Posted in Emotions

Friendships

I was thinking today about the things in life we may take for granted and to be honest the list is quite long, but I’ve settled on friends. I don’t mean that we take for granted our friendships but the fact we have them at all.

I for one always thought that I struggled to make friends but then I look around me and back at the past. I may not have a large group of friends, but I have a really good selection. I know if I picked up the phone and called one of them for anything that they would be there and that’s something that some people don’t have. My forever friends aren’t all from the same pats of my life but rather from different times, which shows just how true they are. True friends don’t stay with you because you do the same things or know the same people. They stay because it feels right.

I remember being younger and playing with friends in primary school, partaking in every craze going, Pokémon, yo-yos, crazy bones, and everything else our parents probably hated. We ran around in our summer dresses pretending to be the spice girls whilst obsessively collecting their collectable photos for the album.

Why could I Not do the peace sign?
(Far Left)

I remember growing up down a little cul-de-sac and all the kids were of similar ages, I suppose that’s the advantage of moving into a new build area. Everyone buys their first homes and starts families, I guess. We played out from the moment someone knocked on our door and asked our parents if we were allowed, we didn’t leave the cul-de-sac and came home when the streetlights came on. We spent hours with our dollies pretending we were parents and hours with our craft sets playing at being teachers. Summers spent on the playing field at the top of the street building forts and treehouses, not letting the boys play with our girl gang and Barbies, hundred of Barbies with missing shoes and as we got into our teenage and stopped playing out, we would still come together like friends and neighbours do.

Apparently I was immune to the cold weather.
(Third from the left)

As a teenager, I remember hanging around in my local park or friends back gardens whose parents were more laid back than mine. We would drink awful cheap cider and acted like mini adults. We partied, we drank, we smoked and stayed up late talking about absolute rubbish, thinking we were older than we were and worried about problems that seemed huge at the time but minuscule now.

Obviously there was some very poor quality cameras on the go back then.
(Third from the left)

As an early adult, like most do we drank, we partied and went out three or four nights a week, fuck paying the bills and being on time for work when we can have fun. We were stupid and immature and thought that because we were of adult age we could look after ourselves, but we were wrong. We weren’t ready for the things that life threw at us and we suffered for it.

Macys next to the portland hotel… 2 for 1 drinks to start the night.
(Back right)

We flicked between friend groups and changed our interests to fit in, as someone who doesn’t drive (I am learning… slowly all these years later) would you ever think I belong to a car club? No? well I did. We drove around for hours every night. Parked up in car parks and down quiet streets and probably irritated all the local residents, we camped out in little Ford Kas and Corsa’s and went to rallies and shows. We worked on cars in driveways, kitchens and anywhere you could. I knew what engines were in what cars, despite what insurance certificates said. If we look at youngsters driving now, they’re all driving financed new cars. Where is the pride of building up your own clapped-out banger and adding a spoiler?

Donnington show, free cans of Monster were thrown at us from a monster truck
(Next to the guy in the daft black hat on the left)

As time went on, I grew more responsible and got my own place, focused more at work but still partied on the weekends. Slipping into new friend groups with ease. We spent weekends partying at the beach camping and drinking, listening to live bands, we swam in the dirty ocean without worrying about disease and would stay up hours chatting about life and what we want in the future unaware that we were already living our futures as we partied.

P on the Beach
(Far left)

And then all of a sudden, we are full on adults, proper homes, proper jobs, responsibilities, beautiful children, marriages, divorces, and challenges that we fight and battle every day. We can come together when we all have time but it’s so difficult to schedule anything, but it doesn’t matter. We have different friends with different interest. Some will go to harry potter quiz night, some will come to your house for a cup of tea to sit and put the world to right, some will dye your hair, some you won’t see in months or even years but when you finally do it’s like you have never been apart.

Celebrating my birthday
(Far right)

My point of this is to say that over the years I have had many friend groups and found it relatively easy. Some came from location, some from work, some from circumstance but it was easy but what if it wasn’t? I look at William who is always alone, it doesn’t seem to bother him, but I wonder if he knows he doesn’t have friends, I wonder if it’s something he wants but he doesn’t know how to get it.  Does he see children playing together and want it but it’s too hard for him? Or is it just something I want for him? I think about the children in his class and how they can interact with each other, and I want that for William. I want him to experience friendships, even the ones that crash and burn, the ones that you realise are one sided and the ones you will remember and cherish forever.

For now, William is happy on his own or at least I think he is. He’s so inside his own head and I would give up everything I have just to know what he is thinking. Is his inner voice as cute as the fleeting moments I’ve heard his real voice? Does his inner voice feel trapped within his disabilities? He forms connections with adults easily, I mean let be serious we have all seen him and Big Nan and that’s love and kinship, so he is capable, does he maybe just not like other children? Do they not engage with him in the way he likes or understands? Is that why he ignores them?

Boys best friend?

I look at this picture and he loves his dog, and Rusty loves him but is it enough? I will always be William’s mom; his advocate and I would like to think I will always be his best friend, but I do want more for him. I want what I had? What most people had?
William’s dad and I have booked his first proper birthday party for next year and we will be inviting his whole class which I am very much looking forward to, but I have this feeling that William won’t notice if his classmates are there or not. He will be more focused on Big Nan, his dad and his partner or me and Liam. I guess until we try these things, we just don’t know but I want him to have a friend. I want playdates and sleepovers and I guess in a way I want him to want that too.

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Posted in Emotions

Visiting time.

