Last week we received news of a diagnosis. Our youngest edition has what is known as Mosaicism. It is a form of down syndrome where the Trisomy 21 is not found in every cell. In this case it was found in 1/3 of the cells tested. This has sprung up lots of questions that ultimately can not be answered, its a waiting game. Wait and see how he develops, how he progresses. It is looking positive that currently there are no delays. He is eating well, gaining weight, mobile and alert so all is looking very positive in his development so far. But this has still come as a bit of a blow. When you are already caring for a teenager with anxiety, another with ASD and a 3 year old having ponsetti treatment for talipes, you find yourself as a parent wishing that the universe would give you a bit of a break.
I have received support messages and messages comforting me, reassuring me that we will be fine, there is nothing that can be thrown at me that I can’t cope with and that I am the absolute best person for the job of raising these babies. Comments that the universe (or god) wouldn’t give me more than I could handle and that as a home educator I am equipped to bring out the best in the children whatever their needs. Its all great, lovely to have the encouragement, the words of support and know that people have faith in me. In truth, they are right! I know that I’ve got this! My previous success rate in getting through difficult times and over coming hurdles currently stands on 100% and I have no intention of letting that record slip.
I am incredibly lucky, as a family we are lucky. There is so much love and support surrounding us. We have food in our bellies and a roof over our heads. We are in a financial position to be able to drive and access activities and events for the children and I am able to be at home with them 6 days a week, the one day I do go out to work they have their daddy here to care for them so we are not reliant on any other child care. The children are secure and confident and progressing well emotionally, physically and academically. We are blessed.
Perhaps with all of that in mind I am in no place to complain, or to feel sorry for myself at all. There is certainly no denying that many others have it much much worse.
The thing is though, that actually the internet seems full of one extreme or the other. There is so much of the oh so wonderful, life is perfect, super mummy, put everyone else to shame posts across social media. Alongside the articles stating that these are partly responsible for the rise in mummy loneliness. So many see those perfect posts and feel that they themselves are in some way failing. “Oh look at all these wonderful home cooked fresh meals, I feel awful that mine had chicken nuggets and pizza for the 3rd day in a row” type issues. Hey mama, guess what?! You fed your kids, you’re winning!!!
On the flip side with so much truly awful stuff going on in the world its easy to feel guilty for not being absolutely over joyed with your lot in life.
But sometimes things get hard and its healthier to get it out and have a bit of a rant and a moan. I also think that it is helpful for other parents to see that not everyone has it smooth sailing and rosy, we all have battles to fight and we all have bad days.
If the children were in school then this would all be ok and considered normal. But when you home ed when you find yourself complaining about tiredness and the over whelming feeling of just soooo much, the question is always “have you thought about putting them back into school?” WHY CAN’T HOME ED MAMAS HAVE A BAD DAY TOO!!?? In answer to that question, YES, I have thought about it. The thought fills me with dread and makes me realise how lucky we are. On top of everything else I could have to live by a government enforced time table, have my alarm set every single morning with deadlines and meetings and home work and crowds and peak time holidays and stress.
Well here we go, lets put it out there. I know that I am lucky, I know that we have a lot, a lot more than many others have. I know that actually we have it quite good. But sometimes, things just feel a bit pants. Sometimes the children don’t sleep, I am tired. Sometimes I forget to take anything out of the freezer to cook, or I forget to pop to the shop and the children get super noodles or beans on toast or pizza for dinner. Sometimes I hand the tv remote to the three year old and let him put on what will keep him quiet for just a little while, be it Peppa pig or (like today) Nightmare before Christmas has been on now for 4th time! Every now and again, I get overwhelmed and feel a little bit pants, I feel fed up of being an adult and want to build a blanket fort to sit in and colour while disney films play on the TV. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, instead of the need to compete for who has the most, or who has it worse, we just reach out and support each other as parents who are raising their families with what they have. Because no matter how lucky you are, how good you’ve got it, sometimes being a mum is bloody hard, and it is exhausting.