Posted in Events & Holidays

The 1st Family Holiday 2022

I’ve said it a few times but i’m saying it again, I am really trying to be more open to taking William to experience new things so, in for a penny, in for a pound as they say. Instead of another day out. We booked a weekend away! Talk about going from one extreme to another but you know me, I like to jump in with both feet and then act like I’m drowning 🤣

We booked a little cabin near Malton, Coopers Cabin to be precise. If you click the image it should take you to the link.

Coopers Cabin, Malton Grange Lodges

The cabin itself was lovely, although there was a slight hiccup when we got there, it hadn’t been cleaned which meant we couldn’t relax, they sent a lady (Louise) who was brilliant and compensated with a bottle of prosecco but the whole situation put a massive dampener of the start of our holiday especially with the kids already having a super long day and then not being able to settle down straight away. It’s also made me a bit worried about getting our security deposit back, because the cabin wasn’t as thoroughly cleaned as it usually would have been, I am concerned anything the previous occupiers may have done with impact us especially the hot tub as they state that if the filters need changing they will hold back the deposit, I highly doubt that the filters were checked and we notice there was scum around the filter entrance… we shall see what happens with the deposit. They have been asking me review them already but I shall wait until the money is back in my account.

The cabin was spacious and had a master bedroom with ensuite, a second bedroom with 2 single beds which Wilster and I shared and a pull out double (ish) sofa bed in the lounge. As you may be aware from our usual ‘Annual Hobman Family Holidays’ sharing a room with William is not ideal but its also not always horrendous. He woke me up the first morning by prying my eyelids open and trying to shove my glasses on my face whilst laughing like a physcopath, Thats was 3am… 😴 needless to say I mad my way to the spare sofa. The following day he woke me up by doing was I can only describe as physio, he was stretching and bending my legs and then quicky switched to torture by pulling my big toe and other toes in seperate directions but he also climbed onto my back at one point and fell back to sleep so it’s not all bad and I relish in that moment he wants me as comfort to go to sleep as it doesn’t happen very often.

I worried about taking William on a train but I embraced it and we were lucky enough to catch the Pickering steam train up to Goathland (Heartbeat Land) It was the trains first run out in three months due to the track side fires caused by the immense heat this summer. Sadly it was pulled off after our trip due to an issue with the coal so we were doubly lucky. The noise, smells, movements and people were all things I had thought about before taking the leap, not to mention Williams chair. I would like to give a big shout out to the staff at NYMR especially Adrian Sartain (not sure if I have spelt that right) but he was amazing and really looked after us and put me at ease on what was an anxiety inducing journey for me. I tweeted NYMR so that they would pass my thanks on to him.

I’m not sure why I was so worried because William often surprises me, I have an amazing video of William laughing and giggling whilst I will post to our facebook page. He thoroughly love the journey and proved once again that new experiences aren’t always a bad thing and don’t require my overthinking and stressing (not that I will ever stop) He is constantly surprising me, keeping me on my toes and not always in a bad way haha 🤣

Have you ever felt like an outsider? like you don’t really belong somewhere, having to try hard to fit in but never really doing so… I guess it’s the true sign of an introvert. Believe it or not this statement isn’t about William, it’s about me. I can honestly say that this weekend I truly felt a part of something. I felt so at peace just sat with my new extended family and talking about rubbish, being honest about parenthood, my relationship and not feeling judged in the slightest. I felt accepted without the pressures I have faced in the past to behave as those around me do. Not only did I feel accepted and welcomed but I know that William felt it too, Just look at these pictures and see how comfortable he was.

Our next excursion was Flamingo land, again I was worried. He likes the fair that comes to Hull but its not as expensive and easier to get home and back to his comfort zone.
The first thing I will say, is that it’s soo fucking expensive! We should have pre-booked but because the weather was due to be torrential, we chose not to and boy was that a mistake. £50 per person is daylight robbery especially for a 5 year old!

