We live many lives in one lifetime

It’s Easter holidays for the boys, but holiday for them doesn’t exactly mean holiday for me, hence I haven’t had time to write as much as I would have liked to. But that’s ok. I know once the boys are back at school I will have more time again.

But now that Joshua and I are off to Sweden tomorrow there’s something that’s been playing on my mind a lot.

That we live many lives in one lifetime.

My brother said that to me once and it really stuck with me. Boy, isn’t that the truth!
He said it during a conversation about my dad during which we talked about that we couldn’t believe how long ago its been since he died.
He died in 2004.
Before I had kids.
I still find it strange that I have a family my dad never got to know. A life he never got to see or be a part of.
My brother said, “Yes, we live many lives in our lifetime”

Our lives change and we evolve around it as a result. At least I hope so! I hope people learn and grow as they travel on their journey through life.
I know I’m a different person.
Today compared to me as a teenager,
today compared to me in my early 20s,
me as a nurse,
me as a new mum,
me loosing my dad,
me moving countries
and certainly me having children with autism.
All big life events changes who we are as a person, at least it should. We should evolve.

My husband and I found a load of missing videos from about 10 years ago when our boys were babies, a time before we moved to England. And we ended up watching them for hours. As I guess every parent feel when they watch old videos of their children we couldn’t believe our two monsters were once so little and cute! It’s hard to remember a time they were ever that small!
But for us its also a bit different.
It was a time when we were a ‘normal’ family.

Sometimes I get the question if I ever miss Sweden, or our house or other things there.
For me, its not a straight up Yes or a No.

That was a different life. I was a different person. What I miss about our life in Sweden have very little to do with the country.

Back then we were both working
We had a house we loved
and most importantly, we had two ’normal’ children: (I don’t like the word ‘normal’ because our children aren’t ‘abnormal’ now, just lack of a better term)
we didn’t know they had autism.
We had an ordinary life.
I’m not saying it was perfect, but for all we knew it was a normal life.

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Harry age 1,5
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Joshua age 3, chillin’ in our house in Stockholm

Now it’s all different.
Shortly after we moved both boys got their diagnosis and as I’ve written about it previously here , you know how different it is for us now.

So me thinking of our life in Sweden is like thinking about other people. I know it was me, but it was another me in another life. A life I can never go back to even if I wanted to. Not that I do because I love living here. I love our life here, hard and complicated as it may be.

So I can be nostalgic when I think about our life in Sweden, or when I visit, but I don’t miss it, because it was a different life with different people.

One of many lives in my lifetime

xx

 

Travelling with our kids

After Easter I will be taking Joshua to Stockholm, just the two of us.
I am looking forward to it, I am, just not as much as when I go by myself.

Travelling with children can be tricky and hard at times. Travelling with a child on the autistic spectrum requires meticulous planning.
Travelling for our children is a huge deal. It becomes easily overwhelming with all the sensory input that comes from busy airports, planes, new places, faces and languages. Not to mention all the uncertainties. What if our flight is delayed? What if the person we’re supposed to visit becomes sick?
Yes, a lot of uncertainties happens in our day-to-day life too, but it is so much easier to deal with when they’re in familiar surroundings.

Joshua loves trains. Always has, probably always will. He started to teach himself how to read at the age of 2 because he was so eager to find out what the underground signs said. That’s how committed he is to trains!
Now he’s expanded his interest to lifts. Not as much as trains, but still, it is a serious crush. He has a YouTube channel ( TheBoshmeister99) where he puts up videos of lifts and trains he’s filmed. He watches other peoples train- and lift videos. You wouldn’t believe how many videos there are out there about lifts! I’m glad he’s not the only one out there with this obsession.
He loves them.

So when we go to Stockholm, the only thing that really matters to him is to go on public transport. Yes, he cares about his uncle, cousins and everyone else we’re seeing, but what mostly matters to him is when we can go back on the underground. And because he only goes to Sweden 1-2 times per year, he want’s to make the most of it.
So when I plan our trip I have to make plenty of room for his train spotting and train rides. If we go to X’s house, maybe we can take the underground and tram to get there. After we’ve seen Y , I’ll take him on the train for a ride for a couple of hours before we go to Z…. and so on…
It’s exhausting.

I also have to make sure we don’t do too much or see too many people, because again, sensory overload. We find that the boys can only take a few hours of activities at the time and then we need to get back to ‘base’ where ever that may be. If we stay in a hotel we would go back there for a while to chill out, or if we’re staying at my brothers, we would hang out there for a while, or it can be someones else’s home, if he feels comfortable there, like my best friends for example.
Point is, there’s only so much input their brains can take and then they need to ‘re-charge’ for a while, doing something familiar. For our boys familiarities can mean playing on their iPad. Its the same games they can play at home, it’s their own device, it’s familiar and comforting.

It’s taken me a lot of travelling with them, a lot of trial and error to realise what they need. What works and what doesn’t. I sometimes still feel like they ‘should’ spend more time socialising with family, ‘should’ enjoy the scenery, ‘want’ to do other things….
But that’s not them. We, of course, encourage them to do things and be social, but it’s about finding a balance so that it doesn’t backfire.