What is the difference between quality time and obligated time?

Quality time is basically time spent together in which the focus is on enjoying said time, whereas obligated time is time spent together in which you partake in because you feel like you owe that person or that you have a moral sense of duty.

When you have a baby, you get inundated with visitors… people wanting cuddles and to compare who he looks more like. Dad’s nose, Moms’ eyes, Grandpas strong chin etc etc but they also want cups of tea and conversation, I am sure I am not the only one who thought this, but I had just pushed (with great difficulty I might add) a watermelon out of my vag, I don’t want to make cups of tea or endure conversation. I want to sleep whilst all my bits realign and get my head straight, but we are too polite to say this at the time, and when I say we, I mean new moms; we are vulnerable, emotional and tired, soo fucking tired. I let guests overrun my house to the point I took my new-born baby upstairs to feed him on multiple occasions because I didn’t feel comfortable enough to breastfeed in front of most of these people. How fucked up is that? I felt obligated to entertain all these people under the guise that they were family or friends but that’s ok because those people are going to be around forever, right? Wrong!

As time goes on, the novelty of a baby wears off…. People don’t visit as much as they did in the beginning which is super shitty as you just start feeling somewhat normal and by this stage you could use some adult company. You are at that stage in which you want to ask those questions like, should my boobs be that sore? Will I be able to poop without crying? When will I know why he’s crying? When does the love come? Ok so maybe not the last one as I was no where near ready to admit that back then, but you get the point.

I’ve touched on this slow retreat of people in a few other posts but today I’m focusing on the excessive retreat when people realise your child isn’t like other children. I am the first to admit that before I had come to terms with the fact my child was like other children that I retreated from my friends who also had children, not all of them but some… we don’t speak about it (well I mention it all the time) but that unspoken competition of who’s child is better drove me further into my mental health breakdown but there were some who didn’t engage in this nonsense in which I felt comfortable spending time with. The re-treat of these competitive moms was my own doing and I do not regret it in the slightest. It was what I felt was best for my family.

William’s baby book is full of photos labelled ‘First time meeting so and so’ when in reality 80% of those photos should say ‘First and last time with so and so. I am grateful that William won’t remember these people, but I will and I will remember the feeling when it dawned on my that these people didn’t care, we were insignificant parts in their lives despite us presuming they are main characters in ours.

Christmas and Birthdays, people pop up and disappear again out of what I imagine is some form of obligation, their comments rings in my ears… ‘It’s like he doesn’t know me, William I’m you’re so and so’ of course he doesn’t know you! He has seen you about 10 times since he was born! It gets me really angry because I would put money on it that some of these people will think it is due to his disabilities but its not. The people in his life who see him frequently get a very loving and excitable reaction from him. These visits dwindle, to Christmas but not his Birthday, every other Christmas to barely ever.

I’m not really sure what spurred on this rant as it’s been hovering around in my notebook for a few months, I guess I am just tired, tired of wasting my precious time on people who only feel obligated to see us but actually have no interest in William or myself. I would much rather people are honest as time is precious and I don’t want to waste it on people who aren’t worth it.

Take a look at this photo.

This is a five year old boy spending time with his Big Nanna whom we visit every week for quality time, she doesn’t have us over because she feels like she has to, she has us over because she enjoys spending time with us and it’s something I have done long before William was born. We don’t go because she wants us to, we go because we love spending time together and she cooks a banging sunday dinner🍗

William knows that on a Sunday, he sees his Big Nan. As soon as he can see her house, he starts running off… he knows exactly where he is going, lets himself in, makes his way to the biscuit tin, then grabs a toy or book and takes up his spot on the sofa.

Big Nanna is inundated with cuddles, love and affection throughout the day and it genuinely brings me so much joy to see. I think to me this photo shows exactly what quality time is.

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Posted in Emotions, Open Letters

Prejudice

This started as an open letter but the more I have written the more I think it’s not, its ranty like a standard post so I’m unsure how to categorise it 🤷‍♀️

There are people out there who are prejudice against disabled children, people who may not be aware they are prejudice and some people that think it is acceptable to stereotype and judge without basing these feelings on facts or first-hand experience. There are many times in which William is judged like this and it is absolutely disgusting and genuinely makes me feel physically sick. Especially when it is by people that have in fact spent time with him no matter how little or how much.

There any many times William is purposely singled out and excluded from events and parties because of his disabilities. Sometimes this happens because people have misconceptions about him and his needs, these people are too arrogant or lazy to ask questions or educate themselves. Sometimes it happens for Williams own protection or comfort. As Williams Mom it is my job to advocate for him and make sure people around him understand him but if those people already have misconceptions about his needs, I cannot help. It isn’t just my job to advocate, it’s also his dad’s, both of our respective partners and anyone else who has a big part in William’s life. However, recently I am wondering if we have failed? Are we allowing people to make assumptions about William because we haven’t done enough? Is this a collective failure? Or a personal one to me? Or can you just not educate stupid people?

Believe it or not Williams needs do not have to limit him. William loves parties and events, actually let me clarify that, he loves cake, balloons, and the people he is closest to which tend to be a big part of all occasions. There are factors he may not cope with too well such as changes to his routine or loud noises but as his mom, I have learnt to handle this and how to neutralise (I’m not sure if this is the word I’m looking for) William’s discomfort and make situations more comfortable for him. However, it is not my responsibility to make other people more comfortable around him when they make no effort to understand him.

