The first few years after having a baby with special needs are the hardest.
After I gave birth to my son Billy, I spent a few years caring for him, accepting his diagnosis and well, moving away from my life pre-special needs. It was a difficult time for me. Here I was with this new baby, trying to accept, not only the diagnosis, but also the cold hard fact that my life would never be the same.
I wasn’t a stay at home carer or a stay at home mum or a stay a home person before I gave birth to my child who has special needs.
Although I struggle to remember clearly the person I was before Billy came along, I do remember my life was totally opposite to the now. I was a Corporate Account Executive for a large Australian company. I walked around holding a blackberry, a phone and my laptop. I was very social, you would never find me at home, no I was always out and about socialising or networking. I had loads of friends/associates/acquaintances, which meant loads of invites to various events. I wore heels EVERYDAY!
After becoming a special needs parent, or even a parent, yes I ditched the heels, parties, blackberry and all the other parts of my outfit.
I had a new focus. My new baby was my world and none of what I had before him was relevant. I was managing hospital stays, therapy, specialists and the daily care required for my baby. I was so busy being a voice for my child, who was also the focus of those doctors and therapists we were seeing. If I look back to those early days, I remember everything was about my child and what I needed to do for him was all that mattered.
Fast forward a few years and I realised, ditching the outfit didn’t erase the person I am.
Once life settled down and special needs was just part of my regular routine, I felt more unhappy and angry about the journey I had been given. I felt bitter as I moved further away from……. then it hit me, from ME.
Before we become special needs parents, we are us and our world is designed by us.
My life pre-Billy was exactly how I designed it to be. The elements of who I was, the activities, the job role, were all there because they were what I wanted. They were the things that satisfied me as a person and made me thrive.
I knew I needed to find a way to combine the person with the life I was living.
We are all different people. All different wants and needs. All different dreams and goals. That is what makes the world so beautiful and interesting. If I am sure about one thing, it is who I am and what I need to feel fulfillment. I need to feel useful in more ways than to my child’s care and I know I am not alone.
You will find mumpreneurs all over the internet. Mums who have had their children and want to stay at home to care for them. Mums that also want or need more.
In todays digital world, the opportunities are endless for parents who have decided to stay home to care for their children. I recognised this and wondered why a mumpreneur couldn’t be a carerpreneur. After all our children will start at school too. We too will have hours throughout most week days to create a life that we love. Ok so there will be some days when we are required to be at appointments or even weeks when we are required for a stay in hospital. That’s the beauty of a digital world. You are connected no matter where you are.
Have you noticed the carerpreneurs popping up all over the place?
I built my business based on passion for special needs families all over the world. I have always had a positive approach to pretty much everything. It was this passion and personality trait that led me to create www.ciaranhanrahan.com/billyboy. I was determine to live a happy and meaningful life, despite the challenges we would face. I wanted to tell every carer how they could also believe in a positive future. I know there are plenty of people who are content with what they are doing today. I also know there are plenty of people who feel frustrated, down and under valued. I was on a mission to change the “oh you poor thing” response I was getting after telling people about my new life. I didn’t want to be the poor thing. I wanted to be the thriving me.
So I built a business based on my needs and wants because I knew there was many others who felt the same. You can read more about it here, work with me. If anything we are a step ahead. We are doing something we are passionate about and absolutely love. That makes it easy to be busy working. Just ask the many other carerpreneurs you can find who have businesses. These carers are not only building a thriving business they love, they are also slowly closing the gaps in the market, for daily living with a special needs child by offering their experience and stories to other carers who just may need their services more than anything today.
As always the best information comes from other parents and carers. Share your insights by leaving a comment below.