I have soo much to say in this piece but no idea where to start. Firstly, I call it mummy mentality because as women we tend to second guess everything we say, before, during and after we say it… unlike dads. Let’s start at the beginning, you have been given this bundle of joy with added extras, instead of bombarding anyone with questions you silently plot your comeback. You have not even fallen yet but know the comeback is going to be stronger than the set back. Their is a strength that grows deep inside you that says, this isn’t ok and maybe it won’t ever be ok but i’ll be damned if someone is going to tell me that this is it. You never say it out loud and if it ever does, it come’s out in the form of “i’m ok” or “yea we are good thanks”… after being asked how we are doing.
Even in my darkest days I never thought I am just going to lie here and take it, I thought right - I have had my moment, get up and crack on. I don’t have time to wallow, have a pity party or to wee most days without being needed. So we get back to it.
Then there is the added extras that come from this life, the mental health struggles, the exhaustion, the self doubt and weight gain… (if you haven’t gained weight I applaud you)… all the hospital food and food on the go, the comfort food after a shitty day and cuppas & cake you can’t refuse. Mentally, I have been in the worst states ever. I have had to drag myself out of ditch. I had to give up a group I was apart of and loved, I had separated myself from friends and pulled myself out of the idea I shouldn’t be here. Now thats hard to write, and I am not saying that coming into this world was the defining factor but it definitely helped tip the scale. But I am good now, I am aware of ‘me’. The exhaustion, oh god the exhaustion, like you have never felt before… I have never had jet lag before but feel I am in a constant state of it. My muscles, bones and body hurt. You crave sleep, but can’t sleep because what if you sleep through her having a tremor fit and she needs me. Her bedroom is downstairs… what if someone broke in? All of those thoughts are too much to settle your head at times, no matter how exhausted you are. The self-doubt. I admit that I didn’t leave school with the best grades, instead I left pregnant. I am not ashamed of it either, I went on to marry her dad - also divorced but another story another day. Do I wish I did better? Yes. But I love my teenager to the moon and back and would never regret her, she is a blessing.
I doubt my every move when trying to better myself, am I too old? (I’m 33), am I clever enough?, do I have the grades to get in? etc. Last year I put that behind me and decided to go for it, I enrolled on two courses. Counselling skills- something I have always been passionate about and introduction into caring for children and young people and I PASSED both! I was chuffed! I now have qualifications and looking to study more. Self doubt in my life creeps up daily, I can’t wear that i’ll tell myself - I am a SEND mam. I can’t go there, what will people say?? I am a SEND mam. I can’t run, what will people think of me? I can’t go to the gym, people will see me and what if Delilahs school calls etc… when in reality I can wear that, do that and I can run- its not pretty but thats ok haha! The weight gain - I feel like this one doesn’t even call for an explanation. We all know that as much as anyone slags off canteen food it can be bloody lush, Sunderland hospital do a lush curry, rice and chips if anyone is looking for a recommendation, deffo 5 star material. SEND mams can be put up on some sort of pedestal as if we should all aspire to be a Mary Poppins type character, be able to fix everything and juggle everything eloquently as to be seen struggling is not allowed. When in reality we are just mams at the core, protecting and fighting for our children as anyone else would. I don’t feel anything special, I don’t feel I should be wearing a cape…. Unless it’s for some sort of fancy dress doo where I could get blind drunk and pretend to fly? Then count me in. But outside of that? I JUST get by. I do my best in the face of whatever struggle there is that day. That is not Mary Poppins behaviour - its more like a Dick van Dyke sketch, you solve one issue and six more appear.
Am I a mess? often. Am I always dressed pristine? Deffo not. Do I speak my mind? Yes often. Do I try and keep up with life? Yes. Do I have that fight in me? Yes always, and I don’t expect it to go away anytime soon either. Everything I now do, think or say tends to stem from this world in one way or another. I go to the gym to keep fit for lifting and handling, I shop for particular foods and clothing, I study to better myself in this world. I seek support and take medications because of the impact from being in the world.
Would I swap my place for another? No I don’t think I would. My place is in this world, fighting against myself and gaining weight. Once I settled into this being me now, I am ok with it. I have a good heart and a hell of a lot of fight left in me.
A fight that comes from someone in a room saying “Sorry Mrs and Mr Huggins but this is as much as we can say, this is it”. And that little voice wakening up and replying ‘like hell it is’. Tracey x