Let me start by saying that this could just be me.
You might read this weeks newsletter and think "Really? I've never done that" and if thats the case then great. But if my message today resonates even a little bit and stops you from continuing along a path which gets harder the more you walk it, then I'll be so grateful.
Its not a mistake I saw in real time. It's one that I have reflected on over the years and pushed to the back of my mind more than once. Recently though I have felt it so keenly that I couldn't hide from it any more and in true over sharer fashion, my therapy is to give my thoughts and feelings a voice. It will make it to a blog one day but for now, I wanted to tell you.
As Harry grew up into a life with more challenges and limitations than I had ever dreamed of for him, this unknowingly affected the way I parented Oliver.
On Olivers young and fragile shoulders, I placed the expectations and hopes for the future of both my boys.
At times, over the years I have resented the very common and perfectly natural moments when Oliver has moaned, complained or failed to grab opportunities by both hands because they were moments that I would have given anything for Harry to experience.
Recently, Oliver has had to cancel a 10 month gap year experience in Japan due to debilitating anxiety. I was relived, knowing that my boy wouldn't have to struggle abroad without me but I was also disappointed. Not IN Oliver, but FOR him and then, as I reflected on my feelings I realised that I was disappointed for me too.
This had been my chance as a Mother to watch one of my sons live a full life full of potential and adventure. This was my time to feel so incredibly proud of my independent and courageous son. This was the moment that I realised how grossly unfair I had been on Oliver for most of his life. And then I felt something else. Shame.
So I am here now, being honest with you and asking you not to make my mistake. To give awareness to the moments you may feel annoyed or frustrated by your other child(ren) and to ask yourself if you are being truly fair to them and to yourself.