Flamingo Land has changed alot since I last went (about 18 years ago😱) but fundamentally it’s the same.
Little Miss absolutely loved it, she wanted to go on every single ride but sadly she isn’t called Little Miss for no reason and she was too small to go on the majority of the ones that took her fancy. The log flume was the one she was most looking forward to and she was too dinky, her dad did sneakily stand her in the splash zone at the side of the ride so that they got sprayed as the ride hit the water. I think she took it as a good consolation but we have vowed to take her back next year but measure her before as she needs to 3.6ft tall.
There were plenty of rides aimed at her age height group but they weren’t as daredevilish as she likes.

That being said, she did have an amazing time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, including going round the zoo section.
Williams experience is a little more difficult to explain, he coped really well being inside the park but I don’t believe he got a great deal of enjoyment from it, at one point he even had a nap but then again I’m not surprised since he had woken me at 3am 🙄 He’s really hard to read during these situations so he could have really enjoyed, could have just tolerated it but I know he didn’t hate it as he always makes that clearly known 🤣

We ate out on both nights at The Smithy Arms, clicking their name will take you to their facebook page, I highly recommend them as their menu was varied, portion sizes plentiful (although if you order fish & chips, don’t be alarmed if half a battered whale turns up🐋) and their food was very tasty without charging the earth. The kids menu was brilliant (every kids meal included dessert) and they were very accomodating for William in his chair. If we book again for next year we will most definitely go back.

Our first holiday in my eyes was a huge success, don’t get me wrong, it was really nice to get home and relax but I would go back in a heartbeat and do it all again… And now starts the countdown to our next adventure 🥰

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Posted in Events & Holidays, Reviews

Paw Patrol Live – 07/08/2022

After the success of Peppa Pig, we were super excited to see Paw Patrol Live… Expanding Williams experiences and opening him up to new things can be so exciting but nerve wracking too. I made myself a promise that I wouldn’t let my worry or anxiety stop me from taking William to new places or events and I am trying my best to stick to it.

Obviously Little Miss came with us too, It’s great to be able to do these things as a family and brings us all so much joy to continue to blend our family into one. 👨‍👨‍👧‍👦

Paw Patrol ready x

So this photo is a bit misleading, let me explain from the beginning…
Trying to obtain access for Williams chair was a bit of a nightmare, I was diverted to ticketmaster who told me they could only deal with sales, despite their email being the one to contact in relation to accessibility. Then I was sent to the ticket provider which was Sky who said they couldn’t help me and I would need to contact the venue direct which I would have done had I not been told to go to all these other places… Sky gave me a contact email for Bonus and no one replied for over a week until I chased them and forwarded my original email. They were apologetic and swiftly organised the access for us but it should be much clearer on how to do this when obtaining tickets from a third party. I want to also add that there was an out of order sign on the lift meaning if access was required to the higher levels, it would not have been possible.

Disabled parking was brilliant, there are multiple free spaces on the road around the arena and we easily found an open spot despite the show being quite full. There are pay and display car parks very close by too however I can’t comment on the disabled spaces as we didn’t need to use these but parking in general seemed plentiful so if you are planning on going to the Bonus Arena, you don’t need to worry about that aspect.

The lobby was busy and loud, once again merchandise is shoved in your face, just like it was at Peppa Pig, we had already agreed that the kids wouldn’t be getting anything this time as they can’t expect a toy on top of a day out every time. I am glad we had made this decision in advance because they were selling holographic photo cards in which one of the Paw Patrol pups changes into your kids face… for £25!!! £25 whole pounds for a piece of card! Merchandise stands were place in the center of the lobby meaning you had to walk past it to enter the arena, because we had access tickets we entered via a different door but still had to pass this area should we need the bathroom. I don’t agree with this, I have said it before but it puts parents who can’t afford merchandise in awkward positions when their children want these items, we are in the middle of a cost of living crisis after all.

I can not comment on the disabled toilets as William didn’t need changing and when I needed to go, I used the women’s… I had a little look at the door when I went passed and from what I could see, you didn’t need a radar key but I wouldn’t quote me on this as I was desperate for a wee.

