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The panic of Christmas

This is where my name comes from, ‘The useless mother’

Right at this moment, I feel useless!

I feel like there’s so many jobs that need doing and I don’t know whether it’s because of my lack of organisational skills or its just this time of year.

It’s overwhelming either way.

I’ve got a house to clean, presents to wrap and I know I’m going to have to nip out at some point and pick up those forgotten bits, plus so many more jobs!

I was relying on tomorrow, kids were going to their dad’s, it’s a great day for completing these jobs.

That’s until he sent me a message informing me that he can’t have them because his girlfriends parents are coming!

Really?!

Now I might be being unreasonable here but I thought as a parent you adjust life events around your children, not the other way round!

I honestly don’t understand why he can’t still have them!

It angered me that much I didn’t dare reply as I knew I’d put something I’d later regret.

The kids still don’t know but for them, it’s a good thing, they’ll be happy they’re not going.

So that’s tomorrow out of the window but it’s fine, we’ll make it fun, we’ll get Christmas songs blasting out, which reminds me, I did introduce my kids to a new Christmas song yesterday! Probably not my finest mum moment but they did love it after the initial shock! Mr Hanky, the Christmas poo!!

If you don’t know it, YouTube it! Although you probably won’t know whether to thank me or not!!

Anyway, back on to subject (scrolls up to see what I was talking about) ahh yes, tomorrow! Christmas music blasting out and I’ll get the kids to help me, it’ll be fun! She says!

In reality it’ll probably be me and my son doing the cleaning and my daughter sitting there crying because I’ve asked her to pick up a shoe! I’ll spend that much time trying to motive her, I’ll get barely anything done, panic and then scream at her like a maniac on the loose!

This is how it usually goes!

We do have the very odd time where she gets into it and is helpful and thoughtful and I’m mega proud of her.

When those moments do happen they are that rare that I end up making some stupid, sarcastic comment which I know isn’t helpful but I just can’t stop myself! I’m working on it! I do make sure I tell her that I have noticed and I am extremely proud.

We definitely always need to remember to tell our kids how proud we are. I always tell my children and every single time their faces light up, it’s a confidence and self esteem boost, it’s always a feel good moment when somebody acknowledges something you have done and appreciates it, no matter how small the task may be. We all need it but children mostly. It wire’s their brains so they grow up wanting to do good.

It’s time for me to disappear and get some wrapping done.

Have a very happy weekend

 

 

It’s just one week! 

It’s been a tough week!

My son is struggling again with his ADHD, maybe it’s time to introduce the medication again, even if it’s just to get him though a patch he is clearly finding difficult. We’ll see, no rushed decisions. 

He’s been struggling in and out of school and this week I just don’t have the patience for it. I’ve struggled to keep it together and remain patient, understanding and be the parent I know he needs me to be. 

I know I have to be that parent otherwise everything falls to pieces. I’m not naturally patient or calm. I’m naturally a shouter and when I say jump, you jump. That doesn’t work for him, everything has to be worded correctly to his understanding. 

I’ve been that parent for 2 years now and I’ll admit, I’m tired! It’s hard work because what I say and what I want to say have to be 2 very different things! 

He’s just recently got into the habit of throwing himself down the stairs everytime something doesn’t quite go his way. Luckily with my stairs, there’s only a few at a time so it’s not a full staircase.

This is new, I’m working on ignoring it and praying he doesn’t actually really hurt himself and hopefully he’ll realise, that’s not getting him anywhere! I know he doesn’t actually hurt himself, I figured that out the other day when my patience was still intact and I went down to find him laying half way down the stairs claiming to of really hurt his ankle, but very quickly got over it when I made a joke about it! What can I say? I’m that hilarious my humour can mend damaged ankles!

I know I’m probably just having an off week and it’s overflowing on to him (or the other way round!) but I need to get back to what he needs fast and I will! Just give me the weekend to refresh. I’ve decided to spend the morning at the gym tomorrow hoping I will come out feeling like I can take on the world. 

I understand that one, off week isn’t the end of the world, I’m only human and I probably have it a little bit tougher than your average parent so I’m going easy on myself but I still need to get back what he needs. 

I think a lot of us parents are too tough on ourselves, not just me. 

Parenting is a tough job and some take it on more naturally than others, it doesn’t make you a bad parent. 

I’ve been beating myself up over this week but when it comes down to it, he wouldn’t of come on this far without my patience and willing to spend hours of my time educating myself on what he needs and what I have to be to make it work and of course putting it into action and never giving up. 

Moral of the story. Don’t beat yourself up over one bad day or week, look back on what you have done and pat yourself on the back because your child/ren would not be where they are now if it wasn’t for your constant love and support 

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Step one

Yesterday I said I was going to make that phone call and I did, my appointment is 2.30 on Friday afternoon.

That’s the first step made!

I was rather impressed they got me in so quickly! I was expecting to have to wait at least 2 weeks.

Now I have to prepare myself. I’m very good at making appointments, getting in there and then all words fail me!

