Eventually, as a parent, we reach a point where we just aren't needed quite as much as before. Don't get me wrong, our children wi...

Eventually, as a parent, we reach a point where we just aren't needed quite as much as before.

Don't get me wrong, our children will always need us no matter how old they are but their needs change and evolve into something less physical as they become more and more independent and determined to find their own path.

Although my youngest is only 5 years old he is at full-time school now and growing up at a scarily fast rate.  

I have spent so many years raising babies and always putting my needs last on the list that it feels quite odd to me to have free time during the day and for the demands of parenting to be gradually becoming less and less.  
Regardless of their age I will always make myself available to my children whenever they need me but recently I have found myself in a position where I have a chance to find out who I am again outside of being 'Mummy' and I have to admit that it couldn't have come at a better time.

Over the last few months, I have been feeling as though I have been losing my identity.

It goes without saying that I love my children more than life itself and would do anything to see them happy but I was beginning to feel trapped and unappreciated.  The demands were constant and exhausting and I was beginning to resent the fact that my children will only let me do things for them and will refuse their father.  I was becoming short tempered and withdrawn.

Trust me when I say I am not proud of feeling that way, in fact, I am almost ashamed to admit it, but those feelings were there and they were very real.

Being a parent can be extremely lonely, even more so when you are raising a child with additional needs and face daily challenges that most people are completely unaware of.

I often hear things said like "Well, you chose to become a parent and stay home to raise them" 
"It was your choice to have 6 children so now you just have to deal with it".

Yes, it was my choice and it is a choice that I will never regret but I also feel that we should ALL be able to be open and honest about our feelings without having to worry about any backlash that we may face as a result of that honesty.

I believe I was very close to becoming depressed, and that depression is more common than we realise for stay-at-home parents.

Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

Having children is a privilege but it also incredibly hard work.  
It is a 24-hour job with no holiday allowance and little appreciation along the way.

I'm sure there are many people who would say that having children is a reward in itself but realistically it is very often a thankless task.

It is a journey that I love being a part of, but also have conflicting feelings towards.

A big part of helping myself has been being honest about the way I was feeling.  Honest to myself as well as to my husband.  
And now I am sharing that honesty with you too.

It became apparent that I need to start making some changes, making time for myself and doing something that isn't children or household orientated, and so I have taken a part-time job.  
Just a few hours on the weekend that will enable me to get out of the house and be Missy instead of Mummy.  
I'm not saying that this is going to solve everything overnight, but I am already feeling more positive about things.

But life is a double-edged sword.

As I sit here writing this and getting ready to put it 'out there' I feel guilt, shame and embarrassment alongside the positive feelings I have about encouraging people to be open and honest about their own realities.

I am worried about the response this post will get; about people's reactions to my honesty.

But mostly I am worried about being judged.

And herein lies the problem.  

The biggest reason why so many people suffer in silence, many to the point where their feelings become all-consuming and overwhelming;


We are all afraid of being judged to some extent, but that fear increases with the knowledge that we aren't quite as perfect and happy as our outward appearance may make us seem and that we need to admit it so that we can get the help we need.

So, I am writing this post and sharing my own honesty and fear in the hope that it will encourage others to do the same.

Please don't suffer in silence!

Even if you feel (as I did) that your problems are insignificant and trivial compared to others'.

It's okay not to be okay.

It's okay to be afraid.

It's okay to admit that you aren't happy 100% of the time.

And most of all ..... it IS okay to admit you are struggling and to ask for help.

Missy x

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