Your children will not catch William’s disabilities, in fact your child would learn to understand them and be accepting of all others and potentially have an understanding that I myself as a child did not have, in fact I didn’t have it up until my late 20’s. How brilliant would it be if this generation of children had a broader understanding of all disabilities, of people’s neurological differences and a better level of acceptance. Why would we not want our children to be better than we were?

Williams needs do not impact other children, William has needs in which are destructive to himself, not anyone else. I may have taken on occasion, a foot to the face, bite to the shoulder or thigh, but I am doing things in which he struggles with, administering medicine, changing his continence wear, stopping him from eating unsuitable items or restraining him to prevent him causing injury to himself. A child around William would never be in that position as there is no reason for them to be doing those things to him. Yet neurotypical children in the past have bitten or smacked William purely because he had a toy they wanted, or he wouldn’t play with them in a certain way or just because they could, but I do not judge those children based on this… Maybe I should? Maybe I should judge the parents?

William can be a handful, I can’t lie about that, nor would I want to but as he has grown, my ability and knowledge of his needs have too. Although there are a handful of people who know how to tend to his needs, the majority of the time, I am more than capable of doing this myself and its frankly downright insulting that people may think otherwise but don’t get me wrong, I do need a break sometimes but doesn’t any parent?

Having my child in your child’s life would not negatively impact your child in any way shape or form. William doesn’t show love as often as a neurotypical child or in the same ways, but he loves with all his heart and is hurt in the same manor in which other children may be hurt and I’m not talking physically.

I have spent time with neurotypical children who can be more of a handful than William due to things such as separation anxiety, over tiredness, being generally naughty or having tantrums because they can’t get their own way but let me translate these things into William’s versions.

He have never suffered from separation anxiety, as long as his needs are met, he is happy to be with his dad, myself or any other caregiver, no issue there because when he was younger, we made sure that he spent adequate time with everyone and didn’t solely rely on a single person as that would have created a straw for our own backs.

Over-tiredness? What is that? My kid can sleep through a tornado or have a house dropped on him and he would remain asleep. When he is tired, he will literally just go and lay down and go to sleep. Sometimes he doesn’t even make it to a bed or sofa and will sleep anywhere. Even if he has done this during the day he will happily be in his room from bedtime until he is tired. No fuss, no crying, no demands for attention or toys etc, although sometimes he gets both.

William can be naughty, all children can. He will touch the TV and laugh when he is told no. I will take his toy from him because its bedtime and he will duck under my arms and go back to grab it, but he doesn’t hit, scratch, nip or bite when he is naughty or mischievous like some other children do. I’m not saying it won’t happen in the future but in over 5 years it hasn’t happened yet.

Tantrums again fall into the category in which all kids can have them, William’s tantrums last seconds, when he realises, he isn’t immediately getting what he wants, he gets bored and walks away. Tantrum over. I have been around neurotypical children who can have a tantrum that can last hours. When I say tantrum, I mean tantrum. A meltdown is something completely different. A tantrum is purposeful behaviour in children and therefore can be shaped by rewarding desired behaviours, a bit like how you train a dog 🤣 whereas a meltdown is involuntary and cannot be stopped by rewarding the child or giving into demands because a meltdown doesn’t happen because he can’t get what he wants. Tantrums slowly go away as a child grows up (although some of my ex’s prove otherwise 😂), but meltdowns may never go away. If my child is having a meltdown, it is because he is pain, either physically or mentally not because he wants an ice-pop or something of the like.

Looking at these things in comparison, which child needs more attention? Should I be concerned about the neurotypical children in William’s life? Should I restrict access? There is only one answer, no. why? Because I’m not a cunt.

I don’t judge children based on their behaviour but maybe I should judge their parents? If that’s what people deem acceptable maybe I should jump on the bandwagon?

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Posted in Emotions

Mothers vs Fathers

I see a lot of posts on Facebook bashing dad’s and it’s shit! I mean that’s not really an eloquent way of putting it but it’s just everywhere and I’m so fed up of it. Seeing posts and memes of the like implying that dads are useless. There are so many dad’s who are no longer with the mom’s out there who are amazing and you never really see that side of it so here it is…

You all already know that this is Dave, Williams dad 😊
William’s dad and I had a painful ending to our marriage and I was hurt and I’m not afraid to admit it, wanted to hurt him like he had me. BUT not once did I think of using William to do that because it’s wrong and would not only have hurt his dad but William also. Don’t get me wrong I thought of many ways to hurt him that didn’t involve William, combine harvester accidents, hitmen, superglue in his hat, nair in his gel, dog licking his toothbrush, you know… the usual stuff 😂 (I get a little petty sometimes😏) but the top and bottom of it is that I am in fact so very grateful to have Dave as a co-parent. He’s a brilliant dad and absolutely dotes on William. I firmly believe that whenever possible (Which I know it’s not always) kids deserve both parents in their lives and a messy break up shouldn’t prevent that. Dave and I never have to be friends, we just have to be good parents independently and together for our son but that doesn’t mean that one day we can’t become friends..

This unnecessary dad bashing has to stop! Its grossly unfair in some cases because I know men who have children they are desperate to see but aren’t allowed.
I know men who pay everything they have in maintenance and struggle to pay their own rent.
I know men who will buy their children shoes they wanted but didn’t need, and yet their one pair of trainers are held together with superglue.
I know men who travel miles and miles to spend less than an hour with their child.

There is a reason dad’s have dressed as superheroes and scaled building in order to have their voices and rights acknowledged.

Check out the link here for the Fathers4Justice page and read some of the heartbreaking stories.

