Monday Morning Truth Bombs: Parenting is F***king Hard.
This isn’t my usual style of blog post. Ordinarily, there is more structure to my posts. I like to plan out topics I feel strongly about or that are important to me, things that would allow me to bring fact, humour and experience to them while still being myself. I’ve said before that I knew when starting to blog there would be times where I would have to open myself way up, more than I’m used to doing, and put myself out there and this post is most definitely one of them. It’s off the cuff and has had absolutely no fore thought. It’s purely based on something that happened in my life this morning that made me inspired to write it out for anyone who wants to read it.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with who I am or my life, I’ll give you a little insight.
Back in 2013 after months of battling and back and forth I was diagnosed with several chronic illnesses (M.E, Fibromyalgia, Costochondritis, Asthma, Hypermobility and Endometriosis)) I don’t often speak about them as it’s difficult for me and I’ve received a lot of harsh judgements and criticisms in the past because of them. It is still something, even after all this time, I am coming to terms with every day and I still grieve sometimes for the life I’ve been forced to leave behind. Since this I haven’t been able to work a conventional job because no employer in their right mind would hire someone who can’t guarantee they will be able to work the hours asked of them, no employer will take too kindly to an employee being okay one week but then needing four weeks off for a flare. This is one of the many reasons I am pursuing my own path as a writer, Self-Published Author and studying to have my own business in Canine Wellbeing.
I have two sons who are currently 5 and 3 but their birthdays are coming up in January and February. My eldest son and my husband both have ASD and are both as similar and yet opposites as they come. Needless to say, daily life isn’t exactly a picnic for our Clan but we always power through.
This morning we were all sitting on the bed in my husband and my room, talking about the upcoming long weekend for my sons and my husband, when my eldest son hit me with the most unintentionally savage comment and reduced to me an ugly crying wreck at 5.55am. He said “Mum doesn’t get a day off because she doesn’t have a job, she just cleans the house”. HOLY. F**KING. HELL. That one hit hard and fast. I had a vision in my head of my emotions being very much like the movie “Inside Out”, panic stations were flagged, the hatches were battened down and chaos was ready to ensue. There was no way home we were at destination f**ked and nobody could save me now. All I could do was sit there, frozen to the spot while tears of anger, hurt, shock and all things in-between came streaming down my face. It took everything in me to calmly ask everyone to leave my immediate vicinity and got up, closed the door and collapsed in a whimper heap back on the bed, hugging my pillow in the foetal position in the dark. It wasn’t even six am and this was the start to my Monday. What killed me more was that I heard my son crying and asking his Dad if he could please come and apologise to me but I wasn’t ready, I needed to process all the feeling before I could safely let him do that.
One of my biggest fears in being a parent is that my boys won’t be proud of me. I know that every child goes through a “Get away, you’re embarrassing me” stage and that’s normal. I do feel for my children when this stage comes because I will dance to Fleetwood Mac any day and anywhere, supermarket aisles, our living room, in the car, I care not a jot. I’m not talking about this, I’m talking about them having a deep shame of me and where they’ve come from, I never want them to feel that. I never want them to be bullied or feel inadequate to their peers because of me. My immediate thought this morning was just this, that my son thinks I’m an embarrassment. Before meeting my husband, I was in a particularly dark and emotionally abusive relationship and If I had a pound for every time my ex called me “nothing”, “worthless” or an “embarrassment”, then I’d still be a very rich lady, even after 10 years of leaving that sack of excrement behind me. It’s taken a lot for me to heal from it and build myself up in my new life and I’m doing really well but sometimes, those demons they can’t help themselves from calling and I try not to answer but they still leave their message on the answer phone.
I was livid, it was one of those typical internal “Mum Moments”, the rant in my head going fifty thousand miles a minute; “That wee bastard, how dare he, after everything I do for them! I just clean the house?! A god damn cleaner!? Who does he think he is? And of course, his Dad is a damn hero, he can’t change a toilet roll but he brings in money!!…” This internal monologue spiralled for a few minutes more when all of a sudden, sadness kicks in and started to make the whole debacle more emo than if ‘Fallout Boy’ and ‘Funeral For A Friend ‘joined forces and read ‘Catcher in The Rye’ together for a ‘Myspace’ account video. Poor form. A few moments later I was all cried out and my husband chapped the door to ask if he could come in. He was the brave soldier entering the war zone after it had been flattened and burned to the ground in an attempt to extinguish the flames and rebuild.
It was while talking to my husband that I not only had a few very important self-awareness moments and filed them under a “To review later” tab in my head, but I realised just how completely backwards parenting is and how absolutely beautiful the brain of someone on the spectrum really is. In all the words we spoke back and forth to each other my husband said this; “Think of it like this, in his saying that to you, it just goes to show you, you have never failed him”. Bewildered by this statement I asked my husband to explain what he meant for clarification and he said “You’ve always been there, going above and beyond for him and he’s never noticed how many things you juggle and have up in the air at one time because you are an absolutely amazing mum. If you didn’t do as much he would notice when you tried to compensate for it, but because you’ve been 110% since day dot he doesn’t see a difference”. It’s not very often my husband has moments like these, but my goodness, when he does they hit home hard. We wrapped up our conversation and I then talked to my son and squared the situation away.
It was a real kick in the gut, especially starting off a Monday morning that way but it really got me thinking about how much you really do have to wing things in life, especially parenting and hope that you aren’t repeating the cycle of toxic or negative energy passed down through generations. It reminded me that we as a society have to be more open with our children about the way life truly works, that they are so damn vigilant and not near as stupid as others may think. We need to see that yes, money is needed in this society but it isn’t everything.
I have been the Ambassador for M.E Support UK since 2015, I solely write for the blog, I help maintain the social media posts and messages and I do reviews and help with promotion all for free. I am studying 5 courses online to help build a business of my own as well as further my writing endeavours, I have published 2 children’s books with 2 more coming in 2022, I am working on novels and short stories and researching publications to start pitching ideas to them in the coming months. All of this and I’m still Mum, taking care of appointments, birthdays, Christmas, school issues, dealing with ASD meltdowns and 3-year-old stubbornness. No, I don’t have a conventional job but that doesn’t mean I’m worthless, it doesn’t mean I don’t work harder than those who do. I have multiple full-time jobs and I show up for all of them, even on the days I want to disappear and my insecurities are raging.
Be kind to yourself and others today, you never know what kind of start someone has had to their day or where they are in their life.
Love hard. Be fierce. Horns high.
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