That’s right your going to enjoy this I’m not going to complain or moan once.
After a few weeks of feeling not good enough in every part of my life I can honestly say I felt successful today. Granted it was just a meal out with Ant and the kids but still. I got the bus with two of the kids on my own 3 times in one day. We went for dinner and everyone enjoyed it and I felt content, I felt like a normal parent.
Right now Elliot is with Ant at his grandparents and the other two kids are sitting on our bed watching films with me. This part, the sitting with your kids cuddled up eating popcorn and watching films is everything I imagined parenthood to be. I feel content again.
Looking back over some of my previous blogs I wondered if I give the impression I don’t enjoy parenting. I do. I love the kids and I love being a mum. That feeling in your chest when your child snuggles up to you or runs up to you excitedly to show you something they have made or done. God you can’t even begin to describe that. That moment never gets old and it never gets tired, I smile even when I think about their faces.
So basically today was good, I was proud of myself and the kids. I felt a lot of things today love, pride and yes tiredness but most of content. It’s the little things honestly it is, they make ALL the difference.
I want to be happier than this, I want to be more patient with my lovely children. I am a good person and I love my family but more and more I am snappy, impatient and crabby with the people who I love the most. There is only one thing in this world that can make me stop talking, that can make me be quiet and pull away and that is pain.
I am so tired, really really tired. This pain is too much and I am starting to wonder if i’m a wimp, why can’t I handle this pain. I would be a different person without this pain. I would be a better wife, better mother and better friend. I don’t need to be told I’m good enough or how brave I am, I know that I am trying hard and I respect myself for that. I want to be better though. This is too hard, at times its too hard to smile and pretend I’m not feeling sick with pain, I want my life back. I am not brave, I’m a fraud, i am a master at pretending but my mask is slipping and I am tired. If I concentrate really hard i can cope but this is taking up most of my energy and leaves me less than I used to be.
It makes me so angry to know I’m not entitled to help with the pain other than pills, I don’t want more pills. I want other ways to deal with this i know there is so much pain support out there and I can’t access it due to where I live. It is not fair to have to choose between being in a lot of pain or being in a lot less pain but drowsy and spaced out from painkillers. Where is my happy medium, I was told today at the doctors that in cases like mine they don’t intend for me to be pain free but for it to be ‘livable’. I will give them thier dues this is livable and there are many many people who are just living, just getting by in pain, I am not unique in any way in this.
So I’m rambling again because this distracts me. I underestimated how common it is to live in pain everyday. I hope there is a solution to popping stronger and stronger pills as time goes by. This is not the future I imagined but I’m evolving and maybe I’ll petition for a change in accessibility for pain management services. At least that would be doing something positive.
I’m not alone, I’m lonely. I’m lonely because I am the only person inside my brain. Currently inside my brain there is a lot of overthinking and fear going on. I try to explain what is in there but it’s hard to articulate, it’s a freaking mess in there. I am replaying all the conversations at appointments the last few weeks and figuring out outcomes for future appointments ( there is no need to do this but my brain doesn’t take notice of that). My brain is thinking about all the things other people might be thinking about me and the things I do. I am judging my own actions and ideals by my brains imagined opinions of other people. Some of this is reinforced by people’s behaviour but a lot of it is just my brain telling me I’m doing something wrong.
I’m not being self pitying I promise you, I just want to explain it has been mentioned to me a few times in the last few months that I’m not my usual self, that I’m not as bubbly as I used to be. I think this is because my lovely brain has chosen to have me believe that I need to change, that I am being judged for the decisions I make and that ultimately I am alone.
I spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think of me and the decisions I have made. I worry about the future for myself because of my health and mobility. I worry so much about the kids futures and especially lately with the appointments for Robin and Lewis. These appointment feed my brains penchant for catastrophising ( is that a word) I obsess over how we can help make things better and improve their lives for the future. Then I feel guilty for not being more grateful for the great things in our lives. Then I feel selfish for being upset about the difficulties we face when it could be so much worse. By the end of this I feel exhausted and sad but I get stuck in this cycle.
