Meeting the needs of parents and caregivers loving little ones with special needs
The planner I have for you today breaks my rules a bit – because it’s not a planner I currently use. And no, I’m not becoming a full-time professional planner reviewer! BUT! When Amanda, of the glory days co., wrote to me and asked me if I would get the word out about the glory days planner, I couldn’t say no. She graciously sent me one of her planners to review, and at the end of this post, I’m going to give it away to one of you, moms!
Before we start — in case this planner isn’t a fit for you – could I beg a favor? Before you scroll away, even if this is not a planner that you need in your life, would you share this post to help get the word out? Pin an image, share with your local groups, share in your facebook groups, just get the word out! I just want moms that have their heads down and their hearts full tending to the needs of a special needs child to hear about this resource! Help me share it!
The Glory Days planner was uniquely designed to meet the needs of parents and caregivers loving little ones with special needs. It was thoughtfully crafted by Amanda, whose daughter Aurora was born with Down Syndrome. Overwhelmed and confused by the diagnosis, she slowly began to seek an organizational tool that helped to encourage order with her unique family needs, and with Aurora’s special challenges. Finding nothing on the market, and overwhelmed with the reality of life, she created her own resource – The Glory Days Planner.
It is a daily planner with a very simple, minimal layout and design. As I opened this planner to look through, I noticed that everything from the text, the colors, and the construction speaks quietly and with such calm and ease so that the person using this planner doesn’t find more overwhelm, but rather a quiet paper tool that helps manage the special nature of these days.
I have shared openly through my blog and on social channels about many, many things, but I am also an advocate of guarding some treasures fiercely, one of which I’m about to share with you now so that you’ll understand why this planner and this project is so close to my heart!
In 1999, when our oldest daughter was 2 years old, we had a child with Down Syndrome. We prayed for him, welcomed him, loved him unconditionally – in spite of our own overwhelm and confusion in the face of the diagnosis with Downs, trusting that God would be with us on every “next step forward.” God had other plans for us and for our son, Matthew, who left us too soon. He would have been 20 years old this past April and Rob and I still miss him and think of him often!! While that was perhaps the darkest time in my life – no words can convey the pain that is involved in losing a child – it was also the most grace filled. God stretched me more than I knew I was capable, and through Matthew, I learned to trust Him completely and I learned what it really means to pray, “Your will be done, Lord.” I grew stronger through Matthew, and he is a gift I treasure and am so grateful for!
Now you know why this planner project is so close to my heart, and why my “yes!” to Amanda and Glory Days Co. was instant and unhesitating, and why I can’t wait to share with you moms in the trenches, loving so deeply, and pouring yourselves out so generously, into these sweet souls! This planner is for you!
The Glory Days Planner is a 6 month daily planner that comes in two volumes: Volume I/January – June and Volume II/July – December. This review shows the details of Volume II.
It is a hardcover planner with sturdy boards and a smooth finish. There are brass corner guards and the binding is a sturdy wire-o binding. Volume II is a beautiful blush pink color. The tabs are all laminated.
What I love about this planner is the careful attention to detail! Your hand is held from the very first page. You may be overwhelmed, even emotional, but you’re not alone, and this planner makes sure you know it.
Everyone needs a framework, and Amanda is about to give you a very gentle one that places guardrails on your very busy days. These two pages explain Amanda’s journey with Aurora, and her recognition that there was a huge need for this kind of organizational tool that met the unique circumstances she faced as a parent of a child with special needs.
This tool is about extending and communicating value – the great value of your days and your child’s days.
Year Calendar Overview
The planner begins with a scope of the last half of 2019 (July – December) and the first half of 2020 (January – June).
There are two useful pages up front so that you can record supplements, medications, doctors, and specialists.
Monthly Intention Setting Sheet
Before each month there is an intention and goal page. I love the simplicity of this page and also that it communicates that one small thing can make a difference.
The monthly spread is very simple and very light. There is a generous notes column on the far left side of the page for monthly goals, appointments, and needs.
The shading on the weekday boxes is so light it was hard to capture – it is a very soft gray with lilac tones. You can see the very fine detail on the page in this close-up shot above.
Therapy Tracking Charts
This next section is where the planner becomes uniquely designed to assist a special needs parent. There are two therapy pages, each covering an entire week’s worth of therapy appointments, goals, exercises, along with a column to note wins and concerns.
When we’re in the trenches, it’s hard to see progress. Write it down. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant. And you’ll start to see!
Following the therapy pages are all of the daily pages for the week. Saturday and Sunday share one page, but the rest of the week follows this layout.
On the left side of each page (taking up about a third of the page) are some lightly shaded boxes for you to journal a daily self-care check-in, as well as therapy and appointment reminder boxes. The remaining two thirds of the page has a daily schedule which runs from 6 am – 10 pm. There is plenty of space at the top and bottom of the page for additional notes.
The Glory Days Planner is $40 and there are some other useful accessories on the site (feeding chart, therapy tracking notepad, etc), and all customers gain access to the planner community where there are free planner add-ons. A portion of the profits from the Glory Planner are donated to the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network, whose mission is to connect, support and provide accurate information to families with a Down syndrome diagnosis.
And now, I’d love to put this planner into your hands, hardworking mom! If you’re a mom of a special needs child, or if you’d like to enter on behalf of a mom with a special needs child/caregiver so that you can give the planner to that person, I’d love for you to enter this giveaway! I’ll give away one Glory Days Planner. This giveaway is open to anyone with a US postal address! Because this planner is for a very specific community, I’m going to leave it open a little longer than I normally would, in the hopes that y’all will spread the word so that other moms can come and be introduced to this planner and enter. The giveaway closes a week from today, Thursday, May 29, 2019. Best of luck to each of you!a Rafflecopter giveaway