Back to the performance… William became upset as we entered the arena. You have to remember that its a large room with high ceilings so noise does carry. Our seats were in a good location but not as good as the chair spaces are Bridlington Spa, we were next to the entrance on the right hand side when looking at the stage meaning a lot of footfall passed us and a side view of the stage. Whereas at the Spa we had an elevated view of the stage which had a better view and no footfall. Both sets of seats were really good but when comparing them, Brid Spa wins hands down. The seats at The Bonus Arena are removable so I think there is maybe a better location for them to seat wheelchair users, even if its just to be away from the footfall as a few kids nearly walked into Williams front wheels.

Comparisons for disabled seating.

William continued to cry and be distressed up until about 20 minutes into the performance. The lights were super bright, the noise very loud and I was about to leave with him when he suddenly started laughing and clapping, I literally felt this wave of relief and laughed with him. I’m so glad I persevered and let him adjust to the noise, lights and surroundings but I did feel like the worst mom in the world for a while. That much so that I bought £15 worth of guilt popcorn, It’s like normal popcorn but at cinema prices 🙄

The popcorn was a huge hit as you can see, with Willster eating both buckets 🤣 but £15 is a bit steep and it wasn’t even at butterkist standards. More like a cheap packet from home bargains which goes to show what the profit margins are for these vendors at shows like this.

He enjoyed the show whilst he was scoffing his popcorn, we left just as the show was ending which was lucky because as we entered the lobby we heard what I thought was a confetti cannon or a minor explosion, unsure which 🤷‍♀️

I don’t think we would go to a show at the Bonus arena again due to how loud it is but it hasn’t put us off as we will definitely be going to more shows but at different locations. I’m grateful we had been to Bridlington Spa first otherwise my opinion may be different, We won’t be paying pantomime prices so if anyone has anyone has any recommendations on shows in which we won’t need to sell a kidney to pay for, please let me know 🙂

Much love 😘, M.x

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Posted in Events & Holidays

Overcautious

I don’t think I have taken William to the beach in at least 3 years, when we think about covid, it must have been summer 2019, that means William was only 2 when we first went to the beach which sadly was the last time until recently.
Back in 2019 he loved it, we struggled to keep him out of the water even as it got colder. For a child that at the time hated having a bath, he loved the sea.

Riding the waves with Auntie Nelen & Kaylee 2019 x

So much has changed since that photo. I was worried it would be a huge sensory overload for him and it made me anxious about it, but it was one of those situations in which I wasn’t just worried about how William would handle it but how I would handle William and I’m not sure which I was more fearful about, and I think that makes me a bit selfish and sometimes it takes a while for me to put that aside. I am only human after all. 🤷‍♀️ I do wonder how many other things that I have been so worried about, that its stopped me from actually experiencing them or letting William experience them. As a natural worrier, I don’t think this will ever stop but as long as I take a breath, things will eventually become clearer in my mind and I will suck it up and leap into new experiences.

Well we took that leap, We had taken Little Miss on an impromptu beach visit and felt we should do the same for William. The thought of it gave me that feeling you get in your stomach, the one in which you aren’t sure if your scared, nervous, excited or about to shit yourself. 💩

We took Williams blue badge so we could secure a parking spot with enough space to safely put him in his wheelchair which was also close to places of interest for him. First stop was obviously fish and chips, because are you even at the beach if you don’t get some and since we visited Hornsea, it had to be Sullivans 🤤 William was a little picky but demolished his chips and battered sausage (Insert comment here from my dad🤣) after a bit of coercion and alot of my curry sauce.

We then walked along the front burning off our food and desperately trying to avoid the little black beetles that seem to be out in force this year 🙄 Getting his chair on to the sand was a bit of a nightmare as we had to find a sloped entrance, pushing it across the sand took strength I didn’t know I had 💪 As soon as he was out of his chair, he was straight in the water. If I hadn’t have stopped him, it would have been a lot more than just a paddle but he absolutely loved it. I worried that the smell, sound and textures would be too overwhelming for him but he took it all in his stride and absolutely surprised astounded me. I think sometimes I am guilty of underestimating him, in fact I know I am guilty of it as this isn’t the first time I have been proven to be overcautious.

