by Kelly Wilton
As 2020 recedes into the distance, most of us hanging onto our last shred of sanity. I’m now sitting here and reflecting, asking myself “how did we get here”?!
It’s a year that saw us go from one big change to the next. As the media streamed images of the impact Covid-19 was having around the world, we found within our own smaller, personal communities things were also shifting.
I look inwards at my own circle of special needs mum friends – those that we are in touch with weekly, if not daily; as we transitioned to ‘home schooling’ (I use this term very loosely!) the disconnect we all felt was extremely real. And whether your lockdown was just weeks or many months, the intensity and realness of isolation, was felt by many.
The resilience that our kids showed with home school learning, and the huge upheaval to life as we knew it, had me questioning my own abilities to provide for my kids in the way they needed. It made me question ‘can I actually give them what they need in this time?’ and the answer for me was no. For I was wearing far too many hats, and it made me greatly appreciate the support we receive from others whether it is therapy supports, social support and peer support.
Our family did the best we could, however, and eventually I accepted that was enough.
Although as 2020 continued, the situation I found myself in did shine a light on my own personal friendships. Friendships that were tested under the intensity of this past year have become stronger, and those friendships that weren’t as strong have naturally drifted.
The long-lasting friendships kept it real because keeping it real is what we do in our circle! I would read the words of others that would give me a different perspective to consider, and in doing so it recalibrated my own perspective and balanced me out. Yes my kids were regressing in some areas due to lack of therapy supports but they were gaining in other areas. I could see for the first time and appreciate where they had come from and where they were heading!
So despite this year not being one that any one of us could anticipate, there were some things that really stood out for me:
- Real friendships stand the test of time when put under pressure but others will drift.
- If your self-talk needs a good talking too but you don’t know how – go online to some mentors, friends or support groups and see if you can gain a different perspective.
- Give yourself a break. Take one day at a time – don’t try and solve a month’s worth of problems in one day.
- Be yourself and take pride in asking for help for those that have gifts and strengths that you do not. It will be appreciated by the person you ask.
- We aren’t supposed to know it all. In fact, our diverse kids are the greatest teachers of all as they truly live in the present and if nothing else, that is a gift all of us could do with.