Needless fear

Yesterday I was getting on with my day when my phone rang, I looked down at my phone and my heart starts racing.

It was my sons school.

Anybody with a special needs child will understand that feeling.

I mean, I get it, nobody wants a phone call from their child’s school, every thought goes through your head, mainly are they injured and are they sick.

With a special needs child it’s very different. Any parent of a superhero child will tell you they wish only those 2 things went through their head when they get that call!

My heart starts racing
My hands become clammy
Every possible thought goes through my head from has he been sick to is he having a meltdown and unable to bring himself out of it.

These meltdowns can be as calm as him locking himself in the toilets to get himself away from everybody to a full blown meltdown of him trashing rooms and attacking anybody that dare comes near.

Thankfully, we haven’t had the latter for nearly 2 years now. He usually locks himself in the toilet, that’s his way of saying, ‘I can’t cope and this is my way of preventing myself from doing anything I’ll later regret’
I’m very aware though that those full blown meltdowns can come back at any point.

I let the phone ring out so I could regain myself and start thinking rationally and then I called them back,

“Hi this is C’s mum, did you just call me?”

I know I sounded calm but inside my heart is thumping with the dread of what her response is going to be.

“oh hi, yes, I just wanted to let you know that those forms are ready for you to collect from reception”

Really?!
Forms?!

I was panicking and freaking out over forms?!

Now I can relax and I’ll gladly feel stupid and to say I was feeling a little guilty is an understatement!

I should believe in him far more because my goodness he has earnt it!

I class myself as lucky, I have a 9 year old with special needs who has the determination of a warrior.

I don’t give him anywhere near enough credit as he deserves. I should answer the phone thinking, have I forgot to give him his lunch/water bottle?
Instead I think what’s he done wrong/what’s happend/is he struggling to cope again?

I went to pick him up from school and his teacher said he’s had a fantastic day!
Well of course he has!
He’s my little warrior who is determined to succeed no matter what stands in his way and when life knocks him down, he gets right back up and continues fighting.

I think it’s time to stop panicking when the phone rings.

One for the women

Smear tests!

Oh dear God Lord! Why do we fear these so much?! 

The letter comes through the post and you read the words ‘we would like to invite you’ 

Invite you! It’s a smear test! Not a birthday party!

We invite you to come and take your bottom half off for a complete stranger and spread them! And I’m not talking about spreading your clothes neatly out on the bed, oh no! Spread your legs so any dignity you thought you had remaining after 2 kids and previous dreaded smear tests has well and truly gone! 

Yet when you think about it, I’ve had 2 babies, 3 pregnancies, 1 baby was induced, both babies I had the sweep with. The 2rd pregnancy I had to have an induced miscarriage, with that and the sweep, it pretty much feels the same as a smear test does. Just think how many times I’ve been in that same position of leaving my dignity behind and yet I never worried about it once. 

If we all worried about the embarrassment so much, we’d never have babies, so why is it so different for a smear test? 

The smear test could potentially save your life and yet so many of us go without it because we fear feeling uncomfortable for a couple of minutes. 

If somebody came to you and said we can do a 2 minute simple, painless test on you and it could save your life, do you want it? We would jump at the chance. 

That’s what the smear test is! A 2 minute test which could save your life. 

We need to put this embarrassment aside and if we don’t want to do it for ourselves, do it for our children, especially if you have a daughter as I think it’s massively important to give them the message that it’s just something we should do, along with paying the bills and doing the laundry. 

My daughter is 12 and she knows nothing of the smear test as yet but I will be casually mentioning it, in hope she asks questions and when she does I will tell her it’s a test only woman have to do, like the dentist and opticians, every so often you have to go and have the test done but this one is even more important because it can save your life. 

2 minutes of your life could save your life

Take the test

Usefully useless

Today, I dropped my son off at school, got home, sat down and looked around. 
My house is a mess, now the kids are back at school I can get back into a routine again I tell myself. 

I haven’t got a clue where to start. Usually I just head straight for the bin liners. My theory is if I feel like it’s a mess and don’t know where to start, it’s probably because I have too much useless stuff so the bin liners are needed!

My son is perfect at dismantling toys, having a play around with putting them back together again but he eventually gets bored and neglects them.

This is when I think, shall I throw it in the bin or is it usefully useless? Will it keep him entertained for 30 minutes whilst he’s trying to piece it back together or will he not bother and it will be more useless tat cluttering up the house! 

I look around me unknowing what to do and then I put on my gym clothes and go to the gym. 

I know, that’s not going to tidy or clean the house but it does help me think clearer. I can stick my earphones in and go off in my own little world thinking about where I’m going to start and what I’m going to do.

I come home and look forward to decluttering. I am a believer of the saying, a tidy house, a tidy mind. I’m just not very good at keeping up with it. My house is in the same position as my head – a whirlwind

I have to think positively though! A little bit of mess never hurt anyone! Yes it needs doing and yes I will feel so much better when it’s done but I’m not going to beat myself up over a bit of mess that only I care about!

Any tips on keeping my house organised? Please send them my way! 