We ended our day with a cheeky trip to Mr Moos ice cream place, I had never been before but Williams uncle Jim had told us a few times about how good it was. Liam and I had what I would class as ‘Fat Bastard’ desserts, they were huge but got eaten 🤣 and since William doesn’t really like ice cream, he had a huge piece of cake and seemed to thoroughly enjoy trying to feed himself with a spoon, there wasn’t a crumb left on his plate.

As you can see he was truly exhausted after our little adventure and we are very much looking forward to our next one… Peppa Pig Live! Something I never thought I would do, Mainly because I hate that little bratty talking piece of bacon but also because I wasn’t sure how William would take to it but if we don’t try it we will never know!
I will keep you posted on how it goes as it’s a big thing for our little blended family but I’m sure it won’t be our last adventure.

Much love, M 😘x

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Posted in Events & Holidays

It’ll be lonely this Christmas 🎄

Any of you that have read past posts will be aware that I love and hate Christmas, there is no inbetween for me, I love time off work, spending time with the Hobman clan, giving presents, having copious amounts of chocolate in the house and even my dad making the same jokes he’s made for the last 10 years… (Kaylee and her heelies – they lasted 5 whole minutes…. up and down the drive once, where all the rubbish will go and how we would each have to take some home and the fact my mom’s turkey is dry) I’m honestly surprised that my mom hasn’t chinned him.🤣

I was genuinely looking forward to this Christmas, last Christmas our family was separated due to the government restrictions just like many others across the world, so it made this Christmas that bit more special. There are four generations of us: big nanna, my mom and dad, me and H and then William and Kaylee.

Williams letter from the fat man 🎅

Everything was planned to the finest detail, William would spend Christmas eve with his dad, come home for bedtime, read his letter from Father Christmas and his usual Santa book ‘Santa comes to Hull’.

As you can see, it’s been a tradition since the year he was born. x

I always sneak in a cheeky reading of ‘the night before Christmas’ as its my guilty pleasure. Christmas day, we would try to take things at William pace, I would be dressed and ready before he woke up, breakfast and then gifts before letting him chill out and finally setting off to my parents for lunch and family time… but that didn’t happen.

What do you do when your sons dad messages you saying he’s got covid and its Christmas eve and he’s got your son? Again, I shouldn’t have to say it, but this isn’t a post in which I slate William’s dad. Although when I read that message, there were a few expletives running round my head purely because of the ramifications of his message but I wish him no harm and hope that he and his girlfriend recover quickly, mainly because I need childcare for when I go back to work in January (Jokes 🤣)

After having a cry and getting angry, I made the decision to stay home with William in order to protect my loved ones. My family are all vaccinated and boosted but I just couldn’t take the risk, especially with big nanna. I would never have forgiven myself if she caught it from us.

William and I have been doing lateral flows each morning and so far, both have come back negative and hopefully they stay that way but I will keep you posted. 🤞 I’m not going to lie, it was a really difficult decision to make, not only did it mean I couldn’t be with my family on Christmas, but it also meant I couldn’t spend Christmas eve with L. Our first Christmas together and we couldn’t see each other until late Christmas night so that he could reduce the risk for family too.

I think Mud had it right when they said ‘It’ll be lonely this Christmas’ because it really was… William seemed to have a great day though. We opened presents, ate chocolates, and generally made a mess of my very clean house (only because I was manic cleaning Christmas eve as if Santa was a house inspector🧼)
William was a little overwhelmed as there were new things in the living room but because there was no panic or rush to be out the door, he could just take things at his own pace and seemed to enjoy exploring his new things. We even had all the presents open before lunch, except for the ones L brought on the evening.

I’m sure I said this last year but next Christmas is going to be the best one yet… At least I hope so x

