All posts filed under: Parents

“Gentle Hands Please”

She stands in front of me fixing me with a dark brown and grey stare. Her eyes glinting and wet, jaw set, arm poised to strike again. Hair scraped from the back of her head falls in strands over her cheeks in uncomfortable lines, through her neat fringe, damp with tears and snot. Her small, perfect cheeks are pink with rage, her nose running, patches blotched red around her lips. Her eyes say a thousand words but those lips say none. Her arm sweeps up again in an arc and abruptly crashes down on the front right section of her forehead. The contact is hard, with meaning and force and her eyes penetrate mine, damp with tears and distress, in pain for her frustration. Her anger cuts through me and my inability to help her shakes me to my core. Her frustration is vented in this way countless times a day. She cries and screams and her hand slaps down with uncontrolled force on her own head. In public people visibly recoil as she brings …

Learning to smile and nod…

As a family with a child who doesn’t always display typical behaviour, life often presents us with some interesting interactions with the general public. I spent much of her former years managing the expectations of strangers: “no, she isn’t tired, she has early onset epilepsy and is having absence seizures”; or “no she cant wave, she’s severely developmentally delayed, don’t take it personally”; and “no, she can’t say ‘hi’ but thanks for pointing out that she’s in a grumpy mood today” before giving up entirely and learning to smile and nod. It has become apparent since having kids, even an older child with no additional needs, that as a society we presume to know what is best for other people’s children. From the moment we are pregnant, women are judged and preached to about our decisions: I’ve had everything from glares across a room because I was drinking something that looked like a gin and tonic while breastfeeding (it was tonic water, but who are you to make that decision and FYI there isn’t a …

making a will

The importance of creating a will and a lasting power of attorney…

A will can be something we put off and I know many parents who do this because they don’t want to think about or decide who would raise their children if they were no longer able to.  Sarah Gray talks us through the importance of making a will and why a lasting power of attorney is important… As a young lawyer in my 20s I did not consider for one moment what would happen if I was involved in an accident or if I was to develop a serious illness. Life was abundant, I had everything to look forward to, and I was working hard to build a family and career. The importance of making a will and considering protecting my family did not even really hit me when I had my daughter in my 30s. At that stage I was too busy fitting in working life around bringing up a young child, keeping active and trying to get some sort of balance in amongst the mad busyness of life. But life has a funny …

An observation on tiredness, juggling & being happy

God, I’m tired – this is nothing spectacular or special, most of us are tired and I’m sure we are all tired of being tired. This is not a whinge, just an observation on being busy. I just don’t have the time and the energy to do everything I want to do. On the whole I am incredibly happy – I do what I love, I live with people I love, I spend time with people I love and I am grateful for all of this and for health, for laughter and for my ability to enjoy cheap wine. But the tiredness and the endless juggling is real. Some days I feel like I am doing it all brilliantly, I am on top of the load and on other days – like today – I feel like I am falling short. I want to achieve more at work, to develop my little business but I have washing to do & floors to clean, kids to enjoy before they grow up and bugger off, a husband …

Parent Voices: Enjoy Every Minute?

As my bump grew bigger and the start of maternity leave loomed, I began to hear it from acquaintances, friends and strangers: ‘Enjoy every minute’ It was as innocuous as all the other pregnancy small talk, and I didn’t think much of it as they waved me off towards motherhood with those three little words. I certainly wasn’t ‘enjoying every minute’ of pregnancy, but I was really looking forward to meeting the baby and enjoying every minute of this new adventure. Birth was swift and uncomplicated. Not something I enjoyed every minute of – but a positive experience nonetheless. Euphoria hit before the cord was even cut. This was amazing – I really was enjoying every minute, just like they promised. I was enjoying getting to know this new and mysterious creature; gazing at him; cuddling him; sharing the news. Despite the aches and pains and bleeding, I was even enjoying my post-partum body. I marvelled at what it had just done, and promised never to be critical about its wobbly bits and stretch marks. …