Nicola Sheldon by Nicola Sheldon Additional Needs

Nicola Sheldon

Nicola Sheldon

I'm Nicola, mama to three awesome boys. We live in Thatcham, Berkshire with my husband and dad extraordinaire Chris along with our dog Percy and ca...

Last year I decided to ditch my New Year's Resolutions and following in a friend's footsteps I chose a 'word of the year'.

The idea being, you pick one word to focus on every day all year that sums up who you want to be, or how you want to live.

Last January I was feeling frustrated by all the things I hadn't found time to do. When I reflected on 2018 I felt that I had plenty of time but was not utilising it effectively. So my word was 'Time'.

It seemed to start off well, I began ticking off some of the things that had been hanging around on my to-do list for too long.

Pretty soon however I began to feel the burn out. Utilising all my time in industrious endeavours was exhausting.

As I limped towards the end of the year I was beating myself up over my inability to use my time constructively.

I was still building an impressive to-do list, I was still feeling like I was failing at being a mother and carer, and I was still unable to give myself the care I needed to survive.

Then a post on Facebook summed it up "When I say I don't have time to do something, what I mean is that I am already giving as much of myself as I am able".

Yes! It's not about time, it's about how I'm coping generally on a day to day basis with all the worry and stresses that come with not just being a parent but also a carer to a special needs child.

So as I prepared to welcome in the new year I reflected on what I wanted to say goodbye to, and what I wanted to welcome into my life in 2020 and I realised that above all else I needed more compassion.

Compassion for my family, they might drive me up the wall at times, but they are still trying their best.

Compassion for my friends who might not have the same struggles we do, but still have struggles of their own.

And most importantly, compassion for myself. Because I am trying my best. At all times.

Sometimes it is really really hard, and if that means I can't achieve as much as I'd like then that is ok. I am good and I am worthy, I deserve to be happy and healthy. I deserve to be loved by myself and others.

It is ok to prioritise myself from time to time to ensure that I am at my best for caring for my family. It's ok to not be perfect, it's ok to not achieve my high expectations.

So everyday this year I shall look in the mirror and remind myself to extend myself some compassion.


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