In my past life, BC - Before Cameron - I was an Early Childhood Teacher who only got to teach for two years before she chose to follow her husband interstate to a tiny little mining town where there was no chance of getting a teaching job.
What I have managed to do with a Teaching Diploma amazes me sometimes. My resume includes: Community Centre Director, Community Liaison Officer, Family Day Carer, Day Care Centre Director, Party plan sales in children's clothes, toys, book and games, Receptionist, Family Day Care Support Worker and Inclusion Support Worker.
The old me used to sew and do lots of arts and crafts and every now and then the old me pops out and I get very creative but the new me is tired and struggles to be as creative as the old me. The new me also struggles to make me time and places me down the list of priorities.
The one thing that will get my creative juices flowing is a party. I love to organize parties. Birthday parties are a particular favourite but really, give me an event and my creative mind will start coming up with weird and wonderful ways to celebrate with family and friends. I have a tendency to think outside the box and don't like repeating myself or doing something that someone else has done - that's boring.
My little family is my number one priority and I will go to any length to ensure that they have what they need. There is a never ending supply of cuddles, kisses, time and chats. Lots of love and a sense of security. It's important to stop and have that cuddle and kiss before you run out the door. Of course there is food and shelter, education and therapy but sometimes being held and knowing that Mum is there is all it takes. Or that last kiss and cuddle before the work day overtakes us as parents reminds us of what is most important - each other.
My journey has taught me that our relationships are what is most important. It is more important to spend time with your friends than to vacuum the floor. Stop and have a cuppa with your Mum, a chat with Dad or a day out with your sister. The floor can wait but the people you love may not be there tomorrow. Cameron is a daily reminder of this lesson.
As I have travelled my journey I reached realizations at different stages and when I got pregnant with My Little Angel life fell into perspective. I realized I needed to stop working and stay at home full time. We chose family over finances. For a while I was really content at home with my children but slowly I realized I needed adult stimulation.
I started to volunteer. It gave me the flexibility and stimulation I needed. I gave talks for The Meningitis Centre about our experience with Meningitis to educate, mostly medical staff, about life for patients after hospital and the effects on families when children develop deadly diseases. I also did all I could to promote awareness of Meningitis and give support to other affected families. I was also President of Cameron's Riding for the Disabled Centre and I volunteered at both of the children's schools which kept me quite busy but I burnt out and learnt the hard way that I needed to look after me too.
Life AC - After Cameron - has been crazier and busier than life BC - Before Cameron.
So in 2011, with everything I was already juggling, I suddenly had to go and add blogging as well - a little crazy but I am so glad I did. I have been wanting to write a book about Cameron's journey through life and through my blog I hope my dream will come true. I also think that parents like myself live in a hidden world at times and the more we can educate people about the realities of our lives the better the future will be for our children.
I hope you enjoy sharing our lives and discovering the realities of raising a child with special needs.