What Being A Little Person’s Mother Has Taught Me

Motherhood is not something that came naturally to me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love being Little Person’s mum. And there are lessons that this journey has taught me that I probably would not have learnt any other way. Just bear in mind, as far as mothering goes, I’m still a work in progress.

  1. Throw away the books. They are written to the average. They are written to absolve maternal guilt, and to make the authors money.
  2. Post-Natal Depression isn’t the end. It just feels like it. (I really should have got help on this one. But the illness is such that you think you won’t be able to get help.)
  3. Comparison is the enemy. Don’t compare your child to anybody else’s. Don’t compare your child to any other of your children. Don’t compare your parenting to your parents’ parenting.
  4. I have no idea what I am doing. And that’s okay. Because me and Little Person, we learn well together.
  5. It’s not enough to have the support of your family in raising your child. You need friends. This is especially true of parenting a child with special needs. Which is ironic, really.
  6. Just because Little Person has atypical development, and a different way of expressing herself, doesn’t mean she’s stupid. Or that she should be excluded. A little bit of understanding goes a long way.
  7. Anxiety is like a progress-eating cancer. It makes you feel small and incapable. It makes you forget how brave and strong you really are. Which is hard when you’re 6 and not very good at putting this feeling into words.
  8. There is more than one way to communicate. Actually, learning the multiple ways of communicating with Little Person has taught me to be more creative in dealing with other people in my life.
  9. Time out is not always a punishment. Little Person has started giving herself time outs – as a way to regain control of her emotions before tackling the situation again. Watching that, I realise that I should sometimes give myself a little time just to get my headspace right.
  10. A specific apology is a beautiful thing. We can say sorry as a vague acknowledgement of wrong, but a specific I’m sorry I did this and it had that consequence for you is much better.
  11. Little Person is much better at forgiveness than me.
  12. We start putting people into boxes at a really young age. Sure, we can label people as boys and girls, or acknowledge that one is sporty and another arty. But my Little Person already has a school report that suggests that her skills are not up to standard. People will say that’s just so she can get the extra support she needs. But sometimes I think that she needs a culture change more than the extra support. And yet, in so many ways, perhaps the fact I can write about it indicates that the culture change is already here. (Yes, I know, I’m contradicting myself. C’est la vie.)
  13. I probably won’t ever feel like I have a handle on this parenting lark. Which is a good way to keep me humble.
  14. Taking time to live in the moment is, generally, time well spent. I have yet to regret a spontaneous game of football in the back garden or a trip down to the playground. Even when my brain has been screaming at me about the list of a million things still to be done. The list of things will never be finished. We only have one chance to grab this moment.
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2 thoughts on “What Being A Little Person’s Mother Has Taught Me

  1. Excellent post. I would argue that the books are written to promote and profit from maternal guilt, not absolve it. “If you don’t do it OUR way, you are clearly DOING IT WRONG and your child will be DAMAGED FOREVER!”

    Like

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