On the other end of the scale I know of mom’s who have walked out on their babies and never looked back.
I know women who used a man to conceive and then cut that man out their lives.
I know women who restrict access to their child because the relationship between the parents had broken down.
I know women who pay nothing in child support and go out every weekend in new clothes.

I’m not saying all fathers are angels and that some are not useless but the same can be said for some mothers.
I think before we all jump on the bandwagon and slate our ‘baby daddies’ (I hate that term) we should evaluate if the reasons they are “so shit” is because of what has happened between us as their parents or because of the way they are with their child?

I think my point to this post/rant is that some dads moms PARENTS are shit! There isn’t a set gender on being a c**t. Amen! x

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Posted in Emotions

The anatomy of a post

Its easier for me to write down how I am feeling, than it is for me to say it… I feel that by writing it down I am saying it as it needs to be said. No immediate questions and no way I can get tongue tied (although I do get a bit ranty) but I do understand that this sometimes leaves me a bit closed off as a person and that can make me hard work especially for those closest to me and I own that, I practically come with a disclaimer.

That being said writing something down doesn’t come easy to me either, I will over process something in my head until it becomes a huge issue before, I even show any inclination that something is bothering me, then I will let it fester before I even think about writing it down. The writing I find very cathartic, and it helps me process thing before I can freely talk about them.

I think I have explained previously that sometimes I write down feelings, thoughts and ideas into a little blue notebook and that book travels with me to meetings, appointments, and things of the like. Not everything becomes a post, sometimes things from months or years ago become recent posts as it resonates with something going on in our lives current day.

I wrote a post whilst about not being ready to date and how to trust someone around your child when they are non-verbal etc, but I had by the time it was posted already met my partner and was on the verge of introducing to our kids, he didn’t know about my blog back then, but I imagine had he read it, he may have had some questions 😂

I have a friend that called me about one of my posts a few months back (Yes this is about you, this time lol) thinking it had been spurred on by some comments she had made to me and was a little offended that I hadn’t spoken to her about it… Imagine little old me having no idea what comments she was talking about because that post had started out in the blue book months before and then lived in my drafts for weeks. I’m not saying that somethings aren’t based on recent events because they often are but the anatomy of most my posts is a lot more in-depth (sometimes) than hearing, reading, or thinking something and immediately having a rant about it.

Looking in the blue book today, I have about 67 pages of notes, ideas, and doodles. In my notes on my phone, I have about 12 and finally in my drafts about 6. Some of these ideas date back to 2019 and may never make it into a post because what was written isn’t relevant to who I am today, or they were fleeting feelings or repetitive meetings in which can’t be elaborated on so don’t go anywhere.

I read somewhere that in order to run a successful blog you need to have a schedule of posts and stick to that schedule to help build an audience, I’m not sure what is classed as a successful blog, in my eyes his blog is successful… It doesn’t earn me money (if that’s what success means nowadays) but I feel successful because I started this blog with only a small goal in mind, to have just one other parent read it and felt less alone in their journey, if that was just one person reading it and feeling a little more at ease, or one person reaching out for advice ( do try but I am in no means an expert) or just one person realising their feelings are perfectly normal. I feel that based on the people who I have met because of my blog that it is very successful because my goal wasn’t to reach millions of readers or monetise anything. It was to simply help one person in any way shape or form because this journey is a lonely one and I had never felt loneliness like it before. I wanted to educate people or even just one person on what it is like raising a child with special needs and how hard it can be but also how rewarding and I feel I have achieved that and hopefully will continue to do so.

All my love as always 😘 M x

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Posted in Emotions, school

Wet Hands

Do you ever have a nightmare that feels so real that you can’t shake that feeling of dread that it gives you afterwards. I’ve been feeling down recently, getting lost in my own negative thoughts about myself and I think that’s maybe why I had such a terrible dream. Please feel free to skip the next paragraph if you would rather not read about it in detail as it is about a sensitive subject but I think it gives some context to the way I feel.

Click here to read the dream Every night before bed, I check on William and then go to bed myself, I often jump out of bed to make sure I definitely shut the baby gate. He’s not confident with stairs and who knows what mischief he could get up to… I woke up and could hear William laughing to himself in his room, if it’s early and he sounds happy then I usually check him on the baby monitor and go back to sleep until my alarm wakes me up at a reasonable hour, however when I awoke it was much later than it should have been, my phone had died and that meant my alarm didn’t go off… even at this point the dream felt so real and I remembered reaching for the charger and my glasses. I grabbed my dirty (clean really but that well-worn that it looks gross) grey dressing gown and pulled open my bedroom door. Williams baby gate was wide open and he wasn’t in his room. I must have taken the stairs 3 at a time, the living room baby gate was open. I couldn’t hear him so thought he had maybe fallen asleep. He was nowhere to be seen, I checked behind the sofa and chair, in the dog bed and under the table but he wasn’t there. the kitchen door was slightly ajar and although the kitchen baby gate was pulled shut, it wasn’t locked in to place. I called out for him, ‘William?’ ‘Willster?’ ‘baby?’ nothing… I sensed this awful feeling; knowing the bathroom was the only place I hadn’t checked. I walked in and the bath was full (I always empty it in real life), his toys were in there and so was he, he was wearing the t-shirt he had been wearing that day, a blue Toy Story one with a sequin panel…. only he wasn’t playing with it, instead he was under the water, face down and still. I started screaming and pulled him out of the water, he was cold. Then I woke up with what I am almost sure was a scream. My hands felt wet, not just sweaty but truly wet as if they had in fact been in the water. There were tears rolling down my face. I had never jumped out of bed so quickly in my life, Williams baby gate was closed and I struggled to open it as I was shaking so badly. There he was, snoring, safely in his bed surrounded by his squishmallows. In that moment, I didn’t care what time it was or that he was sound asleep. I grabbed him and held him tight, tighter than ever before.

