If I ask my son “What is my job”, I will get an eye roll and a slightly sarcastic response (well he is a teenager) “to keep me safe”. Yes to keep him safe, physically, emotionally and mentally.
I thought I was doing Ok, I had been ‘that parent’ advocating for him at an early age, through multiple schools at one stage (he was attending three different schools at one time), I sat at his hospital bed after the leading neurosurgeon in Australia had cut open his brain and had taken him in and out of the Royal Children’s Hospital attending many clinics, including a bowel clinic. I had gotten him to high school and then a global pandemic hit.
His Year Seven year was derailed and then his Year Eight year slowly ebbed away, and we were in a constant home supervision spiral. Yes, home supervision as there is no way I could home school my child. I supervised, made sure he was fed, had a place to study, got fresh air a couple of times a day, even if it was with him complaining loudly at the very thought
Then he was back at school for a couple of weeks, then not, lock down again.
He was struggling with the inconsistency, the lack of routine, the changes that were unforeseen, unplanned and unexpected.
What we can and cannot control.
As was I. I believe children need a routine, especially those that have a neurodiversity. I am neurodiverse and yes, this back and forwards was upsetting my equilibrium.
There was and is so much we cannot control, we are at the mercy of government department mandates and directions and trying to not only navigate this time ourselves, let alone supporting our children is hard.
Our children are a piece of our heart walking around, existing outside of our bodies and putting them in any danger goes against any parenting instinct. We have now become comfortable with being at home, become comfortable with the cocoon we have established and as the country starts to open again and our children go back to school we have to become comfortable once more with them venturing out into the World.
It’s like the first day of school over again, we have to abdicate the day to day care of our children once again to their school. We have to trust that the school will keep them safe now in this new normal, living with the threat of Covid.
Accepting the challenges.
I think as a parent this is my greatest challenge, to become comfortable in the uncomfortable and to stand back once again and let my child spread his wings.
One day, one step, one breath at a time. As I wave him goodbye as he gets out of the car, I know that the last eighteen months or so have in a way been a blessing, to watch him develop and grow every day and I give thanks for that.
Now it’s time for me to reset and take time back and remember to breathe.
If you are feeling anything like me, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. 2020 and 2021 have not been like anything we have seen before in our lifetime in Australia, and we need to acknowledge that and acknowledge how we are feeling without comparing it to what is happening to someone else or in another country. Your experience is your experience, so take care, be kind to yourself and remember you are the best parent for your child.
About the author: “Katrina Wurm is the passion behind Stress Free Super Mum. She works with mothers to help them bring organisation and structure into their homes so that they have time for true self care. You can learn more about what she does at www.stressfreesupermum.com