Tuesday 25 July 2017

Summer Holidays Diary Day 9- 'we all need friends'

Day 9-

This morning it was my youngest daughters school leavers assembly, and my 19 year old niece was due to come and look after my son for an hour or so, so my hubby and I could both go to watch it together which is a rarity indeed.

But unfortunately at the last minute she got called into work

So I tried various family members to see if anyone could help me out at short notice. No one could this time, and my daughter was in tears as she wanted us to both to be there as it was understandably a big deal for her.

So I contacted one of my close friends (who has a busy life herself) cap in hand asking her if she could help me out this morning. I really don't like having to put on people and felt awful having to ask her, but I did beacuse i couldn't let my daughter down.

And with no hesitation at all...she said of course!

It brought a tear to my eye, and my daughter cheered with the news.

It made me realise that everyone needs help from their nearest and dearest sometimes. We can't do this alone, all of the time!

There was me feeling awful for asking her, but she often tells me that she wishes she could help more but never knows how to ....so she was actually glad I asked her and was happy to help out in any way she could.

I'm very lucky to have such amazing friends and family around me that I can turn to in times like this.
Lovely folks who accept the dishes in the sink and the laundry all over the kitchen table without passing judgement, just rolling up their sleeves and queitly doing the dishes for me!

Offering to nip to the shops for me when my cupboards are bare and I can't get out of the house.
Folks who are a little nervous of what to do with my son, but offer to have a go anyway.
Folks who get my situation, don't put pressure on me when I have to cancel at the last minute or sneak off to answer my sons text message on a night out.

Folks that check in with me weekly with texts letting me know that despite the fact that they don't see me often they are thinking of me and want to help however they can.

Those that haven't 'got it' never seem to last that long and drift away in the end .... That's something you learn to accept in time it just makes me more determined keep the ones that have stuck around for the ride so far!

So in the end my daughters assembly was emotional and full of tears as she prepares to move onto the next chapter of her life at high school, but I'm so thankful to my lovely friend that I was able to go to share the moment with her.

These things have a habit of teaching me lessons that I didnt always anticipate.

I need to try not to be so proud and ask for help when I really need it. No man is an island as they say!

And I must try to appreciate the lovely friends and family that I am lucky enough to have in my life, and also the online friends on this page that pass no judgement and share the same experiences making this journey feel less scary to share!

So thanks you each and everyone of you, you know who you are
Mrs M 💕

Monday 24 July 2017

Summer Holidays Diary Day 8- 'demand avoidance'

Day 8-

We're having a demand avoidance day today.

Despite only having on his timetable - 'a walk in the woods with the dogs' (which you would think wasn't much of a demand at all) but all seems to be a bit too much for him today for some reason.

So, He's going nowhere today despite all our best efforts to encourage and bribe him out! We've had hour after hour of refusal and repetitive language/hyperactivity so we have given up!

This can be a contentious issue for some families I know, with parents feeling the pressure from friends and family to force their kids to do stuff. It's hard balancing the needs of the rest of the family with the needs of a demand avoidant child. It puts incredible pressure on everyone. And parents can often be judged as giving in, letting the child take control or not giving their child discipline. But believe me it's no where near that simple. So we shouldn't be quick to judge. No one has the right to pass judgement.

It's something we have battled with for years now, knowing how far to push him and when to accept that he simply needs some time to reset his system.

Is it giving in? I don't think so. I have to respect his needs and understand that hidden pressures can take its toll on him and his behaviour is telling me that something is wrong.

So....I'm catching up with the mountain of laundry that's accumulating in the laundry basket! 👕👖👗👚

And we will try again tomorrow after he's had a day to chill.

Mrs M

Sunday 23 July 2017

Summer Holidays Diary Day 7- 'emotional rollercoaster'

Day 7- 🗓

So it's 10am on a Sunday morning and we were up with the larks at the airport to spot an Air Malaysia ( it's a rare one apparently!) ✈️
His usual remote spot had a lot of cars parked up so instantly he refused to even see how busy it was. 🚘🚗🚕

So we trekked up a blumin' hill to an even remoter spot on the other side of the runway. (Luckily for me 'cos I didn't have time to shower this am)

There is a fantastic visitor centre here at Manchester Airport and all weekend they are holding a weekend of family events ( can u see the bouncy castle way off in the distance?) 🎡 we can hear the loudspeaker way off in the distance now

But despite how much he would love the exhibitions/ talks and planes on display.... here we are on the remotest part of the runway miles away from any human, which is just how he likes it!🚶

Yesterday my husband was torturing himself saying it's such a shame our son wouldn't go to the visitor centre and it would be lovely if we could have all gone as a family. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

And he's right, I often have those twinges of 'if only!' It's only natural I think to have those emotions, of confusion and jealousy of what other families get up to...and I won't feel guilty about it or pretend that I never have these feelings .

Because It's an emotional roller coaster being an autism parent and we take the rough with the smooth everyday. 🎢We love our kids unconditionally for sure, but if I could make him less anxious I would in a heartbeat!

