Parenting: The Jeckle and Hyde moments

23 January 2017

Last night you had a fight
With your brother
Over something and nothing. 
I refereed from the side-lines. 
Not really wanting to interfere
but stepping in when needed...

In parenting...
These moments are the most difficult. 
The Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde. 
You know...
Torn between:
diving in/leaving them alone, 
being mad/cool, 
showing frustration/patience,
making a cuppa/opening the gin.

For you I stay calm...

I look at you
My handsome, loving son 
trapped in that moment of pain, hurt and misunderstanding. 
Not able to tell us how you are feeling, 
Not able to explain your emotions to us... 

For you I keep my real thoughts hidden...

Instead of shouting 
About the unfairness...

For you I say the right words, in the right tone...

When I want to scream and shout - lose my temper. 
I know that I can't!
I have to keep control or I will scare you more. 
I can't make things worse...

For you I smile, I crack the jokes...

I want to cry - 
I want to put my head in my hands, 
Because although we have come so far, 
One mistake,
One trigger,
Can push us back to the start...

For you I continue like normal...

My heart is breaking but would you know? 
I'm like that beautiful swan, 
No-one can see me
Madly paddling below the water.

Sometimes Jeckle has to come out! 
At times I raise my voice..
I say the wrong thing..
I show my frustration...
I wait for you to go to school...
Then the tears fall freely because 
The feeling of hopelessness needs to escape...

Why does my child have autism?

Then I can return to Mrs Hyde,
Hiding my feelings away...
Hiding the pain...
Hiding the panic...
Hiding the fear..

And clinging onto the love!

This poem was first featured on the Cheers series by the brilliant Rhyming with wine.

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