I’m a worrier and we all know that, I’m insecure in my parenting and always second guess myself but despite me not being a ‘natural parent’ as I like to call them, I have worked bloody hard at it over the last 5 years and that recently it dawned on me that in what is now 9 days, William will be going to school. I am confident in my choice of school and super happy that I fought so hard to get him there but I’m having a wobble about who I am right now or at least who I will be when he isn’t here with me. I will never not be is mom but I am wondering (panicking) about what I will do on the days he is at school and I aren’t working… I already feel a bit useless, so many battles and fights to get him what he needs and his education was the biggest one, now he has what he needs, what is my purpose?
It sounds silly but without something to fight, I feel a bit redundant and worry that when he goes to school that I won’t be able to shake that feeling and it will just grow and consume me. It stupid because I know there are loads more things in wHich I will have to fight against for him as he grows older but this was ‘the one’

I think the dream was maybe a manifestation of how I feel about being without William when someone else is looking after him on what should be my days. Dreams about losing a child are apparently about grief, the grief you feel when a child moves from one phase in their life another which makes sense in these circumstances. My life has revolved around William since the moment I started trying for a baby, he didn’t even exist but he was my everything and he always will be, but I fear that I will feel so lost without him here with me… how crazy is that? Desperate to get him into school, desperate for some ‘me’ time and now I have it, I’m scared of it. I think it’s a bit like imposter syndrome, scared that i spent so long being this warrior that now I just have to be me, thats its not good enough.

It’s a strange one to be so worried about isn’t it… What would you do when all your dreams come true? well me personally have a full on anxiety attack and question who I am as a person. Most people would have a glass of bubbly and celebrate but no, I can’t do that. I have to take things to the extreme as always.

I have a fair few things I want to do, like decorate the last few rooms of the house and start my Understanding Autism Level 3 and Challenging Behaviour level 2 qualifications but is that enough? who knows?

I’m not sure what the point of my post is but just needed to get it off my chest and hopefully out of my head.

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Posted in Emotions

The green eyed monster

I want to talk about the green-eyed monster, you know that devil that sits it the back of our minds, whispering in the back of our heads sending us all into a tailspin. I’ve touched on this subject a few times in relation to the unspoken competition between parents about how well their kids are developing, how soon they talk, walk or progress.

Today I want to talk about it in general not just in relation to parenthood but everyday life, I also want to open up about some of the things I do that may cause the green-eyed monster to pop up in other people. We all encounter moments in which we want what someone else has or we think someone wants what we have. Jealousy is natural in some degrees but to some it is all consuming, there are some that don’t understand that it is just a voice in their heads.

We all experience it, I for one really struggled with it when William was a baby; I unfollowed my friends on social media who had babies at the same time because I was jealous, and it hurt to see their babies developing at a quicker rate than William. It took a long time for me to be able to be happy for those parents instead of envious. Even now sometimes I comment and say how wonderful things are, how beautiful, how smart etc but my head still occasionally says, ‘why not me?’
A few years ago that thought would consume me, and I would scroll through social media pages and sob about how unfair life was, but I have grown since then and now I can be genuinely happy for my friends, but it doesn’t stop the pangs of jealousy. Seeing Little Miss grow so quickly and overtake William in the year I have known her has been hard, seeing her ask for her Mama and ask for ‘Big hugs’ from her Daddy is a wonderful thing to witness but there is a deep sadness there for me. I guess I just want those moments for myself. We always want more than we have, its natural… The moment William said ‘Mom’ for the first time was one of the best moments of my life but now I want more. He made a noise at bedtime a few weeks ago that sounded like ‘I love you’ but it wasn’t words, just sounds but now I’m desperately hoping for an ‘I love you mom’ but it may not happen, but I ache for it, dream of it, even long for it. William surprises me every single day and in the last two years had come on so far with his development so I’m not saying it will never happen, but we just don’t know what he is capable of until he actually does it.

I got jealous when other parents of children like William were given school places and William wasn’t… I was happy for them and cried happy tears but fuck me, it hurt at the same time. I think that’s natural though. Jealousy didn’t mean I wasn’t ridiculously happy for them because I truly was. I called my mom and told her every time other parents got good news, ‘mom this happened, hopefully it will be us next’ and then when it was our turn, I expect those that come after us will be the same. We want the best for our children, and as happy as we are when others get that first, we long for it to be our turn and feel that in the parents that are fighting for their kids’ educational needs right now. The system is not designed to help our children or to get them what is right for them, it is designed for what is right for the local authorities behind the system.

