I finished work at 10.30 last night. I expect it will be the same again tonight.
I’ve spent half of today in a hospital waiting room for Scarlett’s eye clinic appointment. This is the fourth medical appointment we have attended this month. I have also attended a two hour “team around the child” meeting, a 45 minutes preschool review meeting, two visits to the optician for replacement glasses after Scarlett snapped the arm off.
I have a pile of “Scarlett admin” to tackle later. Forms to fill in for her preschool attendance next academic year, speech therapy forms to assess her language skills, emails from her Occupational Therapist, a text message from her Hearing Support specialist. New appointment letters for next month to enter into my diary and file away…… I’ll need to start a new folder, the current one is full but I haven’t the time to buy a new one. Or to organise the various sections: heart, hearing, ENT, speech, paediatrics, physio and so on.
Meanwhile the house work piles up…. I haven’t seen my iron in months (do we have one?)…. it’ll be pizza tonight (again) and as soon as the kids are in bed I’ll turn on my laptop on and try to squeeze a days worth of client work into one evening.
This is the side of parenting a child with additional needs that goes unseen. When people see Scarlett they often assume my life is hard…. that she is hard … that her diagnosis of Down syndrome is a tragedy that I wish hadn’t happened. They think she is less. Imperfect.
But Scarlett isn’t the hard bit… in fact as a human being she is pretty bloomin awesome. She’s kind and funny and, for a three year old, surprisingly reasonable. She goes to bed when asked, usually eats all her dinner & always has a cuddle for her Mummy. As kids go, I definitely got a diamond & I wouldn’t change a single hair on her head.
Talking to friends, I’ve learned that most Mums with young families are overstretched. Feel like they don’t have enough hours in the day, days in the week. Or enough time to themselves. And I’m not for a moment suggesting that their struggles are not real or that I have it harder…. but there are some extras. Some additional tasks I must find additional time for when there are not additional hours in the day available. And I don’t see that changing any time soon.