Dear New Parents, Welcome to The Club...

Dear Parents Of Children with additional Needs, This is my open letter to you, a parent that has been through 9 years of this world.

You are still just mam and dad. You just become a different type…

I am here to tell you lot’s of things but firstly I want to say you will one day be ok. If you are not ok right now - that is ok. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. You have just went through an experience that only a few go through. Learning their child has additional needs, a certain syndrome, condition, life long illness or like us, no diagnosis at all. This experience will 100% change you, your family, your love life, your friendships and your view of the world. As it stands right now, things are shit. You will no doubt feel lost, confused, guilt and even grief. Grief is something that happens and you won’t even see it coming. Grief hits you in the face, heart and head at great speed. You will grieve for the child you envisioned on that day when you saw that test say ‘pregnant’. In that moment you may have saw yourself out with the kids, running to the park, pulling them down from the stairs and chasing them round the house like me shouting at them. But that didn’t come and maybe that child won’t. This is completely normal feelings to have. Things will not get easier, they will get tougher but trust me when I say you will adapt. You will grow into a person you never even knew existed. That strong person inside you that can make quick decisions, negotiate appointments and learn what certain medical terminology will step forward, into the light and claim their moment. Because we all have them you know, that person in us and they WILL show up I promise you. It may not be today, tomorrow or three years from now but they will appear. It took me 7 years and 8 months to realise I was here all along. At times you will forget yourself, take beauty in the small things - the collateral beauty if you like, and embrace and celebrate those little things as if all your Christmas’s have come at once. These are the moment’s that no one else gets to have. These are the moments that make this world, beautiful, wonderful and overwhelming. The fine line between too much crazy and too much love. So here is my advice to you, take the small things and hold on to them, tightly. Pick your battles, you can’t win them all in one day, NO ONE can. Find your own path, not everyones navigates the same way through this world. Times will be overwhelming, take a moment and let them be. Cry when you need to cry. You will get called superhuman on numerous occasions, this is a compliment - don’t scowl at people. You will get asked “how do you do it all?” Don’t harm these people - they are being polite and are well meaning. Laugh as much as you can. Laugh when you can, have fun when you can and take the help offered for you to do this. Do all of the above…. And you probably won’t be as you used to be… but you will be OK. From me to you, welcome to the wonderfully special club, that no one asks to be in… Tracey x

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