I have been a mum for just over 3.5 years, Spud has been a child for nearly 11 years so has a head start on me. I feel most of the time that i am playing catch up and in the early days, felt i needed a T-Shirt saying “give me a break. I have only been a mum for 3 weeks”. People would look at us when we were out and look confused if I was asking him if he liked x,y or z or looked very much like a confused aunt rather than mum. I did think parenting would be difficult but I really was not prepared for how hard.
I am not saying that being a parent of a birth child is not difficult but suddenly having a 7.5 year old with attitude, trauma, a background you have very little information or understanding about and 7.5 years head start on you has been hard. I think we are getting there, I think I am becoming more confident in being a mum, I think we are bonding as a family unit.
For me I did not appreciate how difficult and how much impact school would have on Spud and me. School seems to have been a constant battle since nearly day 1. School are not very flexible so I thought if you can’t beat them, join them and decided to become a school Governor. I thought I could try and make a difference and increase understanding from inside. 18 months on I have resigned as it was a battle I knew I couldn’t win or even make a dent in their amour. School should have supported us as a family but embarrassed me, shamed Spud, have given lip service, have not been prepared to change. This has had a negative effect on our bonding and attachment .
Only this week I had a call from a parent at school pick up asking why I had not picked Spud up from school. I explained that he was at after school club but was told it was cancelled. No-one had told any of the parents and it was only because one of the parents was concerned I was not there that she looked after Spud until I could get there. For a child with attachment disorder, this had a very traumatic effect on him and on me. Spud asked several times why I was not there.
What else makes being a parent difficult? I find the expectations of others makes life harder than it needs to be. My parents are fantastic but if I had a pound for every time my dad said “we had 3 of you to bring up and we managed it” I would be very rich right now. My standard response is “but non of us were adopted or suffered from trauma”. People see Spud as a 10 years old as this is his chronological age. He is most of the time around the age of 5years old emotionally. This makes parenting hard as it is a balance between what his peers are doing and he wants to do and what is best for him or the gaps he needs to fill in. He has a couple of friends who are much younger who Spuds plays with really well. His peers are much harder work as he has such a conflict of needs.
I also think at times I make parenting much harder than it needs to be. Do I question too much? Do I look into things too much? Do I need to make parenting so hard?
So, do you find being a parent difficult?