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Posted in Events & Holidays

Autism Night Before Christmas – by Cindy Waeltermann

Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through the house
The creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse
We tried melatonin
And gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters
They always distract
The children were finally
All nestled in bed
When nightmares of terror
Ran through my OWN head
Did I get the right gift
The right color
And style
Would there be a tantrum
Or even, maybe, a smile?
Our relatives come
But they don’t understand
The pleasure he gets
Just from flapping his hands.
“He needs discipline,” they say
“Just a well-needed smack,
You must learn to parent…”
And on goes the attack
We smile and nod
Because we know deep inside
The argument is moot
Let them all take a side
We know what it’s like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs
Achievements, regressions…
But what they don’t know
And what they don’t see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity
He said “hello”
He ate something green!
He told his first lie!
He did not cause a scene!
He peed on the potty
Who cares if he’s ten,
He stopped saying the same thing
Again and again!
Others don’t realize
Just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on
At the end of our rope
But what they don’t see
Is the joy we can’t hide
When our children with autism
Make the tiniest stride
We may look at others
Without the problems we face
With jealousy, hatred
Or even distaste,
But what they don’t know
Nor sometimes do we
Is that children with autism
Bring simplicity.
We don’t get excited
Over expensive things
We jump for joy
With the progress work brings
Children with autism
Try hard every day
That they make us proud
More than words can say.
They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach a star in the sky
So to those who don’t get it
Or can’t get a clue
Take a walk in my shoes
And I’ll assure you
That even 10 minutes
Into the walk
You’ll look at me
With respect, even shock.
You will realize
What it is I go through
And the next time you judge
I can assure you
That you won’t say a thing
You’ll be quiet and learn,
Like the years that I did
When the tables were turned……

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Posted in Events & Holidays

It’s beginning to look a lot like… the end of November

Its that time of year, people have started putting their Christmas decorations up and I excitedly point them out to William hoping to see some kind of flash of recognition or magic in his eyes but there is nothing, but that doesn’t mean it will always be this way and I cling to that. This is going to be Williams fifth Christmas which means as per our tradition it will be his fifth Christmas Mickey toy and this year, I will start the tradition for Little Miss.

I was always a self-confessed scrooge; Christmas was never like it was portrayed in the movies and it always fell short of my expectations. There was no snow on the ground, we didn’t have a house full of people, all happy and playing board games. Don’t get me wrong, as a child our Christmases were magical… ‘Santa’ would fill little stockings outside our bedroom doors, and I would excitedly run into H’s bedroom. ‘he’s been!’ I would scream and the excitement would begin.
We weren’t allowed downstairs until my mom had been to pick up big nanna so we would sit on the top step waiting to hear the car pull into the driveway.
‘Santa’ always delivered except if it was something noisy… like the Christmas of 92 when H was severely disappointed at not getting a Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles whistle. Apparently, it was sold out, but mom and dad didn’t want something so noisy in the house so got her a ball instead haha🏀

I’m a weirdo and love giving presents to people, I love thinking about what I feel people will appreciate and putting thought and love into gifts and then seeing their faces when they open them. On the flip side and this definitely makes me a hypocrite, I am a terrible person to buy for, I hate receiving gifts and being expected to open them in front of people, purely because I cannot hide my reactions… my face always gives me away. My girlfriends and I do a Secret Santa every year and I flat out refuse to open mine, mainly because on Christmas day, I don’t really have a lot to open but also so that I can do it in private. Birthdays are the same too. I am super grateful to anyone that thinks enough of me and is generous enough to buy a gift, but I like the privacy of opening them alone.

William’s Christmases aren’t like the movies, or the ones I had as a kid, but we adapt to suit the kind of Christmas he needs, and we try to make it as special for him as he can handle. Separation can be hard as it usually involves two Christmases and two birthdays, but William can only just cope with one. Thankfully me and his dad are on the same page and can make plans which suit William without it turning into an all-out war and I’m grateful for that.

Last year despite the covid restrictions, William had what I can only describe as our first peaceful Christmas; everything was done at his pace… there was no rushing and no expectations. Peace and joy for all.

My tree is not yet up as I don’t know how William will handle it due to his pica and his obsessive need to eat objects, for the last few years I’ve ran interference but it’s not getting any easier. Putting my tree up is magical to me; it’s the same tree we had as children, so it brings back many happy memories for me putting on all the old but very loved ornaments and seeing them incorporated with our own newer ones.  I think my favourite is a little green one which is half open and contains the three wise men, I mean… I think they are the tree wise men, but they are so worn that they could be miniature figures of the Bee Gees. Staying alive on my Christmas tree 😂

My stand-alone ornaments have long been abandoned and are currently sat gathering dust in my spare bedroom/office, I think I may donate them to a charity shop as I imagine they will sell this time of year and I often like to take William’s old clothes and toys in for them to be sold for a good purpose and go to a good home. I used to try and sell things on Facebook but it’s not worth it as everyone wants something for nothing whether they can afford it or not.

