Quite clearly I can recall during my adoption assessment being all bright eyed and aspirational, full of principles and expectations. I've now taken to telling people:
'I was a great parent until I got children'
I think I'd like it printed on a tee shirt or hat. All my lofty ideals of rigid limits on computer time and consequences all seems to have slipped into this pragmatic soup. To the naked eye or casual observer I may seem like a permissive parent or a push over. I prefer to think of it as a pragmatic focused intervention, after all I'm playing a long game. I've learnt a lot over the last 20 years.
a person who is guided more by practical considerations than by ideals.
It's come into focus over the last few years in relation to diagnosis'. Before we struggled and the challenges and the trips to CAHMS came I felt uncertain in relation to giving children diagnosis'. Labels on children sit uncomfortably with me, actually labels on people generally sit uncomfortably on me. That seems to have changed. Actually, it's really changed. A letter came in the post this week with a diagnosis, my heart skipped a beat when the words matched my hope, I've come long way.
Trusted friends have guided my through this journey of to a destination, I was quite adamant that we'd not be defining our kids in such ways. But the reality of this world is that works on a letter open doors to support and resources that other things can't. Talking to a friend she shrugged she explained, 'we know our daughter doesn't have ADHD it's developmental trauma but nobodies heard of that.'.
I know my children, their stories. I know the lens they see the world they inhabit through and I know the challenges that they face. Words do matter and can be like milestones round neck, but with a shrug I also know that in the world we live in they can be keys to doors that nothing else will open. As they say, walk a mile in my families shoes.
You can call it low standards or compromise, I'll call it pragmatism.