time and have it all.

What does “normal” mean to you?



Happy one year anniversary to my debut book, “Caring for Your Special Needs Dog.” Oscar (my dog and inspiration for the book) are still honored to assist fellow families of special needs dogs. Thanks to everyone who shares my passion.

Congrats to Cool Gus Publishing (formally Who Dares Wins Publishing) on their name change. I’m fortunate to be part of this talented family!

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4 thoughts on “What is “normal?”

  1. Roni Loren says:

    My four-year old son has high-functioning autism, so I completely understand having to redefine normal. I’ve stopped worrying about what is “normal” and focus on who he is and where he’s at right now. I have a four year old who’s not potty-trained, has trouble having back and forth conversation, but taught himself to read at two and can locate every state and capital on a U.S. map. So yeah, that’s our normal, lol.

    By the way, I’m part of a parenting group blog with other writers (Peanut Butter on the Keyboard). Besides me, we have two other author moms who have children on the spectrum and we blog about it. It’s helped me to know other moms who are going through some of the same things, so if you want to check it out, it’s here: http://peanutbutteronthekeyboard.wordpress.com/

    Good luck with everything!

  2. Oh Natalie, I can only imagine everything you as a family have been dealing with and assimilating. It sounds like you are on the right track to finding your new routine and to helping your daughter find her path. A tough path for all of you but one that I know will be filled with much joy, passion, love, and happiness!
    Normal – really??!! I don’t think such a thing exist. Life is about being in constant movement, flux and change. Being adaptable and flexible is key. Ya always gotta be able to roll with it and make the best of it. Because the one thing we can count on for sure, is CHANGE! I guess that’s “my” normal…LOL!!
    Great post. Keep us posted on how you are all doing.

  3. amyshojai says:

    If “normal” is the herd mentality, give me abnormal every day! Extraordinary isn’t “normal.” A “normal” is middle of the road and there’s nothing wrong with that–but outside of that box are WORLDS of wonderful-icity!

    Challenges make us grow. They often aren’t comfortable but can get us to new, glorious places. May the new challenges you face be liberating and uplifting and help feed your creativity even more. What a gift you have in this child–and she in you. {{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}

  4. Joy Held's Writer Wellness Blog says:

    Natalie! Very well said and I’m sending you and your family constant positive energy, hugs, and love. Stay positive, friend. hugs…

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