01/23/2018 | 52 MINUTES
Oakley Peterson – A former all-girl rock band member, mother living the dream, and founder of Nothing Down About It. Motherhood has made her who she is and why she shares and writes on her blog. She believes that together, we can shrug off stigmas and help people embrace the goodness of children who have Down Syndrome and most importantly “reach and teach.”
Oakley grew up in California in a tight-knit, passionate family. Quite truthfully, she never thought she’d be a Utah mom driving a Toyota Sienna #SwaggerWagon, with three adorable kids. Welles, her middle child, came into this world with Down Syndrome. His incredible nature and spirit led out and Oakley quickly realized that all those sympathy texts she was receiving didn’t capture his true mission. This was not a “Down” situation, they call it the “Up Syndrome” in their family. So she started a blog, helping the people she loves understand more about this blessing in their lives. Then the blog, “Nothing Down About It” snowballed.
As such, running her blog based on her family has created a lot of parallels between personal and professional life for Oakley. In this episode, we group all her ticks and tick offs into more general categories.
Oakley’s Personal and Professional Ticks:
- Motherhood - the craziness, the good, and the bad that all of this brings. Oakley says, “I always knew I wanted to be a mother but actually being one has changed the kind of mother I want to become.” All of the thoughts and feelings you once had are magnified when you’re actually living it.
- The humbling process where you realize as a parent you have just as much to learn from your kids as they have to learn from you.
- Letting go of control - allowing your kids to develop into the people they want to be. Focus on the process and enjoy it!
- Let life surprise you. Stop worrying about the things you can’t control.
- Constantly setting new goals and trying new things. Stay passionate. Stay ticked. And channel that energy to help others understand the beauty of this diagnosis.
- Hey moms, stop being so hard on yourself! Social media makes it tough, who really does all those crafts with their toddlers? But we all have mom fail moments.
- A change in expectations and circumstances gave her motivation for starting this blog.
Personal and Professional Tick Offs:
- The things that tick her off are the things that make her tick. Think on that for a minute.
- Closed-minded individuals relating to Down Syndrome. Rather than staying angry about those sympathetic texts, she’s striving to reach out and teach people about the wonderful life that is Down Syndrome.
Advice to give to the general public:
- Parents out there - when your kid speaks his mind, cause they all do, and maybe says a special needs child looks “scary,” kneel down beside your child, tell them that little person isn’t scary, and introduce yourself to that child and his mom. Allow the mom to explain more about her child. Push these kids to not be nervous in these situations and encourage them to get to know the child that looks different than you.
- These kids are different, but lets talk about these differences. Create a positive experience when seeing, and eventually, meeting these kids.