Two weeks to go. Two weeks until I get 11 days off for Christmas. And despite being nervous about Christmas (an irrational PTSD-like fear of a repeat of last festive season’s new diagnoses and hospitalisations), I can’t wait. I want to spend time with my family and not working or in appointments. I want to kick back.
I am utterly exhausted.
Nearly there. Sure, there’s a mountain of stuff to do before then (cards, Christmas shopping, deciding what to cook to entertain guests for Christmas lunch) a million things at school, a stack of work so high I can’t think about it without feeling sick. But only two weeks to go. I must be on the home straight. Right?
How can you be on the home straight when home is never straight forward?
Today I have been to two medical appointments for Boo. SALT (or speech and language for those not as thoroughly institutionalised as me) and physiotherapy. I left the house at 08:30. I got back at 11:55 after dropping him off at nursery. I hadn’t eaten at all today, or drunk or peed since 06:30 this morning.
I left the appointments with lots of homework (apps to locate and download, products to source, photos and captions to write for nursery) and a tonne of guilt about all the things I haven’t done with him or helped him achieve. That’s a post for another day this week, but in short SALT makes me feel like I have let Boo down in the area that as his mum, as someone who works in education, as an avid lover of words, I should have helped him most: communication. Boo’s comprehension about transport was tested today. Could he find the train, the boat, the helicopter? No. And you know why? Because it dawned on me that he doesn’t play with trains, boats and helicopters. Because he only plays with toys that are physio and sensory friendly. That he can actually hold. Because I have cared more about trying to help him reach and grab and get trunk support so that one day he might sit than to widen his vocabulary, despite talking to him constantly. I have never told him what a train is or shown him a helicopter. I feel rotten. I am a bad mum.
And I am a bad working mum. Because today I am or should be at work. OK I worked 3 hours last night because I knew I had appointments this morning, but I didn’t know I would get home and open the washing machine door and flood the kitchen because it has broken for the third time in 2 months. And now I have 2 hours before Sissyboo’s drama club Christmas show and I should be working as hard as I can now in the hopes I don’t have to work from 19:30 until 2:00 again. In the hopes that I might actually get some sleep.
But instead I am writing a blog post. Because I feel things are about as far from straight or straightforward as they could be and maybe writing about it will clear my head. Because I feel that life is unbearably hard sometimes. Even impossible. Most days I can cope, but today I can’t. Today I just want to sleep for 2 weeks and for Christmas to happen with or without me.
But I can’t do that, can I? I need to be more like Boo. To not give up. To keep on at things just like he did through two difficult appointments this morning.
I am tired, but I am also the grown-up. I have to keep going.