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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

 

 

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It’s almost Christmas! 

I’ve been rather busy, my little mind gets too flustered when I’ve got too much to think about so I’ve gave my blog a break for a bit.

But I’m back now so time for an update!

This might seem a bit all over the place but welcome to my brain!

My boy is back on medication for now as he’s been struggling socially and emotionally but he’s now back to being happy again! Yay!

Christmas food shop came yesterday! Why did I order the fresh food over a week early? I don’t know either! Vegetables and potatoes will be prepped and frozen by tomorrow! It seems like a lot of effort but I’m sure the future me will be very thankful!

It’s Christmas jumper day and Christmas meal day at my sons school today, I was dreading both and I know he also was.

He always worries about wearing the wrong thing and I get that, I’ve been there! He said he was just going to wear normal clothes and I would of let him. That was until I went shopping and spotted an awesome Christmas top of Santa doing a fortnight dance move! He loved it! As it was only a short sleeved top I pulled all of his Christmas jumpers out and found an elf one that said #elfie! He was more than happy to wear it and walked down the street with his coat undone, proud of his jumper! Success!

Next problem was Christmas Dinner! He won’t eat school dinners but I also knew that when he sees everyone enjoying themselves he’ll feel left out, what can I do to fix this problem? I slow cooked a pork joint overnight, made some stuffing this morning and he went to school with a pork and stuffing roll, (cob where I come from!) some carrot sticks, cherries, (still got to get his 5 a day in!) a mince pie and obviously I couldn’t not put a Christmas cracker in there for him! He was delighted! Mission completed!

This year we have done away with advent calanders and instead I got little Christmas tree stockings that I put a treat in each evening for the morning. They love it and it works out so much cheaper.

I think I will sign out for now so I can get something useful done!

Tomorrow I’ll be giving an update on how the Christmas jumper day went and whether I got my act together and sorted those veggies out!

Over and out!

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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The start of the process

We all have our down days and today I’m feeling that!

I was watching a ‘comical’ video of a woman who couldn’t get it together. It was supposed to be comical but all I could see is me!

I’m the most disorganised mum you can imagine! I hate it, I don’t want to be this way but I am, I also know it’s a sign of ADHD and for a while now I’ve suspected I may have ADHD and autism. As a child the signs of autism screamed at you but unfortunately I was born in the 80’s, I could talk, (thanks to speech therapy) I could walk (eventually) so nothing was done. Now, I’d of had an autistic label stuck on back in the 1st appointment because it was that obvious.

I always wondered why I was different but then I could see similarities in my son apart from we dealt with them in different ways. I would be non verbal and cry, he would lash out in frustration. I’m guessing that would be the difference between a girl and a boy.

To this very day I find life incredibly difficult, whether that’s work, domestic, social, emotionally or any other, it feels like a challenge.

I do love working but it’s fitting everything in around it that I struggle with.

I do kickboxing and yet I struggle so much with the coordination I consider quitting but the only reason why I took it up in the first place is to get my son involved and because I’m there with him, he finds it easier to cope. That’s the only reason why I haven’t quit.

My son has to get his special needs from somewhere and I think it’s about time I started on the path to figure out if it’s me or not.

It would explain so much, why I struggled socially, why I struggle to fit in anywhere, why I’m so disorganised, why I struggled in school, why I can’t focus on anything but when I am focused I’m almost obsessed, why I’ve always been extra emotional and simply why I’ve always felt different to everybody else.

Today I’m going to make that appointment which will hopefully get me on the right path.

I will blog my journey so if anybody else is feeling the same way but anxious to start the process, hopefully my road will make it a little easier for you to take that first step

 

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The ‘C’ word

Do I dare say it?!

Christmas! Oh yes, it’s very quickly approaching and please don’t say I’m the only one silently freaking out!

The older the kids get, the more expensive the presents get!

I really want to meet those parents that only spend £100 on each child! I want to know where you shop!

Although I am a single parent and have always felt the need to prove that the kids have never missed out because of that, so perhaps I do spend a little more.

I know I don’t need to though, they are great kids who are incredibly appreciative. If I could only afford one small present I’m more than positive they would understand and just be thankful for that one present. Although that makes me want to spoil them more!

I have a 9 year old who is very teenager. He’s only interested in computers, music systems and speakers etc. Whilst my 12 year old is a typical 12 year old, phone, earrings and books, she’s a massive bookworm!

Every year I say I’m going to start in May this year so it’s all done and out of the way by December! Not once has that ever happened but next year I will! No, really I will this time!

We’ve got a holiday booked for April so when I get back and the kids are back to school I’m going to be on it!

Watch this space! Not literally though, keep reading!

I know what I’m going to say right now is completely cliche but let’s be honest, does it really matter if we can’t afford much?

I know my kids would be upset if they didn’t get anything but if we weren’t together they would be devastated!

That’s what really matters, I mean yes it’s nice to sit there on Christmas day watching the kids open trillions of presents, seeing their faces light up with every bit if wrapping paper torn off.

However spending that day playing ridiculous board games, (yes I insist the board games come out on Christmas day!) eating a lovely dinner which doesn’t have to cost that much! There’s no rule to say you have to have a £35+ turkey on Christmas day! And just generally having fun!

And 9 times out of 10 the kids prefer playing with the cheap bit of plastic that’s just fell out of the Christmas cracker then the 100’s of pounds worth of presents you’ve just bought them!

I’m going to spend a little less this year on presents because if you look back on last year, what did you get? Ask your kids what they got for Christmas. See if they can remember and how many presents they can remember. My kids would remember the ‘big’ present. That’s it! Yet if I ask them what we did last Christmas, they can tell me if we went out, what games we played etc etc

Presents matter in the moment, they are soon forgotten, memories spent together last a life time.

 

 

 

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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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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.

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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!