When my youngest son was born my eldest had been in school for just a few months and he was struggling. I also had a toddler at home. There were sleepless nights, there was physical exhaustion, silent reflux, the realisation just what raising highly sensitive children meant, an unsupportive school and not much of a support system around us – most of our support came from the Dutch youth services and the baby wellness clinic.
They were tough years. The Dutch call those years tropenjaren – years that take it all out of you, exhaust you, make you wonder how you will get through them.
And then one day you come out the other side. You don’t even necessarily realise you’ve come through it at the moment it happens, but when you look back you see that you have survived those difficult years with your sanity, more or less, in tact. In my case the realisation came when my youngest started school.
“Each morning, I let myself back into an empty house and I am greeted by silence. No one runs to the front door to throw their arms around me to mark my homecoming.”
I had entered into a whole new phase of motherhood that nobody warned me about.
And so you will too.
Learning that your child is highly sensitive is the first step to understanding what that means for your family. It’s the first step for enlisting the help you need. It’s the first step on the path that leads to the ‘other side’ where parenting is easier and you feel like you might just have some inkling that you know what you are doing. At least a little bit.
And one day you will look back and realise you have given your highly sensitive child the tools he or she needs to cope better in a world that isn’t designed with them in mind.
You can read the whole story in my latest article over on Mamalode – I’m Never Alone for Long.