Sunday, 10 March 2013
Happy Mother's Day Shannon!
As you may have seen from the previous post, Shannon’s been struggling a bit with being a mum. Or, rather, struggling with being the mum of a disabled child. Or, rather again: struggling with the guilt and worry that comes with being the mum of a disabled child.
Which, as someone pointed out, is more evidence of a what a great mum she is. Because she does genuinely worry about all that stuff and does genuinely beat herself up about it.
That she doesn’t need to beat herself up is a given. Of course she doesn’t need to beat herself up. But she does and she will.
I think part of the problem with this is that we’ve both been pretty good at putting on a brave face and getting on with it. If you only know us from this blog then you might think that all we do is moan and get upset. But that’s not true. This blog is a specific outlet for that kind of thing. In reality, in our day-to-day life, we just get on with it. For instance, when we’re asked by friends how things are, we tend to reply: “Oh, you know, the usual.”
To be honest, I think that may be part of the problem: we don’t give ourselves enough credit for how hard all of this is. We take it in our stride but are occasionally tripped up. I used to think, when people said “I couldn’t do what you do” that they could. But now I’m not so sure. Being on Twitter these past three years has opened my eyes to how some people can’t seem to cope with even the most trivial upsets. The big babies. But then, maybe I’m being unfair – maybe Twitter is as much an outlet for their moaning as this blog is for ours. And of course everyone’s entitled to their problems and everyone’s entitled to moan. I appreciate that.
But – and this is leading somewhere- I genuinely believe that not many people could do what Shannon does. It’s not just the coping and the managing and the getting things done. It’s also the dealing with this not being what she thought motherhood would be. And dealing with the sheer fact and heartbreak of having a beautiful daughter who is severely disabled. Who will always be severely disabled. This isn’t the same as having a difficult baby or troublesome kids or whatever. This is for the rest of her life.
I wanted to write something for and about Shannon on Mother’s Day. But I didn’t want it to be just the usual dippy ‘best mum in the world’ stuff. Besides, what she has to deal with often isn’t just the stuff you’d normally associate with being a mother. Shannon isn’t just a fantastic mother because she’s great at all the maternal stuff. She’s a fantastic mother because she’s a fantastic person. And yes, this might sound trite but: both of our girls should be very happy and grateful that they have her for a mother. They could have had someone else. Someone not nearly as brilliant and as wonderful as Shannon is.