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Being a Single Special Needs Parent for a Week

Rebecca Toal by Rebecca Toal Additional Needs

Rebecca Toal

Rebecca Toal

Blessed, busy mum to four beautiful girls, the youngest with complex special needs due to extreme prematurity. We are always looking for ways to ma...

My four girls were off school this week for half-term break. Convenient, isn’t it, how my husband had a business trip to the States and I was left, alone, to, ‘hold down the fort’!

Just joking, that’s just the way it turned out this week.

Now, after a week of him being away and me being with the girls 24/7, I can safely say that parenting alone is exhausting! Especially during school holidays!

I have huge admiration for my friends who parent solo... The day in, day out, days upon months, upon years, must be tiring, and lonely.

Massive kudos to those of you who are single parents of a child with special needs! I don’t know how you do it!

I know it’s your child, and you do what you need to do, and you just get on with it. You learn what they need and how to provide and care for their unique set of needs.

But I wonder do you ever feel like you’re going a little bit crazy sometimes? I know most parents do anyways.

I know a very special lady and her precious daughter back in Seattle, they are amazing! The love and care you pour into your little girl is hard to describe, Stacey.

It’s exquisite, it’s top notch love and devotion. You are an exemplary mother!

So my experiences of being a single special needs parent for a week cannot compare to the weeks and years of my fellow mums and dads, but here they are.

My almost 7 year old Brielle was by far my biggest handful during the school break. She has multiple disabilities due to prematurity so requires 1:1 care all the time.

She doesn’t stay still or happy for too long with anything or anyone, either! I’m typing now as she’s sitting beside me doing her coloured pegs on the grid her lightbox.

She’s happy at that for a few minutes until everything starts being thrown and I show her something else to do, like her stacking her blocks.

Her implants and glasses were thrown off too, and now she’s lying upside down on my knees.

She’s also throwing some pretty dramatic tantrums these days.

It’s getting harder to manage and deal with her now as she’s stronger and much taller than she used to be, so containing the flailing arms and legs is difficult.

She can’t express herself verbally so this is a means to let out her frustrations. The change of routine, not being in school this week, and dad being away, has been hard on her.

Needless to say, I love all my girls very much, and am thankful for extra time together this week…but I’m ready for them to go off to school in the morning, while I’ll savour a late breakie and coffee in peace.


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