Like many of us, I have children who believe that sleeping through the night is just an urban myth. Oh the joy of having to cope with a full day of paperwork or appointments when you have had a few hours split sleep.
Sleep deprivation is torturous, as you know, but I think my body has become so used to limited sleep that I function fairly adequately all day. However, the thing I find difficult to deal with is the emotional exhaustion this role brings. Being physically exhausted makes everything seem to much worse and trying to deal with the day to day activities becomes such a chore.
Add to this the stress and emotional distress of the community we live in and suddenly there are days when it all just seems too much.
- I am tired of opening Facebook to read of another example of the child’s needs not being a priority
- I am tired of waiting for CAHMS to actually meet my child – over a year since the referral
- I am tired of cuts that mean services like CAMHS have to practice fire fighting rather than fire prevention
- I am tired of the infighting between parents – we’re all working to the same goal so why do we spend so much time fighting amongst ourselves
- I am tired of egos and personalities
- I am tired of LA staff not understanding what communication actually means
- I am tired of decisions being made about my child and my family without anyone asking us what we think
- I am tired of decisions being made about my child but no one telling us until we chase it up.
- I am tired of receiving letters that mean I have to add another thing to my “to do” list because our LA doesn’t communicate internally
- I am tired of receiving letters from one department that tells me to follow a new procedure but the department I now have to deal with hasn’t been told of the new procedure so I get passed around for an hour before someone with common sense steps up to the mark
- I am tired of trying to understand new legislation and then being told ten different interpretations that make me wonder who has got it wrong
- I am tired of hearing the hype of how families are happy with all the current changes, when my Facebook wall tells a very different story
- I am tired of feeling guilty if I try to do something just for me
- I am tired of the piles of paperwork that need either filing or action taking
- I am tired of trying to balance a diary of appointments and paperwork without a secretary
- I am tired of not having a full nights sleep but not meeting the criteria for overnight support
- I am tired of having to constantly search for support
- I am tired of people not adhering to the legislation
- I am tired of the lack of accountability
- I am tired to know that families are often too exhausted to challenge the lack of accountability
- I am tired of hearing about poor families going through dire heart-breaking circumstances because the support they needed wasn’t available or they didn’t meet the criteria
- I am tired of the sheer scale of knowledge I still have to gain
- I am tired of knowing that families with children twenty years older than mine can relate to my story as nothing has changed
- I am tired of practitioners telling me they understand
- I am tired of explaining my child’s behavior to people who should know better
- I am tired of fighting to be accepted as an expert in my child
- I am tired of managers who don’t appreciate being challenged when they are in the wrong
- I am tired of people talking about “co-production” when it’s not actually happening in many areas
- I am tired of trying to find time to just be “mum” and have family time
- I am tired of trying to recruit a PA without any help
Most of all, I am tired of being tired.
I dream of this world where people genuinely work together, genuinely listen to families, communicate effectively and know what they are talking about; a world where I can cope with the physical exhaustion without the added stress of the emotional exhaustion. It’s not too much to ask, is it?
What about you? Are you tired?
I know that I am not alone. I know that we all have days when we could quite happily go back to bed and sleep for a month (if we didn’t have all the letters to write, phone calls to make and appointments to attend). We all have times when we think “why do I bother?
What motivates you to get up and tackle the world each day?
Thankfully I only have to look at my three children and I remember why I bother. I also have a few strategies to help me do more than just crawl out of bed.
What motivates you? What tips do you have to help others to not just get out of bed, but to get dressed, put your face on and face the world with a smile?