Sometimes it’s very easy for us parent carers to get caught up in the negatives of dealing with the various systems around us.
The fight for limited resources, constantly chasing up reports, equipment or appointments and even having our child’s needs denied can be disheartening and exhausting.
It can feel like we are demanding the moon on a stick merely by asking for what our child is legally entitled to.
It can be like a big dark cloud over us.
But the cloud sometimes masks the positive moments when someone does connect with us, provides us with exactly what we require or ‘gets’ our child and their needs.
So I’d like to take a moment to thank the people in our lives for whom I’m thankful:
- Thank you to the paediatrician who, in a recent appointment, asked me what I’d like to be called (‘I can’t just call you mum the whole time’), took time to speak to my son in a calm and non-rushed way, and responded promptly to all agreed actions.
- Thank you to the speech and language therapist who enjoys working with my son. Hearing the two of them laughing away during their sessions warms my heart. Her advice and expertise, particularly in the early years, helped me better understand the processing difficulties he experienced and the need to allow him time to respond.
- Thank you to the occupational therapist who taught me about proprioception (body awareness or sense of our body) and how important this is for children with cerebral palsy and other sensory needs. This helped me understand how discombobulating it can be for my son when things suddenly appear in his personal space. I also appreciate her inventiveness when we need to troubleshoot a particular challenge that arises in family life.
- Thank you to the teacher who took the time to check in on my son and us as a family while we were recently self-isolating at home with covid.
- Thank you to our carer who knows how to support each of my children recognising their individual needs. Those people who realise that it can be invasive to have someone in your home and adjust their behaviour accordingly make life so much easier.
These things are often small and don’t cost extra money.
The things I’m grateful for involve people being sensitive and empathic, able to relate as a human being and doing their job properly. Small, yes, but the rewards are significant to us and our family.
There is a free download for education, health and social care professionals on supporting parent carer wellbeing here.
We might not always notice these things in our everyday life but by stopping and reflecting once in a while we see there are many things to be grateful for. And this can have a positive effect on our emotional wellbeing.
What are you thankful for?
You can find more parent carer wellbeing tips at www.affinityhub.uk.