School pressures

One child back to school but due to the teacher training day my boy remains at home.

Do you ever have your child not wanting to go back to school?

My daughter didn’t because she’s worried about the mass amount of homework she has remaining. I have to be tough though, children are like vultures! They see your weaknesses and prey on them! My daughter is a very intelligent child with potential to have a very successful future but that means she has to do well in school and that’s not going to happen if she’s not there!

I’m not a pushy parent, she’ll come home and tell me she didn’t do well on a test. My first question is “well did you try your best?” I know she always does. She tells me she did but it was hard. I tell her “well now your teacher knows where you’re struggling so it’s a good thing”
As much as I want her to do well, I don’t want her worrying because she got a C on a test that has no impact on her future.

Is it just me or do schools apply more pressure on our children now?

She was 11 years old when she first started that school and yet they started by sending home predicted grades for GCSE! GCSE exams are at 16 years old! It applies so much pressure on them as they then think they have to get them grades!
My daughter is not a child you can apply pressure on and she will do well. Take the pressure off and she does fantastic.
I am sure others can relate.

I would love to hear your opinions.

Do you think schools put too much pressure on our children?

Too much homework?

Too much worry at such a young age?

Or maybe you think it’s good for them and prepares them for the future?

Let me know what you think and you can now follow me at Instagram.com/theuselessmother and Facebook.com/theuselessmother

Come and join me as I’m a bit lonely on there at the moment!

The end

What a week! The end of half term.
It’s been a week of ups and downs. My son has struggled and the rest of us are always affected by it! It has actually got me thinking that maybe I should concentrate 1 of my blog posts on my sons ADHD and how he struggles with it and of course how we, his family cope with his bad days. I’ll definitely be concentrating on that soon.

Monday
Great day, we spent the afternoon at a big soft play centre, this is perfect for a 9 year old boy with masses of energy, he can run, climb, jump, slide and throw balls! My 12 year old however soon got bored – expected!

Tuesday
A tough day, not in a bad way though, we spent the whole day at home and yes, my son was climbing the walls! He had way too much energy that he didn’t know what to do with! I try to leave him to go crazy as much as possible, I step in if damage is going to be created or people are going to get hurt whether that may be mentally, emotionally or physically. We got through it though without anybody getting hurt or becoming upset!

Wednesday
This was much needed. Last week I booked the kids in to a sports session at the local leisure centre, it was perfect, I dropped them off and whilst they were in there getting rid of some energy I went to the gym to release my stresses! It worked perfectly and thanks to that we had a lovely afternoon at home until it was time to go trick or treating for Halloween! My daughter went off to her friends house so they could have a girly session of doing their make up and I stayed at home with my son to try and guess what he was clearly anxious about! I always figure it out eventually, sometimes it’s not as quickly as I’d like. Thankfully this time round I figured it out quickly, he was anxious about dressing up and was worried about telling me, I’d bought him a new costume and he knew if he didn’t wear it, it was going to be a waste of money, he’s right, it is a waste of money but it’s not worth the anxiety he got from worrying about it! We had a chat and then he went trick or treating dressed in normal clothes, wrapped up warm unlike his sister who was dressed for the occasion but was frozen!

Thursday
As again I booked them into a session at the local leisure centre so we stuck to the same plan! Drop them off and then I can spend an hour at the gym! I thought today was going to go as well as yesterday but how I was wrong. My poor boy has really struggled, whether it’s over stimulation or something else I’m not sure but he has a hard time keeping it together. Impulse got the better of him and he took a few of his sisters treats. I can honestly say he was far angrier with himself than his sister or I was. I sent him to bed and took 40p of his pocket money away from him so his sister could replace the sweets that he took. Once the discipline had been put in place I was almost certain that Friday was going to be a fresh day.

Friday
A relaxing last day! Thursdays drama all forgotten about. I believe the words spoken at bedtime from my boy were “you won’t see me in the morning because I’m going to stay in my room and not come out” I’m honesty not sure what kind of response he was expecting from me but it was a very simple “Ok!” well he’s not known for keeping to these threats/promises and he was the first one up!
Friday was the day to get some cleaning done, cook a nice dinner and just do something simple to keep his brain amused without over stimulating, a trip to the park round the corner was the perfect idea. Fresh air, exercise and an energy killer! The day went great, much better than yesterday, that’s definitely what we all needed!

Saturday
The weekend has arrived and I have to admit, this week has flew by! My daughter spent the day at her friends and my son went for a ride on his bike whilst I got chores done. Simple but enough.

Sunday
That’s it, week over! I always wish it went on for longer but I’m also always happy to get my routine back. I’m never excited to get back to the worry over how they’re both getting on at school but that’s just the way it is. Having a child with special needs is always going to be more of a worry than your average child but I do worry about both but for different reasons.
We never did get to the cinema but that’s OK, maybe we can do that next weekend.
As you can see we had difficult moments in the week and then really good days, there’s no consistency but nobody can remember the more challenging moments because we move past it as quickly as possible. Dragging it out doesn’t just bring 1 day down, it brings the whole week down. Crime committed, discipline given, move on. He may keep trying to bring it up but my words are always “it’s been done, learn from it and forget about it” this works as a lot of the time they try and carry it on because they are angry with themselves and don’t know how to handle it so we need to teach them that it’s ok to mess up occasionally but learn from it and move on.

