Real Parenting has challenges!

Today I read a post and watched a video I had written almost a year ago, and 8 months ago it was amazing to read and watch, really amazing. Why you may ask? Juggling all the things that my life demands of me right now, has made it all but impossible to blog, make videos and do all the other stuff I was doing last year.

Additionally I am being painfully stretched by my life at the moment, if I am honest I really could do without the stretching, at times it really feels way too much. Yet the video on not giving up and the post on parenting really spoke to me, in resonanted in such a vibrant, dynamic and honest way. It was almost as if someone else, was speaking to me and giving me parental advice about raising boisterous boys. It was as if it wasn’t me, but somehow it was me, it was a pretty surreal experience. It was as if someone else was encouraging me to keep on and perserve regardless, of how diffcult my life might feel; because the race was not for the swift, but for those who kept going.

So much has changed since I made the video or wrote the post, yet that didn’t make it any less relevant to what I was going through or make it anything less than what I needed to hear. I get really overwhelmed sometimes and really question my purpose and the things that I am doing and second guess myself.

I find motherhood challenging and draining sometimes, especially because many people don’t understand the issues that one of my son faces. He has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), he hasn’t been officially diagnosised, we are still waiting for an appointment, we have been waiting for 6 months for an appointment and still have another 4 months to wait before an initial meeting. I also have a younger son who is alsmost 3, although he doesn’t have ASD he often mimics the behaviour of my eldest child, so for me parenting can be challenging, draining and a constant battle.

A feel weeks ago I went to visit my cousin and her husband, with my husband and the boys and she was forearmed before we arrived, so she knew what to expect. I also fell down her stairs at her house, so I was also still smarting from that incident. Nevertheless, long story short, a few days later she sent me a text message basically telling that “do let the boys manage basic skills on their own … school/Nursery will not have them running around.” Hence, she felt that, I shouldn’t be checking if my children needed the toilet and that they needed to know that they shouldn’t run up and down.

I have a tendency to be oversensitive and I guess I felt criticised and unsupported by my relative. I know that my children are not model children, are sometimes a hand full and that they do struggle to sit down and “be seen and not heard”. However, they are young and a problem for many children who are on the spectrum is that they do struggle to sit for longer than ten minutes or so at a time. Nevertheless, I am honest with close friends and family and allow them to know that I will be repeating myself multiple times before my children will follow my instructions. Unfortunately, others do not give my children or I the same courtesy of understanding. It is felt that they should and can point out my children’s limitations, regardless of their disabilities or struggles and clearly and again I am inferring this that my parenting skills are not up to scratch otherwise, they would be model children who would behaviour accordingly.

Recently my husband said that people shouldn’t compare their children to other people’s children, and he was very surprised to learn whilst watching “Matthew Wright”, how social media like Facebook often made other parents feel like “crappy” and inadequate parents. Whilst what my husband says may indeed be true. Let’s be honest we all do at some point compare our children or ourselves to others. Basically I think we all feel inadequate at times, especially when are parenting techniques are criticised and others fail to recognise or understand the challenges that parents of children with special needs face on a daily basis.

Nevertheless, I also know that when others show off the great achievements and successes of their children. I am often sad because I have nothing to share and am just grateful to have made it through the day, without any tantrums and meltdowns from either my two year old (which often happens on the street, but that’s a post for another time) or my eldest, who gets overwhelmed in unfamiliar situations. Triumphant days for me, are getting the children to school, with no dramatics, back home again with the same, taking the little one to the children centre, cooking dinner which actually gets eaten, getting housework done; and tutoring my students.

Things that for other parents are so minor like getting homework done, bathtime, dinner time, sitting still and bedtime are major battlefields in my house.

So no matter, how hard life may seem sometimes and how much greener other people’s lives may appear to be, when you view it through the window of facebook. Know as a mother that you are doing the best you can, especially as a mother of a child with special needs and no matter how hard things get, keep going; your doing a marvellous job (because you are doing your best) and that’s all your child needs.

Be blessed to be a blessing

Sista Cheli