You gotta love some honest parenting, right?
Do you remember your hazard perception test when taking your driving exam? An online video clip where you click the mouse every time you see a hazard ahead.
Parenting is kind of like this, accept all the time! I’m certain this is the reason I’m so tired at the end of each day. Parenting isn’t just watching your children play. It’s constantly monitoring your child’s surroundings, their every move and analysing all the possible ‘what if’s’. It’s eliminating all possible ‘hazards’ to prevent accidents from happening. It’s constantly thinking ahead, that’s the tiring part.
Being a special needs parent is especially tiring. It feels like my brain never rests. I’m always thinking ahead for my son and I imagine possible scenarios that just don’t need to be imagined, full stop! Having a non-verbal 4-year-old has made me a constant worrier and I feel totally exhausted. Whilst Riley happily plods around all day in his own world. My brain is throwing all kinds of questions at me –
- How will Riley cope at school in September
- The fact I have no other option but to trust total strangers with my non-verbal child for 6 hours of the day
- The fear of somehow loosing Riley and not being able to find him
- His new diagnosis of Cowden Syndrome and what does this actually mean for Riley’s future
- Will Riley ever talk?
- Why won’t Riley interact with me?
- What’s going on in Riley’s head, will I ever know?
- What does he think when he looks at me?
- Does he love me? Will Riley ever tell me?
- Does Riley mean to hurt me when he hits and gets frustrated? How can I help prevent him from getting upset in the first place?
- I need to move that flower-pot because I can see it breaking!
- Does Riley need another drink?
The list goes on and on and that’s not to mention my 3-year-old daughter. Every day my brain is on constant overload. How do other parents/ special needs parents cope with the constant worrying and thinking? Or am I alone here?!?!
Today hasn’t been a good one for me. Whilst all the inspirational ‘happy June’ pictures have been bouncing around social media, I really couldn’t care any less. I’m in a total bad mood and have been all day. I wanted to take the children out today but I knew deep down I didn’t have the patience for a demanding 3-year-old and a stubborn, non-verbal (very heavy) 4-year-old when deciding he doesn’t want to walk or simply do anything, knowing that he’d much rather be at home.
Instead we stayed in all day and occasionally went into the garden. I mostly clock watched! Counting down the hours until bedtime so I could have some time to sit in peace and do more thinking. About life, the future, what I want, what I want for my children, a bit of everything really. It’s always the same old sh#t, somethings got to change to break this cycle, surly?! Everyday feels like a worry, a strain, consists of too much thinking, organising and preparing for the next moment. Is this really…living life to its fullest?
Dinners over, bath time is over and I’m trying to cut Riley nails (claws where they are so long!) but he is not having any of it. He was pulling away, kicking and scratching. I lost my temper and stormed up to my room to have a good scream in my pillow, a technique my Mum taught me! The scream seemed to be much more needed than I thought and left me with both a headache and a sore throat!
I head back downstairs to see Riley had sent himself off to sleep from the fighting and crying. I kiss him good night, tell him I’m sorry and tuck him in. I check on Summer and she too is sound asleep! It was only 6.15pm!!!!!!!!
Feeling helpless I get into the left over kids bath, classy I know! It did have a LUSH bath bomb in though so it’d be a waste! The water was still a little warmer than Luke warm. I instantly burst into tears and regret wasting another day of our precious lives. What a miserable waste of a day. Poor children!
This half term is killing me. Whilst I agree the children need a break from school work etc don’t the holidays flipping creep up on you quickly!? It only feels like they were all off last week! Let’s just say, I’m NOT looking forward to the summer holidays.
I find it very difficult to entertain the children and keep them both safe at the same time. Both children have different interests and I’ll be honest I avoid certain situations because I know how they’ll end up. Take now for an example. It’s 7.30pm, the sky is still blue and the air is still warm. I’d love to be down the beach with the kids and some of their friends having fish and chips/ BBQ or maybe going to the arcades or throwing stones into the sea. These are the situations I now avoid because of my severely Autistic son. I don’t blame him, I blame myself for not being a strong enough person to cope in these situations.
The only way I would ever be able to socialize in this way would be to have Riley in his special needs buggy, which is pretty shitty, come on! I can just imagine all the other children including my daughter (a year younger than my son) playing happily, aware of their surrounding, easily acknowledging dangers, socializing together, laughing and playing together. Whereas the moment I took off Riley’s belt, he would be off wanting to explore. He’d walk and walk and walk if I let him, without a care in the world. Most probably straight into the sea. Riley lacks any kind of danger awareness and trips over a minimum of 6 times at least when we head out. He doesn’t understand any rules, refuses to hold hands most of the time and will not sit in a group let alone socialize.
Any advice out there from any special needs parents?
Before I had children I don’t really remember thinking all that much (that sounds pretty bad!) I was more a doing person and I’d just get on with whatever needed to be done. Nowadays I need to make quiet time for myself so that I can put things into perspective, to think about myself, work on getting my identity back, think about career goals, and about life in general.
Come 7pm (children’s bedtime) Usually I’m zonked, flat-out on the sofa with tooth picks holding up my eye lids! I’ve come to realise over the past 4 years that it’s important to make time for yourself. Whether it’s time to think, time to just sit in peace and stare at a wall, practice some breathing techniques or paint your nails, you name it! We maybe parents but we’re still the same individuals we were before having children and I think it’s vital to make time for yourself so you too can rejuvenate as a person/ Mummy otherwise it’s all just a big tiring circle.
Over and out, sorry for the downy post! Summer is my favourite time of the year, just finding it a little difficult to do all the things that make this my best season with my babies.
Want to get in touch…click here