Exhausted by Claire

[advert:mpu]It just seems that today they have been whinier, whingier, noisy, fighty, and more argumentative and generally just more blooming difficult than usual…Or maybe it’s because I’m more tired today that I am finding it harder to cope? A bit like the chicken and the egg! My life is undoubtedly a busy one, most parents' lives are, but I seem to get run down more quickly, my energy levels get depleted faster and I rarely seem to have those few precious minutes to myself to build my strength back up again.

I was recently assessed (again) by my local Social Services department, specifically by the Children with Disabilities Service, for a carer’s assessment. If you cast your minds back, you may remember that I failed to qualify last year because although my eldest son had a diagnosis, my youngest did not yet, so they were unable to help. If you remember, I was dumbfounded that my youngest although suffering global development delay and entitled to DLA at the highest rate, did not have a specific diagnosis - which precluded us as a family from any kind of help. It was only when Samuel got his diagnosis that we were assessed as a family for care by the service. It’s still not clear whether or not anything will come of it and what exactly they will be able to offer me if we qualify.

Truth is, there are times I feel that I am on my knees. I feel so exhausted, I cannot think straight. It is sometimes as much as I can do to put one wobbly foot in front of the other.

I know that most other families like mine have the benefit of relatives or in-laws they can occasionally call on the baby-sit or help out with shopping etc. My only surviving relative is my mother, herself now 70 and barely able to cope with one of any children at a time let alone three. Now she has decided she has had enough of city life and is hot-tailing it back to the seaside after moving here two years ago to be near to me and the kids…begs the question is she really fed up with the city or has she had enough of being the emergency baby sitter?!

I do a lot for my children. They have activities every day of the week except Friday and sometimes they have two. Even my little Samuel has toddler group in the mornings and nursery in the afternoon and I have to fit lunch in-between. My tiredness sometimes stems from the sheer effort of care I have to give them. For example with Samuel, almost every mealtime is a struggle to get him to eat and each meal can take up to an hour to get down with coaxing, encouragement and praise. Whilst I’m feeding him, I can’t get on with anything else so washing up, cleaning the cooker, preparing packed lunches or anything else I could be doing instead of feeding him has to wait until later, just adding to the burden of tasks.

And of course I have no-one with whom to share these tasks with. My new partner doesn’t really see child raising as something he is ‘au fait’ with. Maybe if he has one of his own, that will change but for today, well. I just have to get on with it….alone.

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