Being Me

I am me. My name is Rebecca. I am 24. I am a mother, a fiancée, a law graduate, a trainee solicitor, a cat lover, a special needs parent, a twin mum, an avid reader and so much more.

Yet I often feel as though I have lost myself.

Each day is taken up with being someone other than just Rebecca that I often forget the person behind the roles.

In that forgetting of myself, I often forget my life. Not the things I need to do or the responsibilities that I have, but to live my own life and to do things I enjoy.

This includes my love of books, the simple enjoyment I get from curling up with a good book and escaping.

From spending time with my partner, just talking and enjoying each other’s company.

From taking the time to just look after myself.

And that realisation of losing myself in daily life was strange.

In the hectic schedule of parenting and attending appointments and holding down a job, I no longer seem to know what to do when I get some free time to myself.

Not time where I need to tidy up, or do laundry or go food shopping, but actual time to myself where I can choose what I do.

I came to this realisation when spending time with my partner and realising what we speak of 90% of the time is our children or work.

We seem to have forgotten that we have our own interests and hobbies, things we enjoyed doing before having children and before having jobs to hold down.

It was a time we took for granted, when we had few cares and responsibilities.

Yet I realised that this is what we are missing. In our busy and hectic lives, finding time to be yourself is vital.

Mental health is so important that ensuring you take the time for yourself can truly be lifesaving.

The depression and exhaustion of being everyone but yourself ends up a ticking time bomb and stopping that bomb from getting to zero is vital for self-preservation.

Yet the most draining aspects of my life are the ones that bring me the most joy.

The countless appointments for Alfie take up so much time, but as so crucial for his development.

Being a parent is so draining, yet the love and happiness children bring is extraordinarily rewarding.

Finding that balance is the hardest part.

Taking time to work out the line between fulfilling all of your roles whilst also looking after yourself is not easy, but it is so important.

These past few weeks, just taking them time to relax by myself have helped me to feel more like myself than I have in many months.

It has taught me that even 20 minutes a day of allowing myself to do something that is purely for myself is not hard and reaps massive rewards.

Making Time to Date

For most parents that have children with special needs or children at all Valentine’s Day isn’t a big deal.

Anniversaries probably aren’t celebrated either.

The truth is that most of us don’t make time to plan anything because were always busy with something.

It could be work, the kids, cleaning the house etc.

And what we don’t realize is making time for each other is important too.

In my house holidays such as Valentine’s Day isn’t something, we make a big deal out of, but we do celebrate it. We celebrate it at home with our kids.

Our house is really our favorite place to be because its where we are most comfortable.

On this day my husband and I usually shop for the kids as well as a card or something for each other.

We than decide what we’re going to cook and cook it together.

Usually after dinner once finish getting the kids ready for bed we cuddle and watch a movie. But that all depends on whether Valentine’s day fall on a weekday or weekend.

If it falls on a weekday, we don’t usually celebrate it until the weekend.

We also learned how to make time for each other between times.

For example, instead of going straight to sleep at night we usually stay up a while and talk to each other.

We also try to do at least one breakfast or lunch date through the week while the kids are at school.

My husband is disabled too so he doesn’t work but while I’m on my way home from work we talk on the phone until I get there.

One of our favorite things to do together is watch movies.

Usually its whatever I want to look at.

After we put the kids to bed, we pop popcorn and go in the garage to watch movies on the projector screen.

It’s just like watching a movie at a theater right from home. You’ll be surprised at how much time you could make in between times for each other.

Making that time for one another is just as important as you taking care of children and yourself.

I am a Special Needs Parent and…

I wanted to write a post titled “you might be a special needs parent if”… you know, one of those real click baity typed articles that you see.

But then upon reflection, I realised that no two special needs parents are the same, just like how no two children are the same.

So I thought I’d make my own list… see which ones you can relate to!

I’d love to see examples from others that applies to their situation too.

I am a special needs parent…

And I wish I had £1 for every time I’ve got my clothes caught on a wheelchair handle.

I am a special needs parent, and I judge bags based on their ability to hold a mini hospital and a wardrobe

I am a special needs parent, and I go in shops and see boxes/baskets and storage as medical supply heaven

I am a special needs parent, and I turn up early for appointments; even though you know for a fact they were running late before even opened

I am a special needs parent, and I can spot another special needs parent or child a mile off

I am a special needs parent, and my conversations with special needs parent friends would not be understood by 99% of the population. Because we learned a language we didn’t know existed.

I am a special needs parent, and I see a huge disparity between how the world is, and how the world SHOULD be

I am a special needs parent and I fight battles everyday… but over time have learned to pick them more carefully

I am a special needs parent, and packing the car is like a real life game of Tetris (and unfortunately Jenga), even just for a trip to the shops

I am a special needs parent, and I can reel off every medicine and dose my child has… and take delight in the impressed reception I get every time I do it.

I am a special needs parent, and I have a name other than “mum”

I am a special needs parent, and I feel like I have to outlive my child. But I can’t bear the thought of losing her

I am a special needs parent, and I can change my child’s feed in the dark with my eyes shut. (Only to hear it occluding ten minutes later when I’m asleep)

I am a special needs parent, one moment I burst with happiness and pride; and the next I am overcome with grief and want to sleep all day

I am a special needs parent, and with my child… we either feel invisible… or like the spotlight is focused solely on us

I am a special needs parent, and I have witnessed my child endure things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy

I am a special needs parent. My child can’t tell me how her day was. My child can’t tell me she loves me. She can’t tell me if she is in pain. So I have had to find a new way to listen

I am a special needs parent, and I don’t take a single thing for granted. Every smile is golden

I am a special needs parent, and I spend more time at the pharmacy or hospital than most other places

I am a special needs parent, and my job is 24 hour. The pay is nothing, there are no sick days or holidays. But I am eternally grateful to do what I do

I am a special needs parent. I am my child’s expert. No amount of textbook training, ward experience, or years of experience can account for the fact – that the parent knows their child like no one else ever could. And we need to be heard

I am a special needs parent, and I am learning everyday. I work hard to swallow my rage at the many injustices I see everyday in our society

I am a special needs parent. I get hit, slapped and kicked. I get nose bleeds, bruises, and fat lips, but I breathe, I get through it, and we move on

I am a special needs parent. Sometimes my life moves so fast that when I stop to process recent events I have a panic attack or night terrors

I am a special needs parent. I agonise daily over whether or not I am doing enough whilst simultaneously admitting I can’t do anything more

I am a special needs parent, and whilst I witness discrimination and inaccessibility; I have also never known such kindness. I have the most incredible support network and am grateful everyday

I am a special needs parent, and I spend my spare time learning the words to obscure nursery rhymes to impress my child. Her sensory needs for music are pretty extreme, and I live to make her giggle

I am a special needs parent, and I want your child to say hi to my child

I am a special needs parent, and through knowing my child, my life is enriched, and I see the world in an entirely different perspective

I am a special needs parent, and I feel great anguish when my child struggles with her challenges. But the pride that overrides it when she overcomes those challenges, is a feeling I can’t even begin to explain

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave your additions to the post, I’d love to see them.