I guess what I really want to say to you all, is enjoy the up coming festive season in any which way you decide to celebrate it.

All my love 😘 M.x

Posted in Brief updates

Divorce

🎶 And now, the end is near. And so, I face the final curtain…

Divorce is something I never thought would happen to me, it sounds silly, doesn’t it? But when I got married, like most people, I thought it would be forever despite any issues that may have arisen. I accept that It’s a little bit of an old-fashioned notion, but I came from a very happy home with two parents, and I always envisioned I would have the same kind of home for my future children.

I’ve tried to remain private about the split between William’s dad and I, until now… you won’t be getting the gory details so ft that’s what you think this post is about, then I am sorry (but not sorry) to disappoint you as only my mom and future therapist are privy to that bit of information.

William’s dad and I met as we had just reached adulthood, we met at a party just like most people did back then because Facebook had only just become a thing and tinder didn’t exist. Fast forward six years and we were married, three more and we had William, another three and we were separated, a now a year on, here we are divorced. I’m a little sad as I hold the papers in my hand, not because we are not together but because it’s not something I never thought I would do, and I feel it has ruined my thoughts on marriage because let’s face it, we don’t meet someone and think ‘gosh, you would make a great first husband’ I mean if that was going to be my intention, I would have at least married an old rich guy first, here’s looking at you Anna Nicole. 🤣

I was very grateful that at the end of our relationship, William didn’t have full understanding of what was going on, he knew things were changing and it destroyed his routine, but he wasn’t as aware as most kids his age would have been and although I am grateful, I do wonder if that was good for William or not. I spent months trying to keep William in some form of a routine and if it wasn’t for that I don’t think I would have gotten through it, it gave me a purpose, a focus. I mean it failed as it was seven months of hell, constant meltdowns, and shutdowns… he didn’t want me, he wanted his dad and that hurt, William cried, and I cried. Not for the same reasons but the same hurt non-the-less.

As time has gone on, things are much easier and we co-parent really well but as I have said before it hasn’t always been easy and we had to work on it, some days it’s not easy at all, as we are both very different people to the ones we had been when we met, when we got married and even when we separated. We just don’t really know each other anymore and that’s okay.
William has two parents who love and adore him, who would walk over glass to make sure he didn’t have to, and I guess I can’t really ask for any more than that… Do I regret marrying William’s dad? Not for a moment because I wouldn’t have William, or Rusty 🐾 I have never for a moment regretted having William. Do I regret placing so much trust in some one? Maybe. Has it made me more guarded? Yes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

William’s dad is perfectly happy with his girlfriend, and they have William on set nights at their house, I can only hope that she takes on William as if he were her own, that she will love and care for him when he is with his dad. I guess that’s all we can hope for, isn’t it? That when or if our children’s other parent moves on, that their partner is willing to take on board our child. I wanted to continue hating her but how can I? my son comes back from their house, clean, healthy, and happy, and she has a part in that. So, I am grateful to her. The situation in which she came about doesn’t affect her ability to be a good substitute maternal figure when I’m not there or maybe even one day his stepmom. None of this makes me any less William’s mom, it just means there are more people in this world who love him and that can never really be a bad thing.

I’m not sure how William’s dad feels about my partner spending so much time with his son, but I do hope that he could talk to me about it, if there was an issue because I know it’s not easy to think of someone else stepping into that role when you’re not there, but you have to think of it from a point of positivity and not a jealousy or anger. I am grateful that I have found someone to share my life with, when I didn’t think I would trust anyone enough again, let alone so soon. I am grateful that my someone perfectly complements my personality, that we can just have fun with each other because I’m not going to lie, I had forgotten what fun was. He’s a brilliant dad to Little Miss and its wonderful to witness and to be allowed to be a part of. They have embraced William and I just as much as we have embraced them, and I hope that continues for a very long time.

