I was watching my favourite TV show today, which is now on season 5 – Parenthood.
I’ve spoken about it before because I enjoy the show immensely. Its a big family, like mine. There are adopted children, a (no longer) illegitimate child, a single mom, fertility issues, a special needs child, the family’s parents remind me of my own… I identify with the characters and their situations.
For some reason while I was watching today’s show, I had a bit of a revelation.
I raised my son on my own – with help from a loving close family – but I was a single mom. I also had special needs issues to deal with with my son’s ADHD Combined Type, so not only did I feel like I had to prove myself as a parent to teachers and doctors and a community at large, I also had to get my son the help he needed to get through school. I started working on support for other parents of children with special needs and creating awareness of ADHD, and I worked full day and weekends as our little family unit had only my income.
I worked my tail off every day.
Make no mistake – I love the life I have led, though I still wish I had been able to (or tried to) do more for my son…
Now my son is a grown up. He’s also doing something he’s loved all his life and he’s happier than I have ever seen him! Seeing and talking to him makes my heart sing!
But every other day I feel like there’s something I am supposed to be doing… I’m no longer fighting with schools and teachers and doctors. I don’t have all kinds of appointments to keep. I don’t get the phonecalls I used to dread…
I fill my time with the causes that are close to my heart – supporting other special needs parents and working with SA Guide-dogs – and I work from home so my time is very much my own, and every now and then I feel like I’ve let something slide.
I feel like something is not getting the attention I am supposed to be giving it, and I almost find myself feeling a little guilty about the fact that my son’s ADHD is no longer as HUGE a stress-about-it-how-can-I-fix-it-why-my-son factor in my life as it was just a year ago.
I still worry about him, and about his future, and I still wish I had done more when he was at school, but I have it easier now and once in a blue moon I have to shake myself and tell myself that thats okay.