Living with Cerebral Palsy 🍋🍋

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Hi ho, hi ho....

Oh dear! The approach of another holiday, another illness for Elin! Had almost a week off school, on antibiotics and feeling very sorry for herself! I feel sorry for her too, she really doesn't need extra complications on top of everything she is dealing with! I hate her missing school. When Elin goes to school I feel like she is engaging in a perfectly rounded day- fun, stimulation, activity and things I cannot necessarily provide at home. I feel like sending her to school is like sending her on a mini-adventure, every single day. A million times better than sitting at home, no matter how hard I try with the equipment we have here. I feel like she is getting the very best quality of life we can give her, hence me hating it when she can't go. School brings normality. Which brings me to my next point. I also hate missing school (I am a part time teacher). I love spending time with Elin it's my favourite thing to do in the world. But I also love not spending time with Elin. I love the break, I love adult company and conversation. I love that I am something other than Elin's Mum, though first and foremost that is my most important job :-) With Elin's health being so poor recently going to work can be a stress. I have felt a little removed due to worry and concerned that I am not giving my best and letting people down. In my darker moments I have considered giving up. But I know that I can't and this week at home with Elin has confirmed this in my mind. However tough things get the key for me personally is to keep busy, keep going and still retain the identity I had before Elin came along. I worked so hard to get my job. I love my job, genuinely. I love my colleagues. What would happen to me if I gave all of that up? Might I start even resenting Elin, or at least the situation? Plus Elin will be full time next year, what would I do all day? There is no doubt in my mind that because I work I am a better person and moreover a better Mummy. My afternoons with Elin are precious, but so are my mornings away. They help me to put things in perspective and to feel like I am accomplishing something. But that doesn't always mean it's easy..the guilt is omnipresent and harsh, the guilt that Elin should be getting 100% of my time every day. Decisions like this are not helped for Mum's like me by the fact that carer's allowance does definitely NOT equal a living wage. So giving up work would leave us financially out of pocket quite seriously too- though this issue is about so much more than money. And for now I know my dcision is absolutely the right one, however bad that makes me feel. Luckily I have THE most supportive colleagues around and luckily the situation works pretty well- aside from these times when she is poorly of course. Work is my constant, my rockbed. I have been there since I qualified, since before I knew what life had in store for us and I hope to be there for many years to come. Work is me. And I love it. So next time someone asks if I work and raises their eyebrows and says REALLY? Wow I don't know how you do it, Im going to take it as the compliment it was undoubtedly meant to be instead of beating myself up for being a bad Mum AND a bad teacher. Because somewhere deep down I know I am neither ;-0
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