Hardest Job?

I have spent the majority of the week laid up in bed totally wrecked after my daughter's party & have been thinking a lot about being a (good) parent.  And about the extra problems people with chronic ilness have to endure.

"They" (whoever they is) say that being a parent is the hardest job in the world. Some people will disagree!  Being a parent IS really difficult.  You are 100% responsible for your child/ren & never get time off when the day has ended or in the holidays. You don't get any training for it & you never know what is round the corner.  But it is what comes with being a parent. However, being a parent & having an illness brings a whole load of added difficulties.

I have been talking to some fellow M.E sufferers recently, who are also parents, about the restrictions we have regarding the things we can do with our children. We have a lot of anger & guilt towards the stuff the condition stops us from doing with them.  But instead of focusing on the stuff we CANNOT do, which is a lot, I want to talk about the things we CAN do. Or the things I have been able to do at least.

From my daughter being a baby, I have always read books to her.  She has always loved being read to & I think it helped with how bright she is & what a good range of vocabulary she has!  She also has a very good memory & when she has seen or heard something once she never forgets. We always read at bedtime before she goes to sleep & that started from an early age.  As well as it being part of her bedtime routine I look forward to snuggling up with her for stories!  She actually asked tonight if she could read one book to me & asked if I would do the other & said it was so I didn't get too tired. She is so sweet!

Another thing we have always enjoyed doing is craft stuff.  We both lie on the floor surrounded by sparkly stuff & she will spend ages making stuff or sticking (kids love stickers!).  Playdough is another thing she's always enjoyed & recently since I started making bracelets she likes to make them too!  She has her own stash of beads but likes to look at mine!!

We play a lot of board games.  Some of the old favourites like Snakes & Ladders or Guess Who.  We have a fair few Orchard Toys games which are brilliant.  They are educational as well as fun & she loves them. She will also happily play with a pack of cards..she actually got some in a party bag today & we sat playing various stuff for ages.  I couldn't believe I was sat playing cards with my 5 year old!  Albeit one of the games was snap ;-)

She also loves me to paint her nails.  I have a bit of an obsession with nail polish so am more than happy to do it for her! She loves rummaging through all the colours & usually wants glitter on them too.   She definitely takes after her mummy in that respect!

Now she is older she is a lot more independent & doesn't need us with her the whole time.  She will happily play in her bedroom or with her toys/dolls but I don't like leaving her for long so usually join her & she gets me involved in whatever she is doing!  Her imagination is brilliant & she amazes me with the stuff she comes out with sometimes!

Of course we watch films or kids tv.  And I don't think as parents anyone should feel bad for letting them do that, as long as it isn't all the time.  I recently got a tablet & she loves playing games on it.  Some of the ones she likes are educational, some are just fun ones, but I do limit her time on it & never let her go on it for too long.

So that is the sort of stuff we do.  And I know she enjoys it as much as when she goes out doing other stuff.  Doesn't stop my guilt about not being able to but it's what I can manage so I know I shouldn't beat myself up about it!

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