Money is a big factor of jealousy for a lot of people, and I am not ashamed to say that I don’t have a lot of it, I work part-time, I’m paid well, and I absolutely love my job but due to being part-time, it means I have to plan my money very well. I have to think about what’s coming in the upcoming month and budget appropriately. I can’t just decide to go out or to buy something without thinking about it a month or more in advance.
I love my house and everything in it but that didn’t just happen, I wasn’t always living on my own. As we all know, 2 years ago I was married and in a 2-income household which had a big part in building up my house into a home for William. Credit where credit is due, William’s dad left the house as it was so there was least disruption to our son, I didn’t give him a great deal of choice which may have been selfish of me, but I wouldn’t have the nice things I do if it wasn’t for him, and I am grateful for that. There are things that people may wonder how I can afford on my wages, but I know the price of everything and when I need something, I budget for it as best I can with help from my parents if needed. I have a large television, which is completely wasted on me only watching BabyTV and Coronation Street, but it is something I would never have bought myself. It was a Christmas gift from my parents a fair few years ago and something I have made sure to take very good care of.
William has more toys than most children, I bought in excess for his birthday (I had been stockpiling gifts since mid-2021) not because I have money to waste or an excess of it but because I don’t know what will work for him. Two gifts have already gone in the bin because they have been broken, one on his actual birthday 😫 and I anticipate that many more will go to landfill in the following weeks. Don’t get me wrong I usually try to donate where I can but if they’re broken it’s not possible. The toys that hold William’s interest are usually aimed at younger children, but it is what must be bought to match Williams developmental age, but they are not built to withstand the strength of his actual age. Some toys won’t be played with for months, if at all and it’s a risk I take when buying anything… so there tends to be a large choice for him so that he has at least one gift he loves. I threw a small party for his birthday and that needed budgeting for well in advance. It wasn’t me showing off, look at what I have or what I can do… it was me saying that William deserves to have something nice and why can’t we celebrate his birthday like other children do? I paid for a cake which was divine and a bargain but the money for that came from my January wages, I paid for a Morrisons buffet; the deposit came from February’s wages and the balance from this months. Every step of his mini party was carefully budgeted and planned out.

Christmas is another thing in which people may think I go overboard, but again I plan Christmas all year round… I am lucky enough to have a spare room, this is now what I class as my office but really it’s a dumping ground, there is a freezer which holds copious amount of chicken nuggets for William, a tumble dryer which physically wont fit in my kitchen so is next to my desk with a vent out the window, meaning my office is always cold but there is no point in turning the radiator on as it would be huge waste of money. I often work in a jacket, or a dressing grown as it can be pretty nippy in winter. There are two sets of industrial shelves which hold Christmas decorations (I can’t access my loft) and throughout the year I buy Christmas presents which live on them until December, or birthday gifts months in advance… a little bit at time so it has the least financial impact, before I had William, I used to buy everything out of December or Novembers pay and then struggle to afford bus fair to work until February 🤣 I was always the kind of person who lived like a king 👑 for the week after payday and homeless for the rest of the month.

I have been to people’s houses or seen pictures on Facebook and thought God I wish I could do that or have that or go there, we all do it, but we all handle it differently.

The reason I have been so honest about what I have and why is because I would never want anyone to look at me through green eyes when there is no reason to in my opinion. We each manage what little money we have differently, and all have different circumstances.

I’ve never been a massively jealous person when it comes to relationships, this is probably why I didn’t realise my ex was having an affair 🤣 as a person who has more male friends than female, I would never hold someone to different standard than I hold myself but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally get a little worked up over daft things. That there isn’t a voice in my head going ‘what if…?’ but I think that’s natural of all of us. Its part of being human but so is being able to trust people. Its hard to get out of a mindset in which you think everyone will hurt you but it’s imperative to do so in order to move on in a healthy way. People do shitty things and we cant stop that; we aren’t able to stop other peoples actions but we can learn from them without the result of those actions consuming us.

I used to have only child syndrome, despite having a sister haha 😳… What is mine is mine and that’s the end of it but as I have grown up, my opinion on things has changed massively. If I have something and someone needs it or wants to borrow it, then I see no issue in helping them out. (Partners not included 😂)

Social media is the devil, its so easy to post a picture and pretend to the world that your life is perfect, you can filter yourself and crop out the cracks in relationships, the mess in your house and the worries you feel when you look at your child. There is no shame in being honest and again I think I have said this before but fuck you Mrs Hinch for making me feel bad about my messy house, fuck you Kardashians for photo shopping your bodies to a ridiculous and near on impossible standards, as crazy as reality TV is, I give huge credit to the stars of Geordie Shore and reality shows of the like… not because of the surgery they keep having to meet the standards they feel they should but for portraying themselves in a realistic way. They get drunk and messy and wake up looking rough with last nights make up on… I don’t even watch the show, but I have seen clips and newspaper headlines trying to shame them, but we all do it! We all forget to take off make up before bed, we wake up looking like we’ve ran an obstacle course in our sleep. I hate the unrealistic nature of things online… Don’t get me wrong, I love a snap chat filter, but I also know its fake and I think that’s the struggle a lot of us fail to understand sometimes. We shouldn’t be jealous of something that’s not real, we shouldn’t aspire to be like these people who pretend to be what they are not!

My green-eyed monster rears it head less often than it used to but its still there and its part and parcel of being human, of being who I am and I’m not ashamed of that and nor should I be.💚

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Posted in Brief updates, Emotions

Calling all lazy parents

I would like to take a moment to state that I do not always want to play with my child. I sometimes can not go through the same set of flashcards for the 500th time I’m a day.

We all have moments in which we check our watch and realise bed time is a long way off. This doesn’t make us bad parents, it makes us tired parents. It makes us human.

Becoming a mom or dad doesn’t make us super human. It doesn’t change the fact that we crave time that’s ours and ours alone. That soak in the bath which involves candles, a book and enough time to shave both legs 🦵 time which doesn’t involve accidentally sitting on a rubber duck.

