Here it is, my first blog!! Let me introduce you to the family who I will be using to provide you with laughter, tears and sometimes simple disbelief... My name is Denise, 45yrs, and a nurturer of the next generation.
Then there's Colin, 49yrs, the husband. He is known as The Husband on social media because even now, after 12yrs of marriage, I cant bring myself to admit I'm married to a Colin. Next, is that future generation I'm nurturing. When I say nurturing, I mean keeping them alive in the best way I know how.
Toby is 7, he is the cutest, funniest, cheekiest, most frustrating but sooo handsome little boy you could ever wish to meet. Oh, and he has Down Syndrome. Lacey is 5, she is beautiful, funny, a bit sweary and a proper pink warrior, knocking every stereotype flying as she tackles and conquers her diagnosis of Duplication of chromosome 9 and ADHD.
Last, but not least Hattie, our two year old Pug. That's my family, we all live in the midlands in a home of noise, chaos, love and gin. The gin is for me. Gin is a necessity. But, more about them another day, today is all about me!
So, what is a Tiger Mum? You find them in all walks of life, the mum tackling school over bullying, the mum tackling her child's right to be heard, and the mum determined to give her child a better life than she had. But, never will you find more Tiger Mums than in the world of additional needs. We fight and we claw and we roar everyday, to get our children the medical services and schooling they need, the equality they deserve, and the respect from society that is rightfully theirs. I remember the exact time and place I became a Tiger Mum. It was in SCBU a week after Toby was born. They were feeding him through a tube and I had requested that we remove it and try bottle feeding. They said they would remove it the next morning. As I was leaving I saw that Toby was incredibly pale and listless and told the nurse who replied "Babies with Downs are naturally pale and limp". Ok, she's a nurse, a medical professional, of course she knows best, so off I went home... When I returned the next morning, there were doctors crowded round his cot. When they had pulled the tube out, they discovered it was infected, dragging the infection up through his throat and down his nose. He was dangerously poorly. In that moment, I knew I would never listen to anyone over my own misgivings again.
And, right there this Tiger Mum was born!!
Now, with seven years under my belt, I am going to tell you every week about my life as a Tiger Mum. I should point out that no one appears to have given my children the "Tiger Mum remit" so they take absolutely zero notice of my roaring.
Which is why this house always has gin...