I will file these papers tonight with all my paperwork and it will be done… and I’m glad, albeit a bit sad but it is time to draw a line under it. It’s nice in a way to know I am no longer someone’s wife, to be able to go to bed tonight, in the arms of my boyfriend and to simply be his girlfriend is something I have been looking forward to since we started dating.

So tonight, I am saying goodbye to Mrs Buckley… but you know what they say ‘a wife is only a wife until the end of the marriage, but an ex-wife is for life’ 🤣

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Posted in Emotions

Inclusion

Let’s talk about inclusion… as an adult, I can honestly say that I genuinely like my own company. It’s much harder to end up in an argument although not impossible. 🤣

We worry about our kids been included in the playground, getting invites for parties and things of the like but as a parent of a child with special needs inclusion is something we worry about for everything. Will I be able to navigate his adaptive stroller around that shop, do the disabled toilets have a suitable changing facility? Will that cafe or restaurant understand that he may be noisy and throw his food?

I feel uncomfortable in situations in which it is obvious that William is uncomfortable, it’s mainly because I still worry about what other people think and I’m not sure that will get go away but I hope it does.

I recently attended an event, or a gathering of sorts and I had the strangest experience, something that I have never experienced before; total all-encompassing inclusion and understanding. It sounds really strange to say this, but I have taken William to places that should have been safe for us, but they weren’t. I was terrified of doing a first new place/event, as I usually am because let’s face it, I can be the queen of anxiety and overthinking and believe me I had been doing a lot of it in the run up.  What if I William had a meltdown? What if people didn’t understand?

I panic about going to my parents or big nanna’s and they’re regular occurrences so its natural that I would panic about somewhere else, I often have my mom or my friend on a standby in case William doesn’t cope with new places or people and it’s a silly thing to think I have to do but it is just one of those things.

I guess what I am trying to say is sometimes you have to take that leap of faith, whether that is faith in a person, an event or yourself. If you’re not willing to try then how will you ever experience new things, how can you write people off as not understanding your child if you’re not giving them the opportunity to do so. In a world of people that can be judgmental and cruel, there are still people who are kind and accepting, people who include our children without trying.

Inclusion is something we all crave, whether we like to admit it or not, it can be in conversation at the dinner table, inclusion in a game of football on the park or in our case it’s the inclusion into society or inclusion into people’s lives. Its something we can take for granted when we are neurotypical, I know before having William it wasn’t something I even thought about but now the thoughts can be all consuming.

Today’s post it to simply say, think about what you are doing, think about the child that you may class as a little odd, think about birthday parties and events, think about how you would feel to be excluded, then think about how it would feel if the sole reason behind it, was because of who you were; something you have no control over.

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Posted in Emotions

The Fall Down

Autumn is my favourite seasons. The leaves change, Hull fair snacks are readily available 😋 Halloween 🎃, Bonfire night 🔥 and Christmas🎄 are right around the corner. I can almost smell the fire smoke in the air. It slowly becoming acceptable to put the heating on and to start wearing woolly tights and boots. The clocks will go back and dark cosy nights with candles, blankets and movies are just around the corner.

But then again, I hate this season in equal measures, some days it can’t decide if its summer still and its too hot but its raining and there is no physical way to be dressed appropriately and, in my opinion, it is cold and flu season…. Traditionally this falls between December and March but in my house, it always starts in the September.

In this new world in which we live, you can imagine the first thing that comes to mind when you start coughing and sneezing all over the place and genuinely looking like the walking dead 💀 I can handle being poorly, I don’t handle it well, but I handle it 😂 William being poorly is a whole different ball game. He can’t tell me what’s wrong, so it is a guessing game from the moment his behaviour changes until he develops full symptoms… is it tonsilitis? Stomach problems? The flu? The thought process gets pretty dark… what if its measles? Did I see spots? What if its Corona? Or Ebola? Or the plague? Or maybe, just maybe, it’s just a common cold.

