Being a Mum
As I cuddle my youngest who is poorly in the middle of the night , I lay on the sofa , glance at the clock of what seems to be a long night & I see that its Mother Day. I start to think of what its like to be a mum. Ever since I was a little girl I've always wanted my own kids but I never realised how hard it would be to finally become one, years of fertility treatments gave me my precious 3 boys and then by a complete miracle Faith came along naturally. I got my dream which was to be a mum to 4 kids!
What I never thought would be part of the plan is being a mum to children with additional needs. Thrown into a completely different world after having two boys with no issues was a bit of a shock. There were times in the early days that I wondered if I was cut out to be "that mum" but you know what? I soon realised that regardless of Roo issues I loved him as fiercely as I loved my older two, yes his life would be harder and more complicated but he had ME - his mum by his side fighting his battles.
Being a mum to a child/children with additional needs often means that the sleepless nights that all mums experience extends beyond the first year and can last for many years...we are almost 8yrs down the line & I'm lucky if I get 4hrs solid sleep.
We become the experts on our children as we coordinate all their care, attend the endless appointments with consultants, therapists & doctors, attend meetings for the education side of support, we become experts in understanding the jargon many professionals come out with. We google every diagnosis or symtom that is mentioned.
Dealing with meltdowns while looking after your other kids becomes the norm, ensuring routines are sticked to, sorting out all their medications becomes the norm for us mums. We seem to find the tiniest spark of energy no matter how hard things are to keep going, to keep being "mum".
Now that my older two are older gone are the days when they excitedly gave me something they made at school or a handmade card! Instead they greet me with a smile, a cuddle and a hot cuppa which is just what I need after a sleepless night. Roo has no understanding of what day this is & I never hear the words "happy mothers day" or " I love you mum" from him and while it makes me sad I also cherish the fact he is here with me and im able to see his smile & feel his hugs (as long as you ask him first!).
This week we ended up in a&e with Roo after an accident in school and in the waiting room as I sat, cuddling him I watched children of all ages sit at the activity table making cards for their Mums, doing simple tasks & it hit me then how different Roo is but it was a fleeting moment...there will be many moments throughout life that us mums get a overwhelmingly feelings of sadness but we are only human and once weve dealt with it we brush ourselves off and focus on the positives no matter how small it is to others its huge to us as it gives us hope for the future.
To all the mums out there, keep going, keep swimming no matter how long the nights are or how hard the days are, keep fighting, but most importantly cherish all the moments with your children & make memories.
Lastly a thank you to my own Mum for making me the woman I am today, like me she understands the trials & turbulence of raising a child with additional needs. For always being there to watch the kids while I attend yet another appointment...also a Thank you to my Mother in law who has taken me in and treated me like a daughter from the beginning & being a great mum to my hubby.