How I’m getting through it…

When I had my first child, Anthony, I was 22 years of age. I loved him as any first time Mammy will know, with absolute conviction. But because my little angel was a typical baby, sleep deprivation soon wised me up on the delights of motherhood and I knew that I couldn’t have another one till this one was grown up, well at least a bit grown up. That’s why I chose to wait six years before Sarah came along and then nine more years before Yasmin came along. Besides my own personal problems, (I suspected I suffered with post natal depression then and I knew that my mental state wouldn’t be able for the extra stress that babies together would bring) this all seemed to work out well for the children. They were all loving children and because of the gaps, there weren’t the usual scraps that often happen with children closer in age.
Then a couple of years into my bliss, when Yasmin was three, Sarah was twelve and Anthony was eighteen years of age, things got a bit hectic. Yasmin had pretty scary tantrums, Sarah had started puberty and Anthony wanted to leave school before his final exams. All of a sudden I thought, ‘Hang on a minute, these gaps maybe weren’t such a good idea after all!’ And so began a few years of emotional roller coaster rides in my life and believe me, I had never been on a roller coaster before, I like to play safe and be in control. (I was a bit of a control freak and that was another of my problems…)
 I had to then learn how to deal with each child’s individual emotional needs. It was a hugely difficult challenge for me but I can honestly say, I’d rather have gone through the pain to learn and change and to listen and to have the relationship I have with my children today than not to have faced it.
 Of course, life isn’t all made out of happy endings and my son was already eighteen and left home before I began to learn. But, he’s a good lad and I welcomed a second chance when he moved back home a year ago so that he could save and marry his lovely girlfriend Sally.
I still have to work on my relationship with Anthony. It may never be what it should have been, but at least it will be now based on acceptance and gratitude.
 So here I am at 48 years of age. My son to be married April 2016, a daughter just gone off on her first J1 visa, my little angel from heaven Yasmin, who has her own challenges with Dyspraxia, (but she’s my inspiration because she never gives up trying!) Then throw into the mix, my husband’s niece who arrives needing a home and support till she has her baby in December.
To be honest, it felt like I had just found out I was pregnant again (Remember my post natal depression!) and I was traumatized. It’s just that I know this girls isn’t very independent (Not because she isn’t a beautiful girl and would love to be a beautiful mother and I’m sure she would be if she tackled her alcoholism!) But there you have it. The baby on my doorstep is more real than you would think as her own parents sadly died quite young.
I was very annoyed at my husband because he didn’t see my problem or couldn’t understand it either way. I have always carried on and got on with my load and what’s different now?
Well, what’s different now is that I now know me and I know what I’m capable of doing. I know my limitations. I’m not going to just jump in and say, ‘Hey! I can do this, I am invincible!’
Because now I know I like my sleep, now I know Yasmin needs my undivided attention, now I know marriage takes work, now I know relationships with my children takes work, now I know I want to write and that takes time, now I know I like walking my three huskies and that takes time. I like meeting my friends for coffee and that takes time.
Anyway, I have asked God to guide me and I know I can make my own choices with his support, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I put this woman from my door at this time. And that would do more harm for my mental state.
So, I pray for my strength to carry on with acceptance and respect.

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