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More Chromosomes to Love with Maddie Clark

March 19, 2021

March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day, so we reached out to Maddie Clark (@livingwithalittleextra), a mom of two including a daughter with Down Syndrome. We had the opportunity to photograph this sweet family and catch a glimpse of their day-to-day life. 

Tell us a little about you and your family!

We are the Clarks! I’m Maddie and my husband is Logan. We got married May 1, 2015 and we then welcomed our sweet Londynn a couple years later on March 30, 2017. Londy was born and diagnosed with Down Syndrome and has been our greatest surprise yet! In 2019 we decided she needed a best friend and welcomed our crazy, loving, and smiley boy, Beckham,  March 3, 2020. 

How is it being a mom to two little ones, including your little one with Down Syndrome? 

It’s easily the hardest yet most rewarding thing I’ve ever done! Being a mother has taught me the true meaning of selfishness, unconditional love, and patience. When Londy was born, I had fears about how life would look moving forward. But with faith and allowing Londynn to be “Londynn who just happens to have Down Syndrome” instead of “Londynn who is Down Syndrome,” we have been amazed as she learns, grows, and has become the best big sister and friend to others. Raising a child who has Down Syndrome has been the biggest blessing in our family’s lives and we all feel extremely lucky! 

Did you feel more prepared your 2nd time around – like, “I got this?”

Yes! The second time around I felt so much more prepared! I decided I didn’t want a birth like my birth with Londy. Even though we received an angel when Londy was born, her birth was very traumatic in many ways and I just wanted something different. So I educated myself on my body and birth and ended up having a beautiful unmedicated birth that was perfect for me.

How do you balance parenting and other aspects of life?

We find balance by not stressing over the things that we can’t change or control. I think with finding a balance comes inevitable chaos. Embracing that chaos allows us to move forward knowing that things might not always be perfect even if we are doing the best we can. That’s all that matters! 

What’s your favorite thing about motherhood?

The hard days because it allows me to anticipate the growth that comes with them and to appreciate the good days even more.

What are you and your partner doing to stay connected while parenting?

We constantly date one another! Marriage and children doesn’t mean your marriage gets put on the back burner. The marriage you create is so important to your home. The way you love each other and treat each other is an important part of parenting, in fact,  I think it’s one of the most important parts! So dating each other has always been an important part in staying connected. 

What are you doing for yourself to find peace? How do you practice self-care? 

I make sure I’m staying close to the things that truly matter to me and recognizing if I need time to hit refresh (and not feeling bad for asking for time to do that!)

How has motherhood changed you? Were you surprised by the changes?

Motherhood turned me into someone I couldn’t have been without it! I was made to be a Mother and the person I’ve become  is someone I always hoped to be. Londy especially has taught me more in her 4 years of life then I’ve learned in all my years prior to her! 

How have your social channels become a place for you to be an advocate for Down Syndrome awareness?

In our special space of the internet, we have been able to share the really hard times as well as the best of times in our lives! This has become a place where we share the beauty of Down Syndrome, the real parts of Down Syndrome, and more importantly, this platform has allowed us to share Londy’s worth.  We’ve been able to save babies with Down Syndrome and help families with questions and concerns they might have. We feel extremely grateful to be able to do this!

What’s one thing you would say to other mamas or families that have a little one with Down Syndrome?

You are doing amazing! You were specifically chosen for your child and that alone says how special of a person you are.

 

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Ashley Poelman

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