I’m sure it’ll not come as a surprise to anyone reading that parenting (and even more so when there is a child with additional needs) can be incredibly hard.
There are challenges to face that nobody could see coming, along with pain that goes so deep you can physically feel it. You’ll have moments where you’ll think “I can’t do this, I’m not strong enough” and want to run away.
What would I say to those people? Find your light.
There is such amazing beauty in bringing life into the world. It’s an honour and a privilege that you should most definitely embrace as fully as you can. Our triplets were conceived on round three of ICSI and were desperately loved before they were even in my tummy!
I fell in love with the idea of motherhood, and the desire to have a child was so ingrained within me that I was able to withstand the trauma (and to me, it was traumatic) of struggling to conceive. The light at the end of the tunnel was three gorgeous babies!
One of our two boys has spina bifida, hydrocephalus and epilepsy. Those conditions cause so much emotional pain for our family that we have been through some incredibly dark times.
Very recently we have had the absolute worst time of our lives, although this is too raw to talk about in any detail. I really want to say to anyone struggling, find the light.
We were encircled by family and friends who poured out their love and support. I even spoke to “estranged” friends as well as people we have known for a relatively short time who all showed such kindness. Their gentleness and willingness to let me just talk was incredibly important.
Ben and Chloe coped so very well despite their young age and own anxieties about their brother’s health crisis. My mum took them every day and made life as normal as possible so that they could be distracted from the harsh reality we were facing. These things were all our sources of light!
My husband is quite genuinely the best man I have ever known. He is the only person who can make me laugh during the hard times with a well placed (often inappropriate) joke to cut the tension. He knows when I need his strength and when I need him to take more of a backseat. He’d defend me to the end, even if I am wrong, which does happen a lot (you’ve this in writing now Ryan!).
He understands that I am a chronic overthinker and need to talk things out, usually to the point of driving him a little bit bonkers. But he lets me do this because he loves me and knows it’s a coping mechanism. He is my best friend and my guiding light when everything else has gone dark.
So, during the hard times...please hold on.
Find your tribe and love them hard, because it really does take a village! During the darkest of times, trust that your people will find you and help you through, even when you can’t see the way.