I’m a SN Mum… and I’m Running On Empty

Carolyn Voisey by Carolyn Voisey Additional Needs

Carolyn Voisey

Carolyn Voisey

Mum to one incredible little dude, I work full time in higher education and have my own small business as a jewellery designer/creator. I love noth...

I’m rapidly heading for my 40th birthday, and I’m knackered. I look it too.

Every parent knows that bone-aching exhaustion that comes with having a newborn.

The seemingly endless night feeds, winding, comforting, settling back down to sleep only for the cycle to start again. But it won’t last for ever will it?

For some of us, it does.

For us there is no end in sight to the cycle of broken nights, nappy changes and night time feeds.

Our nights are punctuated by the beeping of feeding pumps (‘occlusion out of pump’ at midnight is not a joyous sight), SATs monitors, or if we’re on the wards, the sounds of the nurses quietly going about their rounds.

This winter has been one of the best we’re ever had – the Dude has been remarkably healthy and has avoided any hospital stays other than a few visits due to chestiness (a little thank you to his respiratory consultant for his remarkable vigilance and foresight here), but we’re still woken nightly by the gut wrenching sound – or rather lack of – of his breathing stopping as a seizure grips him.

It may only be for a moment or two, but it shakes us out of sleep in a second.

After almost 8 years, and approaching this Significant Birthday, I think I’ve used up all my reserves.

But then, just like all SN parents, I underestimate my own ability.

This mind-numbing tiredness is unique to parents/carers of SN children, unless you’ve lived our lives you can’t begin to imagine the depths of exhaustion it is possible to function at.

We’re not invulnerable however - our health suffers; relationships come under huge strain.

I don’t do New Years resolutions, but this year I’m making an exception of sorts and making a promise to myself to be kinder. Not only to myself but to others too.

We’re all human, in 2019 there will be no more trying to be Supermum.

But there will be more lego, more sparkle, more stories read and more time spent with those who matter.

Well, they do say life begins at 40, don’t they?!


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