So we have had to accept that for my son this is his fun! This is where he loves to be and the crowds at the event would simply cause him too much distress and anxiety, so it would have been no fun for any of us....especially him.

It's one of the hardest things to learn to deal with as a parent I find?!

Anyway folks, I hope that whatever you're doing today brings you as much enjoyment as standing here watching his beloved planes brings my son

And I promise as soon as I get home I'll jump in the shower
Mrs M

Saturday 22 July 2017

Summer Holidays Diary Day 6 - 'teenagers!'

Day 6-

He's gone out with dad who's off work today for a few hours (no surprises for guessing where✈️)
so I have used the opportunity to blitz his room, get his sleeping bags washed and drying outside on the line, and change his mattress protector which he spilt milk on last night!

No one warned me how messy my house would become living with three teenagers! It's never ending pots, dirty clothes in the floor, wet towels over every surface upstairs, and wrappers that mysteriously can't seem to find their way to the bin!

Please tell me I'm not the only one living in a teenage hormone battleground

Mrs M xx

Friday 21 July 2017

Summer Holidays Diary Day 5- 'cinema'

Day 5-

Today we used our Clubcard vouchers to go to the cinema.
The hols can be very expensive so every little helps as they say
It was nice and quiet (by weekend standards) but he still finds it all really hard. When we came out there were a lots of kids in the foyer and we had to make a quick exit throughout the side doors to avert a meltdown.
Mrs M xx

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Summer Holidays Diary Day 3- 'food'

Day 3-
Today has been a day spent at home, he woke up with a headache and my daughter was off school poorly too. I have also been looking after my niece for the last few Wednesday's and today was her last day here at home with us.
My son finds small children difficult to navigate so he tended to stay out of her way all day today preferring the safety and comfort of his room.

I assume it's the unpredictability of what little peeps will do next or say to him, the noises they make and the speed at which toddlers move around that fills him with anxiety?

Breakfast, lunch and dinner somedays for my son consists of potato with cheese which is currently his 'go to' meal. It's one of the better food fads we have had I must say  ice pops and McDonald's spring to mind) and quite frankly I will go with whatever he wants just to ensure he's eating something!

So I have a well stocked freezer of quick jacket potatoes that I can throw in and cook in a few minutes, as his need for meals to be served bang on 7.30am/ 12pm/ 5pm/ and 10pm still catch me out sometimes when I have a to do list as long as my arm! ( I have actually now set myself a reminder alarm ten mins before each mealtime to remind me to get cooking!)

Mrs M x

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Summer Holidays Diary Day 2- 'fun at the airport'

Day 2-

Back to the airport for us today! It was much quieter today so he was in his element! His sisters are still in school so it was just the two of us again.

It was however eventful as ever....My camping chair snapped and I forgot to put sun cream on! So I now have a red neck!

On the plus side though....I managed to do an Internet shop so my cupboards are no longer empty and I got some washing out on the line before we left the house and he was a happy chap snapping away with his camera so that's the main thing

Mrs M💕

Monday 17 July 2017

Sumer Holidays Diary 1- let the fun begin'

Hi folks
So for us it's day 1 of the long summer holidays!
And I was thinking that this year I would try and share a snapshot of each day with you all either with a photo or if I'm brave enough a Live video on Facebook (eek).
The summer holidays can be hard for families like ours; lack of structure and routine, filling the days on a budget, meeting the needs of siblings and staying sane in the process!
This is the hardest time of year for me without fail! So I wanted to share the ups and downs of our family summer 'warts and all!'

So Here goes... 

Day 1
Today it's just me and my 'not so little any more man' (really need a new pet name for him now he's not little any more )
The sun is shining, my cupboards are empty and what I really need to do is go food shopping but I ain't even gonna attempt that today! So instead we're at the airport plane spotting as per timetable dictates.
Now when we arrived it was far busier than normal, it's a secret spot that only real plane fanatics know about! And today It took about ten mins to persuade him to come out from behind the bush as there were fellow plane spotters in his patch.... but he did it! The lure of the planes was enough today to make him stand at the back of the field behind everyone else!
So for me it's feet up for an hour, sorting out my page and messages, while he does his thing taking pics of all the planes!
I would love to see what you're up to this summer so please feel free to share your pics and stories in the comments on Facebook and we will get through this summer together 

Mrs M x

Sunday 16 July 2017

Crap happens

"Well hello there strangers! Long-time no-see!"

It’s been almost 5 months since I last picked up my laptop and attempted to jot anything down that faintly resembled a blog, so I thought I would pop on today and give you all a little heads up about what’s been going on.

Where to start?...

Well those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I have suffered with mental health issues for a long time, and as a result of that, I can honestly say that looking after myself has always come way down on the bottom my priority list

… Kids, appointments, school issues, cleaning, ironing, shopping, simply keeping my head above water has been how I have lived the last ten years of my life.

But towards the back end of last year I had a bit of a scare when I visited the doctors for my annual blood pressure review. My weight was soaring, my BP was still sky high despite the meds, my glucose levels were high, and my cholesterol levels were also creeping up and up.

