What is easy about a weekend?

I often get that Monday feeling on a Friday afternoon. It marks the start of me juggling the expectations and responsibilities. The struggle to rest, relax, have family time and 24/7 care. The Commodores classic 1970’s hit song, Easy like a Sunday morning, was a song on a jazz and soul compilation album I bought in my teens. Every week, as the weekend approaches, the swaying vocals of ‘Easy like Sunday morning’ seem  incompatible with my life. As the parent of a child with complex needs, my week is upside down.

With ever shrinking appropriate short break provision and rejected requests for support, I am left juggling. I balance my limited energy, the desire for quality family time, the need for rest, heightened expectations and just wanting a glimpse of normality for all our family.

 This series of images captured by Nicola Parry photographer at 8am one Sunday morning as part of a larger project to share the reality of what ‘easy’ looks for families like mine.’

Photographer, Nicola Parry explains:

The aim of my photo documentary was to capture the reality of ‘everyday’ life for a family with a child who has complex disabilities. What I saw was a much greater struggle than my own complicated family life.

I have taken away a great deal from my experience. Most affecting has been the realization that the ‘difference’ I have observed is permanent. There is no a difference in terms of the love, fun and laughter, or in terms of nagging children to get their homework done and help out with chores. But what is incredibly different, is the huge level of responsibility and necessity to be available, alert and organised every waking moment – as well as some moments when not awake. There is no ‘easy’ option.

I hope my images provoke thought and consideration and help to raise awareness of the secret lives of others.

For more information about Nicola’s unique work visit her website and blog.

Hi, thanks for dropping by. My name is Rachel a nurse, writer, speaker, trainer and mum living in Essex with my husband and three sons; one of whom has severe disabilities and life-limiting epilepsy.

As well as doing laundry and endlessly trying to tidy away toys, I blog here and won the 2018 BAPs award for ‘Blogger ‘Making a Difference’ whilst being a finalist in the ‘Practical advice for families’ category. In 2015, I published my memoir ‘The Skies I’m Under’. I think an enjoyable evening should include a good book and glass of gin. Occasionally, I force myself to go for a run in an attempt to counteract a love of salt and vinegar crisps dipped in hummus.

I speak at events, conferences and lead workshops with other parents like me. I’m passionate about training professionals who care for families like mine.