I know my reasoning is pretty extreme, but my point is that it’s just never possible to tell what is causing the issue until the issue itself become apparent. William reacts to many situations by shutting down, this means he will withdraw from almost everything, he will barely eat and will try to sleep for avoidance. This could be because he doesn’t want to do something like leave the house or partake in a certain activity but could also be because I had to trim his nails, stopped him eating carpet fibres or didn’t let him smear the contents of his nappy. In some instance it’s because he doesn’t feel well. How do we know the difference? There is one simple answer… we don’t!

Its purely a guessing game… I have to evaluate everything that has happened prior to his shutdown and try to figure out. This means I have to be ultra-conscious of what happens on a day to basis and must be switched on at all times. This still means I have to try isolate what could be the problem and act appropriately, if in fact any action is necessary. On some occasions, no matter how much I analyse what has happened, I get it wrong and its simply because he is coming down with something but with no prevalent symptoms, it is impossible to know until it fully hits him.

I’m not going lie, sometimes it’s exhausting and sometimes when he cries, I cry but that’s ok because it doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom or a failure. It means I am trying my best and that’s all we as parents can hope for.

Despite this I do love Fall just not the downs that come with it 🍂 xx

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Posted in Brief updates, Dads Journey

Co-Parenting

Today’s topic of conversation is co-parenting. I wanted to do some research into the types of co-parenting, purely to make sure William’s dad and I are doing it right and hopefully improve upon it if necessary or make sure we are at least heading in the right direction.

There are 3 types of coparenting.

High conflict co-parenting

High conflict parenting is exactly as it sounds, it’s difficult for some to put personal reasons aside and focus on what’s best for the child. This is often the style used in the aftermath of a separation. This style of parenting can be detrimental to the child and makes it almost impossible for both parents to have equal say in the way in which a child is raised. Usually in high conflict parenting relationships one parents tries to maintain control of the child and their Ex, often being unable to make a courteous, decent, or even ethical choice for their child.
I read an article recently about the signs of High conflict parents and it is usually because one or both parents are narcissists, but this article was very informative on spotting the traits of the high conflict parent.

  • The blame is always on the other person, they themselves can do no wrong and often portray themselves as the victim.
  • They lie, they often don’t think of any repercussions or simply don’t care.
  • They seem to enjoy the conflict, relishing in the attention it brings them. Their behaviour can be classed as gaslighting, using your natural emotions against you to cause a reaction. It often means its their way or no way.
  • They use your child against you, refusing or restricting access. This may also include speaking poorly of the other parent in front of the child.

Parallel co-parenting

The most common type of coparenting is Parallel Co-parenting, this is usually when two parents are unable to communicate with each other but have learned to tolerate one and other but lead two separate parenting strategies with little to no discussion. It is possible to transition from high conflict to parallel co-parenting but can take lots of work from both parties and may result in legal mediation or court ordered access rules restricting the need for the parents to communicate.

Cooperative and collaborative co-parenting

Finally, we have the category that William’s dad and I seem to fall into. Learning how to co-parent is difficult but I don’t think we really had a choice, because of Williams additional needs, we had to make sure we were on the ball with it and singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak. This is the pinnacle of co-parenting and what all parents that are separated such be aiming towards. It’s kind of weird how when we were married, we couldn’t communicate but now we do it easily and without thinking. I would even say we have a sort of friendship (we won’t be having movie nights and braiding each others hair though 🤣) Our conversations are mainly about William but we can also ask how one and other are. He even went out of the way to have William so that I could recover from my shoulder injury and the flu. Don’t get me wrong both David and I would probably agree that it wasn’t easy to begin with but just short of a year on we have it running like clockwork. 🕒

I think with the way our marriage crashed and burned that it would have been easier to slip into high conflict and then just coast through parallel co-parenting, but we persevered, and it’s paid off because it was the right thing to do.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that despite the past and any hurt, that we both consistently put William first, as any parent should, and I am grateful that we are able to do that. I remember my post announcing our split and how I wrote that we would be co-parenting, and that Williams dad would be involved in all decisions etc, but I don’t think I believed it at the time. Maybe writing it was a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Needless to say, I believe and always have done that both parents should have an equal say, rights and access to a child they helped produce and I am very proud of both myself and David for putting everything aside and working together to ensure Williams best interests are upheld and I hope we can continue to do so no matter what the future holds.

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