One week to go!

Hi all!

Yes, second one already, I couldn’t help myself as it’s the start of half term! An October week off for our UK school kiddies.

I have to admit though, I look forward to these holidays so much. I can’t be the only parent who worries about school. Overthinking everything, how are they getting on emotionally, socially, educationally! I have one child who has special needs so a constant worry about how he is coping at school and then I have an almost 13 year old daughter. She’s pretty, kind, smart and for the whole of last year  she seemed to have no end of problems with boys! Yes that dreaded subject! Boys!

It’s a sign that my little girl is growing up and I hate it! She asked me today if she could start dying her hair when she’s 13! My answer was a very definite no! She asked why, I told her it was because she was still my little girl! She got it, she’s smart enough to know its because I don’t want her to grow up but I have no choice and she also knows I will eventually let her do these things regardless of how much I hate it because I don’t want to hold her back from finding herself like all teens should.

For all the reasons above plus many more I love the holidays, even if I can’t afford to take them anywhere, it’s nice to have the children at home with me. This week however I’ve got myself organised, I’ve booked them both in for sports events at the local leisure centre and whilst they are there I’ll go to the gym. Monday we will be going out with a friend and as my daughter and myself are Freddie Mercury fans we have to have a trip to the cinema this week! Oh and of course, not forgetting that it’s Halloween! Not my most favourite holiday but the kids love it and it gets them out of the house so I shouldn’t complain!

Sounds like a perfectly thought out week right?

Will it go to plan?

Will I be able to prevent my child with ADHD from climbing the walls?

Will my almost teen be kept entertained enough to not pick fights with her brother?

I’ll be checking back in one week to update on how half term went with the kids!

 

This is where it starts!

I guess I should start with hi! And of course welcome to my blog!

This is strange, 2 hours ago I was at my sons school helping him make a board game. I wanted to share my experience but I had nowhere to write it. That’s how I ended up here, I thought I would start a blog. I’m not the best at writing, sometimes punctuation and spelling might be a little bit incorrect but what does that matter?! I love to share my stories and I love to write about them and I hope people will love to hear about them too.

Let me explain my blog name ‘the useless mother’ this goes back to why I originally decided to create a blog. I’m at my sons school helping him with this board game, there are parents surrounding me getting on with helping their children, it was a lovely moment as not many parents get time to sit with their children and give them that valuable 1 on 1 attention for that length of time! There was another mother on the same table as me who is absolutely lovely but when I looked over at hers, you could clearly see how creative she was, her drawings were fantastic, her level of detail was brilliant. I looked at mine and my sons and he could of said he did it all by himself and no doubt he would of been believed!

My son has ADHD and dyspraxia so he really struggles with focus, self esteem, writing and using scissors, he struggles with many other things but for this story, those 4 struggles he has to fight with to succeed. Therefore we had tears, frustration and a few times he had to take himself away for a couple of minutes ro regain himself and then he would come back and continue so not only does he have a useless mother who can’t draw a stickman but he’s also fighting his own doubts about the quality of his work. Maybe me being rubbish helped him feel less inadequate. I would like to think he looked at my drawings and thought they’re rubbish and then realised that I was fine with that because that’s the best I can do and that’s ok!

Anyway, we quickly pushed on by, we got the board game done and started to play, as we were playing we were laughing and my son thought it was hilarious because I had to run on the spot for 30 seconds in front of a class of all of his friends and their parents! Adults were smiling and children came over out of curiosity because they wanted to see what our board game was all about. One of his friends wanted to play so I made an excuse to move away so they could play together, I went to the toilet, came back and there was another little boy playing with him and much to my delight, the smiling and laughing coming from that corner made all those feelings of inadequacy and frustration felt irrelevant! My son came over to me whilst giggling in excitement and said “Mummy, I chose the shout as loud as you can card but I really don’t want to do it!” his friend was standing there laughing whilst encouraging him to do it!

That’s when it clicked, realistically, our board game most likely looked the most rubbish out of everybody’s, definitely not my sons fault as all the adults had pretty much took their childs ideas and stuck it on card so all of them looked adult made. Yet our board game was the only one that created genuine levels of laughter and excitement. Nobody cared that it didn’t look as amazing as everybody else’s, it provided something so much better – genuine joy!

This is the problem, you get adults involved and it becomes competitive, everybody wants their child to have the best board game so they make it look as amazing as possible, forgetting what it’s really about. I’m guilty as well because I didn’t consider how much fun it should be, I was too busy worrying and feeling guilty about how bad it was going to look! My son made it fun because they were all his ideas, I made the odd suggestion but really not worth mentioning.

This proves, I am a useless mother when you ask me to be creative and bake the best looking cake etc etc etc but that doesn’t matter as fun, laughter and joy are the only things I want to be good at creating!