I’ve been wondering about how much I have changed since taking on the role of ‘foster carer’ and ‘mum’. Sure the practical realities have changed. I’m no longer in paid employment and my selfish lifestyle of doing whatever I want whenever I wanted to (not quite but you get the picture) is but a distant memory. But am I still the stand alone me and who is that person now?
These days I am one of those people who are seen wrangling shopping and babies, who can’t seem to control that screaming, flapping, ribbon flicking kid who needs a good stern talking to. Yep, that was me today. I was trying to find a new pair of glasses for L whose message to me was loud and clear – don’t make me go into another one of those shops with all the glasses in them – it’s freaking me out!!!
So not only am I a foster mum, a single mum, I am also an autism mum – the trifecta! Definitely not complaining because I love what I do and love all my kids, but occasionally I have to take a deep breath because my life is SO different from what it was for such a long time. I never even went into shopping malls.
My question to myself is this – is being a parent now my defining attribute?
In lots of ways, I’d have to say yes. Putting the kids needs above my own means that there is a filter over everything I do. But I am still the person I was B.C. (before children) and that person is struggling for air time.
Monday will be L’s first day at school. So things are about to change. It will be a big transition for him, so I’m expecting some reactive behaviour. But once that settles down I’m really looking forward to the space that having a school aged child will bring. Watch that space.