Parenting is Hard but it's okay to Admit that

Rebecca Shayler-Adams by Rebecca Shayler-Adams Additional Needs

Rebecca Shayler-Adams

Rebecca Shayler-Adams

We are just a typical family muddling along our day to day lives. 4 kids, 1 with autism, 1 with an unknown neuromuscular condition

The 22nd July is a day dedicated to parents. It got me thinking about what it is like being a parent.

Before having children, I thought that parenting was easy. I thought that being pregnant and giving birth was the hardest part.

That I would magically have these wonderful children, that never fought, that ate everything I cooked for them and who were perfectly behaved. I just laugh at this now.

After having my first child though, I can remember sitting thinking that parenting was nothing like I had imagined but that for all the negatives the positives out weighed them a million to one.

My whole parenting life got turned upside down when we realised that my son had autism, and that my toddler has an undiagnosed condition.

Parenting was now on a whole new level of hard.

I try so hard to parent fairly, but how is that possible when my son needs everything equal and so much time spent on him to make him feel comfortable.

That he doesn’t get told off for having a meltdown and breaking and hitting things, he instead gets to play with the fibre optics and spend one to one time with me while I try and calm him down and then I try and figure out how to stop that meltdown happening again, yet his siblings would be told off for having a tantrum.

They don’t understand the difference and so it is hard to rationalise why I parent these behaviours different.

80% of my time is now at the hospital or having workers coming into the house to help me with my daughter.

Everything inside me is crying as I realise that I need extra help in caring my daughter and I am even being taught how to play with her.

These things should come naturally and yet as a parent thrown into the world of disability I have to learn to accept the help that is out there, and realise that actually although I have the mothering instinct of what is good and bad for my child, sometimes professionals really do know how to do certain things better, they also give a different perspective.

I fight for my children daily, and even the other day I was asked if I would change my children to be ‘normal’ and I stared straight into the persons eyes and said “no, I wouldn’t change my children, they are special and unique.

Would I change the world so that my son doesn’t feel so uncomfortable in it? Yes.

Would I change the fact that my daughter is in pain, yes, but I wouldn’t change my daughter”.

We are allowed to feel overwhelmed, we are allowed to feel stressed and that we are struggling, however we can not let that consume us.

We have to keep fighting, we have to keep going, as without us who else would push and fight for our children?

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