In the interests of fairly representing this rollercoaster called parenthood, I feel compelled to write a follow up post to yesterday’s.
Yes, overall, we are happy. For the most part, everything is OK. We go to work and school and nursery. We drink coffee and eat scrambled eggs on Saturdays. We go to the park and for country walks. We sometimes see friends for beers or barbecues or trips to Peppa Pig world. We go to IKEA and eat meatballs, get lost in the showroom and have a hissed row in the car park. We are tired. In other words, we have good times and bad times and are like any other 2.4 children family. And yet…
That grief I mentioned? Today it floored me. If you’re on a similar journey to me, navigating the extremes of everything that parenting a disabled child throws at you, perhaps you need a reminder that it’s OK to not be OK.
I realised today as I was sobbing uncontrollably on my therapist, that I am still processing birth trauma. Birthdays bring this stuff up, no matter how many you’ve been through, trying to create happy memories to eclipse the dreadful ones.
I still feel the trauma of being flung headfirst into parenthood via hospital rooms, tubes, medications, seizures, MRI scans, physio appointments, tests, worried glances, knowing looks from nurses who’ve seen all this before.
I still feel like life can be desperately unfair sometimes.
I still carry some guilt that I couldn’t protect my baby. My rational mind knows it’s the midwives who were at fault, but on some level my heart still feels like I failed at my first real act of motherhood.
It’s not all one thing or another though. It’s possible to be be happy and to love your kid, while still grieving for the loss of the life you all thought you would have.
Hearing from my therapist that it’s OK to not be OK was much more powerful than reading it on an Instagram meme. I think it actually finally sank in.
So, if you’re on a similar journey to me and you are nowhere near OK, that’s all right too. Here’s another meme-worthy platitude for you (I actually got this on a card after the birth and it really, really helped me).