‘I don’t know how you do it’ is a phrase I hear all too often and I am sure I am not alone.
‘You don’t know how I do what?’ I want to ask those people.
But, of course, I know what they mean.
They do not know how I love and care for my child, my ‘disabled’ child.
I just try my best to be a good mum and do what I can for him, the same as I did before he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
The same as other parents care for their children.
Being a parent is the hardest job any of us will ever have, children do not come with instructions (although this would be useful).
Regardless, of whether your child has additional needs or not all of us go through good and bad times with our children.
I do not feel sorry for myself.
I am very fortunate to have Oscar in my life.
There is nothing that makes me feel worse than other people’s pity.
I am not a ‘supermum’ either - I am a mum.
I make mistakes like everyone else and I don’t want to be put on a pedestal.
Unless you have a child with additional needs you will never know what it is like, but, all I ask of these people who ‘don’t know how I do it’ is to try and have some understanding.
Please try and understand that when I see your children who are younger than mine, meet important milestones I am genuinely pleased for you and your child.
At the same time it’s hard for me as I know my child has not met these milestones and possibly never will.
Please try and understand when you just want to ‘pop out’ somewhere with us, that ‘popping’ anywhere is no longer an option for us.
What was once a 10 minute trip to the shops will now take us at least 45 minutes.
Please try and understand that when you take your child to the park or the play centre that this is not really an option for my child.
My child cannot sit on a swing, see-saw etc.
He cannot climb on the blocks at the play centre.
Please think about activities we can all participate in.
Do you successfully balance your career with your caring responsibilities?