Very often I can be quick to list off all the challenges that we’re currently facing, the disappointments I feel, the struggles of every day life with a child with severe needs and challenging behaviour but fail to see what’s really going on inside of me. But actually I am a better person for having Toby in my life – not just in terms of his lush little smile and infectious giggle, but God has used Toby to shape my character and to make me into a better person.Yes I am more sleep deprived, frazzled and worn out (but hey most parents are anyway!) but I’m thankful for the person I have become being Toby’s Mummy – thank you Toby.

Thank you Toby for teaching me that what others think really doesn’t matter.

Thank you for letting me see the world differently.

Thank you for helping me to be less judgemental.

Thank you for showing me that communication is far more than words.

Thank you for helping me to become more organised and prepared.

Thank you for teaching me patience.

Thank you for allowing me to meet some good people that we’ve met along our journey.

Thank you for showing me what is important.

Thank you for allowing me to see that it is possible to function on virtually no sleep.

Thank you for the memories.

Thank you for the laughs, smiles and fun.

Thank you for the adventure.

Thank you for helping to shape me in to the person I am today.

Being Toby’s Mummy is a privilege. I wrote that last sentence, deleted it and tried to rewrite it again several times with some kind of ‘but..’ or ‘although…’ but it is true, I am incredibly blessed and privileged to have Toby (and Teddy!) I wholeheartedly believe that God has given us Toby and he has been using Toby to shape me in to a better person (and He will continue to do so!)

Before having Toby I thought that I was going to be the perfect parent. I had worked in early years and I had a whole list of things that my child was going to be like by the time they started nursery or reception. Things like; polite, confident, able to share, capable of put their own socks and shoes on (when you have a class of 30 children this can be challenging!), toilet trained, able to fasten their own coat, able to write their name, friendly, funny, interested and engaged. And thinking about it Toby isn’t any of the above – except the funny part as I think he’s hilarious!

Having Toby and bringing him up has made me in to a different person. I’m a long way away from being ‘sorted’ and am most definitely a work in progress, but aren’t we all?