I want things to change, I want to worry less and live in the moment more. I will make effort to change things now as I am so tired of feeling this way. Again I want to reiterate I don’t write this so you feel sorry for me I promise. I write this because it’s like free therapy. I write because there is a glimmer of hope that maybe someone will read this and not feel alone in how they feel. That it might help someone one day to read that someone else felt alone even when surrounded by people who love them. That it’s okay to be overwhelmed and to hate your brain for choosing to make life feel much harder.
My mind is my own, but we do not see eye to eye lately. I hope one day to be on the same page again but until then at least try to be kinder to me please brain.
Today we went to CAMHS you were observed and talked to. The outcome was that they think your Autistic. They gave us leaflets and websites to look at to understand you better. We have always known this was a possibility. If it’s true that your Autistic like they think you are you should know these labels aren’t all you are. Autistic, Transgender, Dyspraxic, Learning Disabled, you are so much more than all of these labels. You are Robin, charming, funny, beautiful, excitable and precious. Your ours. You are the sum of all your parts but most importantly you are amazing.
Watching you be observed today I looked at you through a strangers eyes, it hurt to see them looking at you searching for signs and clues of why you worry so much. I wanted to tell her all the things about you that make you amazing, but it was important that she saw what makes you different. I love that your different but I hate that you are scared so often aad that the world is confusing for you at times. I hate that we need those labels to get you help at school and to explain your differences but I accept the need for them.
I suppose I write this to try to empty the part of my brain that is trying to work out the jumble of feeling I have. I write this because I can’t tell you yet that none of those labels attached to you make you any less than anyone else because you don’t understand any of this yet . You ask me often why you can’t do the things other children your age do, you ask me why you feel scared and struggle to cope with your feelings. I don’t have an answer for you, all I can tell you is you are brilliant and brave and funny and we will help you anyway we can.
Parenting it’s this magical thing that lots of peole aspire to do well. It’s painted as this glorious, life altering rite of passage. We are supposed to be blessed, grateful and honoured to be have these bundles of perfection and joy given to us. In reality for me at least it’s all those things but with masses upon masses of guilt, fear, mistakes, blind panic and confusion mixed in. I love them but my God they terrify and frustrate me.
Sometimes I feel like I’m walking a tightrope between insanity and ecstacy. I love them so much it hurts but they drive me insane. I sometimes feel being a parent is a bit like being Bipolar. When it’s good it’s amazing and like flying but when it’s bad they reduce you to a sobbing mess. The picture of parenting that is presented by the media is so unreal to me, it serves to make me feel inadequate and a failure. The majority of parents are doing their very best and why is nobody telling them that their best is enough. If your sitting there wondering if your best is good enough I promise you it is. If your kids are warm and clothed have a roof over their heads and you do your very best to ensure they are happy then I award you an A*. Look yourself in the eye and say I want the best for my children and that is good enough.
Yesterday I didn’t feel good enough, i tried my best but I felt I couldn’t control their behaviour and that people were judging me and I was out of my depth. I came home and cried, i cried because I was embarrassed that they had misbehaved in front of other people and I cried because I felt like a failure. Today I woke up and I remembered how hard i tried and I decided I didn’t fail. i
I persevered, I didn’t give up and bring them home early, I know I was judged by others but I told myself I did my best. My best is good enough and it was good enough yesterday. It is only by the standards we set ourselves that we feel like we fail. So if your beating yourself up and you find yourself lacking ask yourself did you try your best because if you did then you cannot have failed.
I always wanted children, I wanted 10 of them at least. Yes I set about this plan a little earlier than most and with a blind confidence that I would excell at motherhood. I laugh at my naivety, I literally laugh out loud at myself. I’m not a bad parent but I’m not a great one like I envisaged either. I’m not feeling sorry for myself or looking for someone to tell me I am a great parent. Honestly I am absolutely over the moon that I am good enough. Because in the world we live in Education, Economic position and home ownership etc is placed so far above what is important to me. There is nothing wrong with aspiration and wanting the best but for me manners, caring, compassion and love are so much more important. I want my children to be financially safe and all the other things that make life easier don’t get me wrong. But more than anything I want them to be kind. They are kind, compassionate and loving, they are also difficult,frustrating and at times annoying. Lets be honest all kids are.