Crap…. I was 37 and becoming a stroke/ diabetic waiting to happen!

I was knocked sideways I won’t lie to you.

I had to take a long hard look at my life and admit some things that were hard to swallow.
I wasn’t looking after myself at all. I had become stuck in a vicious cycle of grabbing the quickest thing to hand, which was usually a bag of crisps, or a bar of chocolate. I was so busy looking after everyone else that I had forgot about me.

I was tired, stressed, depressed, exhausted, feeling like crap and facing the very real reality that my kids could be left with no mum if I carried on the way I was going.

Something had to give.

So I decided in December of last year, that 2017 was going to be the year that I was going to be selfish. I was going to stop making excuses and sort myself out. My kids needed me, so I had to do everything I could ensure that I was going nowhere.

It never ceases to amaze me where that hidden drive and strength comes from within when it comes to our kids. I was going to do this, for them.

I slowly but surely started adjusting my diet, moving my body a bit more, getting out in the fresh air a bit more, and putting my needs higher on the 'to do list' for the first time since, well, forever really.

But you see I quickly found out that all this looking after yourself takes focus and time, precious time that I already had very little of.

Life’s busy ain't it folks!

So as a result, my writing had to take a back seat.

I have so much going on in my wonderfully crazy life, that I simply couldn’t concentrate on getting my ‘five a day’ down my neck, and dragging my lazy butt around the block for a power walk in the dark (so no one could see me all red faced and out of breath), whilst at the same time running a Facebook page and sharing my 'warts and all life' on my blog.

So I decided to take a break and keep the page going as best I could until I was managing this new healthier lifestyle a bit better. And I was getting there, slowly the weight was coming off, I was running for a minute without dying, I was reducing my antidepressants, and the sports bra was doing its job without snapping!

Until…more crap (Life has a habit of throwing curveballs our way doesn’t it!)

My husband phoned me up  one day to say he was being made redundant.

Now this is hard for any family to take. But like many of you sat reading this today, I am my son’s carer, and therefore earning very little as I am unable to work full time. So we rely on his income.
His shift patterns had moulded around our family needs over the years, and we honestly felt like life was piling a whole new pile of muck our way.

I buckled and lost focus. I can’t do this I thought as I reached for the family size bag of onion rings to distract my mood.

Why us, what have we done to deserve this?

These negative thoughts plagued my mind day and night.

How are we going to afford the rent, how long can we survive if he can’t get a job?
Do I need to get another job…but who will be here for my son when his taxi gets home each day? What about school holidays? How will I fit in the 5 supermarkets I have to go to each week if I’m working?

It was a tough couple of weeks. I nearly gave up.

Now fast forward to where we are now...on the cusp of the summer holidays. And I have to say this is the hardest time of the year for me with 7 long weeks to fill!

But I’m OK. I have got this, the good and the bad.

Time has a habit of putting things into perspective you see.

My husband has decided to use this  redundancy curveball to re-train, to go back to college, and change his career completely. It’s scary as hell, I won’t lie to you, but who knows… it could end up being the best thing that ever happened to him. He has turned the situation around to his advantage.

And it took me being told my health was at risk, to learn to take the good days with the bad. To learn that I am stronger than I gave myself credit for. Because I was the one telling myself that I couldn’t do it. I was the one choosing to sit on the sofa to watch Corrie on catch up rather than take the dogs for a walk, get some fresh air and actually clear my head in the process.

I got through those dark days and didn’t let the fear swallow me up. It was scary but I scooped up the crap I had been gifted by fate, and planted flowers in it…Who would believe it eh, I actually like running!


Believe me there is no one more surprised by this than me. You see I was always the girl in school at the back of the line being picked in team sports and couldn’t even run to the end of my road to chase the ice cream van in my slippers without having an asthma attack. But slowly week by week, following a programme on my iphone I ploughed on. Running for a minute, then two, then three. And now I can run 3  miles! I still cant quite believe it myself!

When I whack on my trainers, I can forget everything ( if only for a short while) I can live in the moment and feel the rain on my face.

I sweat, it’s not pretty believe me.., and I have jiggly bits that have a mind of their own. But I don’t care anymore. I’m doing this for me, and for my kids. I’m looking after myself and if that’s selfish of me, then so be it!  

I have just had a health review and my BP is now stabilised, I'm 4 stone lighter, my glucose levels no longer indicate pre diabetes and my cholesterol levels reflect the salad and fruit that I now eat instead of the pies and cakes! Turns out I actually needed that kick up the arse to spur me on to sort myself out. Although at the time I didn't see it like that believe me.

I don’t know what the future holds. A whole lorry-load more crap for all I know.  But I now have an extra large shovel, and plenty of flowers that love a good bit of manure to help them grow!

If these last few months have taught me anything folks, it’s that us parents are stronger than we can ever imagine. There will be dark days, fear and uncertainty, but please believe me when I say that you can handle whatever life throws at you, and most importantly look after yourself because you’re more precious than you will ever know! (Oh... and keeping a large shovel in your shed comes in pretty handy too sometimes.)

Bring it on I say, and its so good to be back!
Mrs M x