We want to watch TV or a movie that doesn’t involve animation or singing. I would like to have a power ballad stuck in my head instead of nursery rhymes.

There is no shame in needing a little time out. We can not always be on it 100% of the time and its important to try and take that time when we can, so we don’t burn out.

I remember thinking that my kid would have limited screen time… that didn’t happen. It is I who ended up with limited screen time 🤣 I can’t remember when I last watched Corrie when it actually aired instead of days later. I gave up completely on the other soaps as there just aren’t enough free hours in a day.

I work part time and absolutely adore my job. It gives me something to focus on that isn’t being Williams mom and I need that but I admire those full time workers and full time parents. I choose to work and if someone chooses not to then that is their business. There is a lit of stigma around parents that work and parents that don’t. There seems to be no happy medium. There is a archaic kind of judgement that working parents should be home raising and looking after their kids but then a judgement against those that choose to stay at home about how they should be working. I feel like non of us can win!

So this post is dedicated to the parents who aren’t ashamed to say that some days they only give 99%. The ones who don’t want to listen to the same song for the millionth time. Who pretend peppa pig goes to bed at 5pm. The ones who pretend toys are broken but have secretly take the batteries out 🔋 enjoy that 1% of time you need for yourself because you deserve it. You deserve to shave both legs, to wash all the conditioner out of your hair and to not have to hide in the kitchen when you want to eat a whole chocolate bar!

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Posted in EHCP Process, Emotions

School Allocations Pt.2

I’m writing this in real time but by the time you read it, almost two weeks will have passed and hopefully I’ve composed myself although as I edit this, I doubt it…

 I feel like I have hit a roadblock, like Wiley Coyote has dropped an anvil on me… I’ve cried a lot today and when I say that I mean messy, loud angry crying. I had to take a little bit of time out of work as I broke things and shouted at nothing. The worst thing is… It hasn’t even made me feel better.

On Friday I received a reply to my monthly email chase about Williams school allocation, as you will be aware if you have read any posts previously, William is due to start school in the spring term. This is what his caseworker told me over the phone, its in his EHCP and has been a focal point of all our discussions since. I time my email after the Local Authority have their monthly meeting which is around the 15th of each month, and I usually get a generic reply in return but this time the reply stated that they will be in touch before his transition in September?! September?! SEPT-FUCKING-TEMBER!!!!

Now I want to be quite clear about this, but William’s case worker is an absolute bag of wank is quite illusive, at one point I didn’t believe he existed until he called me to tell me they had agreed that William required a specialist school… I could have kissed him, here appears this man to tell me good news and then follows it up with his EHCP, the news I had waited for, for what felt like forever. Fast forward to now and my opinion is very different. Now he’s that cunty manager that’s sends you bad emails or feedback just as they are leaving the building, we all know the type or see them on television. Out the door, shouting back ‘you need to work a double’
Richard does this, he replies to my monthly emails at 5pm on a Friday and if I have any follow up questions, I have to wait until he’s back in the office, not that he ever replies to my questions anyway 🙄

I have emailed him twice, the SEND team, left messages and have yet to hear back with any clarification, was it just a mistype in the email? Did he use the wrong generic template? I’ve emailed our SENCO and Williams nursery to garner some kind of insight into whatever is happening, and no one can help me, but all said they will try to find out. Surely it will be in William’s file somewhere about what the plan is for him transitioning into a school? I find it hard to believe that they don’t have some kind of CRM system so all parties can view notes etc.

My realisation is that if they fail to find William a place by the end of May then they have breeched the EHCP then it doesn’t give me enough time before September to take them to a tribunal. They’ve fucked us and I genuinely believe it’s on purpose, they know it would never get to court before then and they are using it to their advantage.

I have emailed several people within the SEND department now, Head of, standards officer and the review manager. I’m hoping someone can help me. If I have no responses within the next 48 hours, I will be writing to my local MP.

My anger is akin to that I felt last February, when they did something similar during the allocation process for last September 2021. I cried and broke things back then too. I’m hoping by the time that this post goes live, that I have updated it with good news or even any news at all, hence the delayed live date but I’m not feeling very hopeful.
My anger is almost painful, I feel hot and sad, hopeless, alone and scared but not surprised by it. My main source of anger is that fact that they don’t seem to care about William, they don’t care that he is missing out on education, he has nursery at the moment but from 29th March, they cannot legally keep him there. What happens after that? I work and William’s dad works, do we quit? Do we take unpaid leave? Who pays my bills? Who looks after William? Legally he needs to be in school, but they don’t seem to care. I’m back Asking myself the question…. WHY DOESN’T MY SON MATTER?!

I have had one response from anyone in the SEND team, one, singular… and it wasn’t from Richard (I’m not shocked by this in the slightest but if you still have any faith in the Local authority the please feel free to insert your own shocked face here) the email I receive wasn’t especially useful but it came through at 8.20 the evening after I sent it, I’m sure that’s not office hours so it was very appreciated. The person that replied was one of the email addresses I found on the internet and fired something off to in the hopes they could help. Sadly, they couldn’t as it wasn’t her department, but they did say they would forward on my concerns to Richard’s manager. No reply from her yet either so I’m not holding out hope.

I emailed my M.P, Karl Turner who according to other people is a community champion for his constituents. His office replied the day after my initial email stating they were going to reach out to the children’s service at Hull City Council and will be in touch with me once he has a response. Hopefully they will reply quicker to him than they do me, in fact hopefully they will reply full stop.

