Saturday, 11 October 2014

A Different Me? It's all about choices

I've just accepted a voluntary role as a parent service user working with providers and parents for our local Short Breaks Provider (supporting disabled children) and am incredibly excited about it. Regular readers will know I am passionate about raising awareness disabilities, "hidden" ones in particular, hoping that in raising awareness we can normalise future outcomes for children with additional needs.

The role really "fits", giving me a wonderful and unique opportunity to use my skills and experience in a flexible position that allows for the often unpredictable family life that is our reality. And it's precisely that reality that has led me to consider - and even focus - on disability and additional needs. In many ways I'm profoundly grateful that I no longer live in a surreal bubble, blissfully unaware of the daily challenges many face in this area.

But I would be lying if I didn't sometimes feel rather weighed down, longing for liberation and the mythical ease of existence other parents apparently have. 

Creative Commons/ Flickr copyright Irwandy Mazwir 

Obviously that is indeed a myth, a fabrication generated from sheer frustration when the cat has just devoured the results of an entire morning spent baking "free from" sausage rolls/cakes/insert alternative as this happens FAR too often....   when I have to start again rather than reach for something from the shelf in a supermarket.

But what might I have done or become had life turned out differently? I was idly speculating last night whilst listening to some favourite tracks.
  1. I'm quite musical, and although nerves are often an issue I've enjoyed many years singing in choirs and love musical theatre. I've quite fancied myself on stage in London in Evita/Tell me on a Sunday/Cats/Les Mis..... That would have been amazing.

  2. Or how about a Bass Guitarist? Always one to crank up the bass in any rock track, can I (almost) see myself in that role? And obviously increasing any bass volume is purely for a deep appreciation of lower frequency sound and nothing whatsoever to do with being slightly deaf... I'm not so sure I'm cut out for the whole rock persona stuff though, I might be a little "part-time" in my commitment to grunge!

  3. Web Designer : In my dreams.... At school my lowest ever mark was in a Computing test. Granted that was in the days of BBC Bs (yes, I AM that old) and Basic was far too... well, BASIC. I ended the course with 4 marks out of 40 and decided computers and I were never going to be compatible. Oh the irony! But working with computers now is nothing like coding in Basic, and I love dabbling. 

  4. Photographer : This option could have been really exciting. I love working with images but suspect I lack a perfectionist streak essential for going that extra mile and producing the BEST. I'm too much of a "wing it and cross your fingers" kind of photographer, loving the lucky results - when and if they happen. Don't get me wrong, I try hard, but maybe it just doesn't matter enough most of the time. And in any case, with digital photography you can take hundreds and usually find a few good shots. 
  5. This was a lucky one....
  6. Marketing Manager : One of my favourite courses ever was a Management/Marketing Course at university. For five days I was utterly absorbed, motivated, channelled and stimulated. Loved every minute. But at heart I couldn't commit to any future career that didn't easily facilitate and embrace motherhood - I'm not a perfectionist but I'm too all-or-nothing to do "just enough" in such a career. And besides, this was my Dad's dream for me, not mine.

So many options, all thrilling and potentially satisfying - all possible perhaps had I made different choices. But you know what? I wouldn't change a thing.

My biggest dream when I was growing up was to have a family and to be there for them. They are my greatest achievement and evidence that I did indeed follow my dreams into the career that is my life. And who says you only have one career anyway? There are many years to do all the above, if and when I choose.

I also suspect any of the above options would have been only transiently satisfying, briefly exciting until something more "me" came along. Because one of the most important things I have learned as a parent of children with additional needs is that all of those dreams - and more - should be possible for anyone and everyone with the skills to aim for them. Disability should not - and must not be an excuse for removing choice, taking away options and making false assumptions. My kids could be any one of the above and more. 

Which is where my passion comes from. From recognising that choice and opportunity should be thrown open, so our children can write something similar in years to come - feeling deeply satisfied that those choices were theirs to make, and they are where they want to be.

Linking up with..

The List


  1. Web designer and photographer are two of the things I would have loved to do. Maybe in the future! Good luck with your new voluntary role, I hope you really enjoy it :)

  2. That is fabulous that you have secured a role that you will love and perform with so much passion. I used to be a careers advisor so I love learning what people do or want to do. I have done so many things, I often wish I had one proper career. However, all the things we do make us who we are. Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

  3. Good luck in your new role! I think all of us think about this sometimes - what if I did something different, what if I chose another career? I'm still not sure what I want to do - still trying to find something I'll love so much, that I can commit to with all my heart ;)

  4. Well done on the job, sounds really interesting!

  5. Congrats on your new voluntary role. I am sure that you will get so much from helping others. I never wanted to be a Mum, but I love it

  6. Well done you on securing that role, it sounds brilliant for you! I always wanted to teach growing up, right until I completed my degree then I changed my mind x

  7. I would love to be able to undertand HTML a little bit more than I do!

  8. Good look in your new job, sounds like what I would love to do too (wish I was a bit more clever though) :)

    Thanks for linking up to the #weekendbloghop

  9. Don't even get me started on what I would have liked to have been in life. Your new voluntary role sounds great for you.

  10. Your new role sounds like it's perfect for you - a great opportunity to help people x x

  11. Ahhh we all have those moments where we contemplate what could have been. No point looking backwards though. Look to the future and your great new role :)

  12. Congratulations. I still wonder what I'll be 'when I grow up' lol ;)

  13. Congrats on your new role! And good luck :)

  14. Well done on the job! I always wanted to be an air chance of that happening for me now


Many thanks for taking the time to comment, I really value your responses.

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