To all the Mothers in our community I just want to say I think you are doing an incredible job.
You have to wear so many hats to ensure your children live their best lives. Suits of armour are hung in your wardrobes ready for the next skirmish. Laptops are primed and you have an address book full of contacts for Hospital departments, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Habilitation workers, Advisory teachers and school staff.
You never knew that case manager, negotiator, teacher, resource maker, and SEND legal expert were going to become part of your skill set as a Mum.
I think it’s pretty amazing how many new things you are prepared to learn for your children; braille, access technology, machines and gadgets that make life easier for your child. Not forgetting there is a whole new language around eye conditions, treatment and support available.
I know it is tiring and scary at times when you feel powerless to change a situation. Your instinct is to protect your children and keep them safe but in the long term that is not your job.
In order for them to go out into the world you learn to let them go. You let them bump into things, allow the trips, falls and accidents that develop their skills and they go off without you little by little.
You cannot wrap them in cotton wool but you can be there when they want to come home.
You give them the survival skills they need to manage in this sighted, visual world. You are brave for your children everyday and teach them not to give up, to find their voice and feel confident about their rights because you have fought so hard for them to be seen.
I hope you take a moment this Mothers Day to give yourself a pat on the back.
However your week or month has been, however the outcome of your battle of words, spoken or written please know that you have been good enough.
It is ok to feel sad and frustrated sometimes at the system that seems stacked against our children. That’s why we have our monthly parent support group chats (Dads are welcome too). We can talk about the challenges we are coming up against and get some wonderful advice from other parents.
We all need hope for our children, particularly as sighted parents it is hard to understand how our children manage with reduced / no vision.
There are other parent carers that have been in similar situations, who can hold our hands and help us take the next steps. Their tips and advice are so valuable and help to keep us going forward so we can tackle the next issue.
I want to thank all the fantastic expert Mums who have been panellists for the themed events. Stories of success that help other parents understand what is possible really do make a difference.
I am so grateful that we have this community who understands the world we are navigating with our children. We speak the same language and feel similar feelings.
I know it is an emotional rollercoaster bringing up our sons and daughters but it is still the best job in the world.
I hope you get to spend some good quality time with your family on Mothers Day and most of all that you pause to reflect on a job well done.
With solidarity and strength,
Be a part of LOOK’s supportive community.
Come and meet other Parent Carers of Children and Young People with a Visual Impairment at our Parent Carer support group.
Our group always welcomes new members. This amazing community is excellent at listening and offering solutions.