The whole situation just devastates me, how can Richard leave it over a week (at the time of writing this line) to reply to multiple emails, everyone else was emailed on the Tuesday and haven’t replied, how if that effective or efficient. I have always had understanding as I am fully aware that they are an understaffed and unfunded department but now my understanding has gone. I have waited patiently for them to do their jobs properly for over 2 years if not more and they have done nothing but let us down, lie to us and intentionally keep us in the dark and a week later, I am asking myself the same question as I did last week… WHY DOESN’T MY SON MATTER?!
If I was keeping William out of school there would be fines, and potentially prosecution and jail time, so who will be accountable now? Who will be in trouble for him not been in education? WHY ISNT HIS EDUCATION IMPORTANT WHEN IT’S SOMEONE ELSE’S RESPONSIBILITY?!

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Posted in autism and covid19, Emotions

There is an App for that…

Is it just me or is being a mom lonely? Is being a mom to a child with special needs even more lonely? Is being a single mom lonely? Or are we all just lonely and on our own different journeys?

At the time I wrote this post (or the scribbles that eventually become a post) in my trusty little blue notebook, I think it may have been the beginning of last year and then I’ve wrote some recently because some of it as usual makes no sense but at one point, I wrote a little list about things that occupy my mind when I can’t sleep which aren’t really valid now.

  • When did someone last hug me?
  • When did William last see so and so? Will he remember them?
  • When can I go somewhere without a lateral flow and PPE?
  • Will I ever need to get fully dressed for work again? (Jokes… I’m on camera 🎥)

I have the answers to all these now but obviously when I wrote them, the tear splashes on the page indicate how upset I was. Especially since number one was about hugs 🤣 and I am notoriously not a hugger. The 2m rule was a huge bonus for me!

 I’m not sure if its Covid and its many strands and the scare mongering that comes with it, but I seem to have become a little very reclusive despite restrictions being lifted. I find reasons not to do things or subconsciously put obstacles in the way.

Covid genuinely frightens me, I was first in line for the vaccines and the subsequent booster. ‘Yes please, inject me with that 5g tracker’ 🤣 each to their own and no judgement for those that have chosen not to but personally I believe that if you haven’t lost someone in the pandemic then you maybe don’t understand its devastating effects and that you are lucky, if in fact anyone can be lucky in such uncertain times. I question if this uncertainty will ever end, if covid will ever fully go away or we can just live with it, but my internal pessimist doesn’t think it will. This is our new normal and not to misquote Shane Meadows but This is England 22! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Every keeps talking about not been able to hide away forever and not been able to live with restrictions but I seem to be quite content being locked away in my home but I don’t think that’s a good thing, it’s a bit like I have Stockholm syndrome but to myself 🤪 Don’t get me wrong, I leave the house and see people and do social things but not like I used to, maybe its because I work from home and socialisation takes much more effort now, whereas before it was as simple as walking across the road from work and having a cheeky pint and a carvery. Maybe its because I’m a single co-parent now so I can’t just do things at the drop of a hat, it must fit in with work and William’s visitation with his dad and can require military preparation whether it is with or without William.

Everything can so easily be done over the phone or a computer now, what’s happening in the world? You can find out on your phone. What boxset should I binge watch now? Ask Google or check the Netflix rankings. Missing friends or family? Video calls via Facebook or WhatsApp. Need to work from home? There’s Microsoft Teams or Zoom for that. Doctors’ appointments? There’s an app for that (which is much quicker at giving appointments than my actual doctor) Meetings for William? All done remotely. Except for seeing Big Nanna, I would walk through a plague of Zombies for that! 🧟‍♀️

I’m not saying I never leave the house as I obviously do but its so easy not to. Everything is online now, I even met my boyfriend L on Tinder, highly recommended. Him (most the time 🤣) not the actual app, the app is like a meat market but more for fish, catfish that is… it passed some time during lockdown before restrictions were lifted and it was entertaining even though I lost all faith in humanity, some people seemed normal and then BAM! Flat earthers, criminal records, married men, women pretending to be men, couples looking for a third??? And that’s only a small fraction of the people I spoke to. What the actual fuck! I was on the verge of giving in when L messaged me. He seemed so normal, but my replies were terrible as I was expecting him to be a mental case or to try and convert me to scientology or something, how we formed a relationship, I will never know 🤷‍♀️ I think I would give the app about a 2.5 out of 10 but that’s purely down to L💕 don’t even get me started on POF or the mommy friends site peanut 🙄

I guess I bring on some of the loneliness myself, whether its social anxiety, pandemic panic or just laziness. Let’s face it I have explained previously about some of my anxieties around playdates and the like. I love my own company and I very rarely argue with myself 🤣

I was never really a visitor; I prefer people to come to me but then also freak out about people coming in my house and finding things to judge me on.

This is probably the worst analogy ever, but Covid is a little like those adverts you used to see on late night Channel 4 before Eurotrash aired… the ones about sexually transmitted disease.
You’ve slept with Anna, she has slept with John, Jamie, Jack and Steve, therefore you have slept with them too. You kind of have to think that like when it comes to contact with people who’ve had Covid… If I’m seeing so and so for a coffee then I must think about who that person has seen before me and where they have been and so on, its never ending and exhausting 🥱 having your mind working that hard when it already feels maxed out navigating day to day life is simply not possible.

I’m not really sure what the point to this little rant was, I’m lonely, I’m not lonely, there’s an app for everything and Covid is the new STI 🤷🏼‍♀️

Much love 😘 M. x

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