41-year-old pantomime star Erin McGregor has opened up about her relationship today with partner and musician Terry Kavanagh.
The pair have two children together, 22-year-old daughter Taylor and six-year-old son Harry, who had previously been diagnosed with a non-verbal form of autism.
Speaking out about the tumultuous effect Harry’s diagnosis had on her and Terry’s relationship, Erin revealed that while it was far from plain sailing, ultimately the pair have been each other’s rocks. “He really is the best dad to Harry. Just knowing he is there [to] take half of the worries is a weight off my shoulders,” she wrote on Instagram alongside a beautiful photo of the couple outside, enjoying the sunshine.
Sharing more details, Erin reveals, “in the early days of Harry’s diagnosis we [were] really pulling away from each other with our own pain, dealing with it separately instead of together.”
Erin, who is sister to the world famous MMA fighter Conor McGregor, is known for being open and honest about her struggles, making sure to shine a light on something that so many parents go through, but few talk about.
“Together we realised we [are] a better team. We [are] still finding ways to have some us time but I’m glad we made it” she added.
Massive respect to the pair for being so open and honest about their relationship struggles, it can be a huge inspiration for other parents who are finding it hard in a similar situation, and it’s very brave for them to be able to speak out on such topics.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Erin has opened up about her son’s diagnosis. She previously told Ireland AM “[the diagnosis] was a rollercoaster of emotions at the beginning.”
She stated "The last time I came on, Muireann asked me a question that is just so normal – ‘How does Harry feel about you being on Panto?’ I couldn't go, 'Oh he's so excited', because that's not the truth.”
Harry’s diagnosis means he can’t communicate what he thinks or express how he feels. As you can imagine, this did affect the mum of an already 19-year-old child greatly, as it was an unknown territory.
"It was that deep pain in the pit of my stomach where I just wanted my son to be happy and healthy and live some sort of functioning life.” Furthermore she says, “That’s all any mother ever wants for their child is to feel that they're safe and protected and loved.”
“There were very dark times when I used to lie in bed and look at him and think, 'Does he know I love him? Does he love me?’” she wondered.