oh hi Mum guilt here... A letter to my eldest daughter. Talipes*

Well hello there Mum guilt. Long time no see. I'm going to talk about my eldest child. The child who seemingly so every evening gets ignored. The child who I end up shouting at to hurry to bed. I have focussed so much on getting child two comfy in his boots and bar or I've spent two hours fighting him to keep them on... That child one gets; I am so ashamed to say pushed to the side. 

She has a younger brother who needs extra care, not just a little bit of extra care but whilst wearing his boots and bar more than 14+ hours he needs extra care a day.
The mum guilt doesn't get better. I'm exhausted from the lack of sleep, from being awake with her younger brother all of last night. 
I don't mean to snap, I don't mean to shout, I don't mean to lose my cool.
The boots and bar fight is tiring me down. I feel so horrendously guilty. I don't have time to sit & read to her I miss that one on one time with her.
However she is very understanding. I just wanted to say I'm sorry.

Things will get better I promise. We do now & again have good days. I try my very hardest to make precious us time to take the pain away. 
So hello little one.
I know your only little once & you deal with more than any child should. I know we spend a lot of time away from you. I didn't plan for any of this to happen, of course he needs to go to the hospital more than other children. Weekly from just 5 days old. At least you get lots of 'Nanna time' whilst we are away. You know we are taking care of your brother. I know just how much you love and adore him. I know how much patience you have, after seeing me rocking him to sleep whilst he's kicking & screaming at me to take his boots and bar off. I stay calm & collected. Not wanting him to be scared nor shout at him. As really he is doing nothing wrong. He can't help the way he is hurting. He can't help that the boots and bar put him through pain. But I see you staring & I see you taking everything in. I see you caring & wanting to take his pain away. I've heard you make that one wish "I wish I could take the pain away from my little brother. I wish I could wear his boots and bar for him." With that two sentences I knew then; that I was somehow doing something correct. I was somehow bringing you up to be the very best daughter I could of ever imagined. 
I know you can see we are totally exhausted just because we are trying to give your brother the very best care and I know you're learning from this. 
You may not know it, but everything you see all the little things well these are teaching you traits on how to be the amazing person you're growing into. 

I'm more than certain at times that being the big sister to a child with different needs is a huge struggle. I know you have those small moments that inside your heart pangs with jealousy.
I know you hate seeing him in pain, you hate hearing him cry. I know all you want is to take the pain away.
I totally understand that you get jealous over all the 'extra' attention we give your brother.
Think back to the days we didn't even know if your little brothers legs would be strong enough for him to walk. The huge proudness that overcame your body to see him reach that whopping great big milestone. 
I could see on your face & hear in your voice just how proud you were. We all were. It brought tears to my eyes seeing him walk. Even if it was a few steps. 
Your brother completely utterly loves and trusts you. He looks up to you like nothing I've ever seen. 
You both get to experience an unbreakable friendship like no other. 
The bond you two have is indescribable. You're his sister, his friend, his protector. I see you playing in soft play together. I see you explaining to people about your brothers special boots. 
I want to burst with pride overtime I see you two together or 'helping to put his boots on'.
We feel instantly proud when you've been at school all day but the first thing you ask is "How did his hospital appointment go?"  You do such a crazy amazing job helping us. It surely takes a wonderful little girl to do what you do on a daily basis. I just wanted to say thank you and I'm sorry...

*This blog post was written last year - It's taken me a while to get the courage to post it & admit to myself how hard things can get. Although things have greatly improved... *H's boots have recently broken before this we were still having the battling nights. 

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