I haven’t just started being a parent – that started in November 2007 when I stubbed out a last cigarette the day after finding out I was pregnant. I haven’t just started caring either – that started not long before, but this is the first day a new role has been decided for me by me – a full time parent carer.
Its all started because something has to give. Things were a bit stressful three years ago when we became a family of three rather than four; me and my sensitive, eccentric 4 year old Leo and crazy toddler Olive, but a lot has happened in that time and the stress levels have upped. As Leo has worked his way up through reception and years one and two and society’s demands have started inching into his small world, it has become more and more evident he has a difference called Autistic Spectrum Condition. This makes all of our lives less ordinary.
I have sat at my kitchen table today and made the decision to jack in my job (which, incidentally, I love to bits, have done for the whole of my thirties and it has given me much purpose and fulfillment) to become a full time carer. It is either my sanity and health that gets the sack, my children’s wellbeing, or my career. Some may call it a no-brainer.
Only last month I was trying to get my first mortgage, today I have decided to make do with painting over the mind-numbingly magnolia walls in our rented house instead, as we are now going to be here for the long haul. It means the end of a lot of aspirations and hopes I had for us three, and I have a lot of work to do to let go of those aspirations, but I have a sneaky feeling it is going to be, if not amazing, then not ordinary.
Next step… hand in my notice…