I know what I’ve got to do, it’s just making sure I get my point across clearly and they understand I’m being serious. Something I’m not so good at!

I know I’ll get questioned about depression as this can have the same side effects as ADHD and I’ll have many weeks/months of seeing a therapist but I understand this is the process of adult diagnosis.

If I’m quite honest, I’m not sure how I’ll feel if I get a diagnosis, probably mixed emotions of feeling relieved that theres answers and annoyed that I’ve struggled for 35 years not knowing why.

On Friday, step 2 will happen – getting a referral.

Everything in baby steps so if feels far less scary

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Neither for or against

When I started blogging I thought if I’m going to do this I’m going to make sure it’s always honest and real.

Unfortunately sometimes that may mean I might bring up some controversial subjects but it’s ok to disagree, if everybody agreed on everything, life would get a little bit boring!

ADHD and medication
Yes, there you go I said it!

This is always going to be a subject that people disagree on.

When my son was first diagnosed with ADHD the pediatrician recommended that I tried medication out to get the ADHD under control.

As any parent would I asked questions, did any bit of research I could but that confused me more as you’d find something that was pro medication and then you’d look at something else to find it against medication. It makes the whole process very confusing and to top it off, you ask the pediatrician for advice and she looks at you like you’re stressing over nothing.

I had his school telling me that I didn’t have any other options to because the ADHD was so out of control.

That was wrong of them. It is not up to the school when you’re are making the decision to put drugs into your child or not.
If he was ill and the drugs were there to make him better than fair enough but he’s got ADHD! It’s not a sickness.

I have to try and figure out if this is what’s best for him or not.

I came to the decision that there was only one way to find out – give him the medication.

The first day went great, he actually sat and watched a whole TV programme without getting distracted or bored. That was new!

When the medication finally left his system, all hell broke loose. I had to send my daughter to her room because I feared for her safety. I instinctively knew what to do, let him go on the rampage whilst keeping him away from my daughter until he runs out of steam.

It worked and then he dropped to the floor crying whilst still trying to fight.

I laid on the floor with him and put my arms around him holding him tight. He tried to fight me off but eventually gave up and held on to me as tightly as he could.

I could feel all that anger and frustration leave his body and mind.

It was one of the most heartbreaking moments I have had with him and it was because I gave him that tiny little pill called Medikinet.

I said I would never give him one of those again. I would rather put the extra effort in all day then have an amazing easy day with him and have that when it wears off.

The following day I did some more research and realised that perhaps I was giving up too easily.

Maybe his brain just had to get used it so I gave it another chance whilst this time prepared for the worse.

For sure enough he was much calmer when it had left his body. I was right, he just had to get used to it. So in the day time he would be focused and calm and by the evening, I’ve got my hyper little dude back

I thought this could work! Perfect for school!

He was on it for the whole year and did amazing, his grades went from just below average to almost above average, he was making new friends, he was much more manageable. He was doing amazing! I was so relieved that first day didn’t scare me off!

Then it all changed, he started refusing to take the medication, we had discussions about why he needs to take it but he still really didn’t want to.

I asked him why.

His response was ‘I don’t feel like me when I take it, it stops me from having fun and enjoying myself’

That was it, I had a chat with the school and they discouraged me from taking him off of the medication.

I then spoke to the pediatrician and she said, his problems with focusing again will start so she also discouraged me from taking him off of the medication.

I went home and thought about it. Just because the issues are there doesn’t mean they always have to be resolved with medication. Sometimes I do believe it’s absolutely necessary but not always.

He will just need to have more support and the school should give him that rather then relying on medication.

I took him off the medication. I want my boy to do well in school but I’d rather him be an average grade student and be happy then an above average grade student feeling miserable.

I didn’t tell the school because I thought, everytime he slips up, they’re going to blame it on the fact he’s not on medication.

To this day they still think he’s on it and I’m more than happy with that because they are working with the real child and he’s learning how to fight and use his ADHD to his advantage.

I’m still open to giving him the medication if I think he’s struggling too much and it’s causing him to be unhappy or even if he comes to me and asks me for it.

I’ve read the pros and cons of medication.

This is neither.

This is saying it’s amazing for some but not for others. Like my boy, there may be moments when it’s needed but it’s not necessary on a permanent basis

If it was up to me, my son would still be on it because it helped him so much but he gave it a chance and agreed that it helped him but it made him unhappy which is not what my aim is.

Whatever your view on medication, remember most parents are doing their best for their child. They’re not looking for an easy way out! That’s not what it’s about. Medication is there to help our children focus and find life that little bit easier.

Many parents already feel the guilt of medicating their child but most of the time, they feel like they’ve gone through every other option.

For my boy, I do believe the meds did their job, we wanted to get the ADHD under control and they did just that.

So although, we can get by without the medication now I’m not sure we would be where we are today without them.

Maybe one day we might need them again but for now, he can enjoy life without them

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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

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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! 

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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!

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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.

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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!