Last year I took Harry with me to Stockholm for a few days. It was the first time we’d gone just me and him and it went really well. He’s thankfully not in to lifts and trains like his brother, so we had some more freedom to do other things. We spent a lot of time with family and friends and out in the snow. Harry was great and really enjoyed it.
Until the last day.
We were supposed to take the underground to meet up with my step-mum. But as we entered the station Harry blankly refused to go in. I tried to explain to him again what we were doing and what was going to happen when we got there. I offered him his ear defenders, which he sometimes want’s when it gets to noisy. But no. He wouldn’t have any of it. He just kept screaming and the more I tried to persuade him to go, the more upset he got. He ended up having a complete meltdown in the station and I had to carry him kicking and screaming back to my brothers place, where we were staying.
It took him ages to calm down. I just had to admit defeat and we stayed there for the rest of the day. He’d had enough. All his resources emptied and he had nothing else to give. Sure, it was a shame we didn’t get to see my step-mum but thankfully she understood, and Harry and I spent the day quietly at home.

That’s how it is for us. Finding a balance of pushing and pulling back again.
I accept that. I try not to have to high expectations of how our trips ‘should’ go.

And I never take them both on my own anymore. I take one of them, or all four of us go.
I’ve made myself sick, physically sick, with stress in the past when I’ve tried to take them both on my own. When the boys were only about 4-5 I took them on my own. We knew about their autism of course, but hadn’t lived with it long enough to know the balance of pushing and pulling, and I pushed to far.
We’d been out with family to Skansen, which is like a huge out door museum/park/zoo of all things Swedish. Kids usually love it there, but it didn’t take long before I realised that the boys had had enough, sensory overload and all that, so I decided to take my two and leave. Well, we were half way back through this park, when Joshua decided to run off. And this place is huge! Especially when I’m chasing a five year old, with no sense of danger what so ever, whilst carrying his almost 4 year old brother!
I caught up with him in the end, and after a good telling off, we went back to my brothers where we were staying. But I’d been so terrified and I got so stressed about it that the next morning I woke up sick as a dog. The whole day I was so sick and still had to take care of my two, in someone else’s home. It was awful. And I swore to never go with them on my own again. And I haven’t.

And yes, kids run off all the time no matter what country they’re in, and ours have too. Harry has run off more times than I can count.
But when we go back to Sweden, I want at least a chance to see my friends and family and catch up a little, otherwise what’s the point?  I want to see the people I love and care about and don’t see every day. And if I can do that and not be stressed to a point of physical sickness, I’d rather do that.

So, travelling with our boys is about finding a balance, and try not to have to high expectations.
I am really looking forward to this trip, and Joshua is beyond excited which puts a smile on my face. His excitement is contagious. He might be mostly looking forward to all the train rides, but I am mostly looking forward to spending some quality time with him, and having a good catch up with our family and friends.

I will let you know how it goes.

xx

To live my life on purpose

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Harry and I out living purposefully in the rain!

I’ve chosen to call my blog, ‘my life on purpose’, because it’s something I try really hard everyday to implement.
My goodness its been a long road for me, I mean, I’m in my late 30s and it’s not until the last say 3 years that I really started to work on myself and my mindset. I mean really work.

I was tired of letting things just “happen” to me and around me.
I don’t believe in victims.
Now, of course I’m not talking about ‘real’ victims of crime or abuse. Those are very real. I’m talking about people who put themselves there. People who just let things happen to them and feel sorry for themselves when things around them fall apart. I’m talking about the ones that blame everyone and everything else and don’t take any responsibility them selves. The bitter ones. the ones believing there are outside forces conspiring agains them
It might sound harsh.
But life doesn’t just “happen”. We make choices every day that move our life in one direction or another.
You can’t control everything that goes on in life, but you can control how you respond to it!
And you have to take responsibly for your life. You have to live your life purposefully.
Yes, life is unfair. Yes, life is hard. We can not control other people or all the bad things that are happening in this world. The only thing we can control is how we respond to it.

No, its not always easy. And yes, there might be a long road ahead with a lot of self reflection, but what else are you going to do? Blame the world and everyone in it for your misfortune?

I (try to) have this ‘No Complaint – Rule’; If I have a problem, I can complain about it once, then either do something about it and if thats not possible, change my attitude about it.
Simply complaining doesn’t solve anything.
Please understand, this isn’t me saying that you can’t or shouldn’t talk about your problems. But talking and complaining are not the same things. Talking is good; talking and venting can lead to a conscious choice of positive action. Complaining can tend to mean that you stay in exactly the same place, but you’re just even more unhappy being there.

It’s been a long road for me, and in the short run its been easier to crumble and feel sorry for myself at times. But I’m working hard at not being that victim.
For instance: I’m not rich, living a life of luxury. But who’s fault is that? Mine! I can not blame my parents for not being rich. Sure, a lot of people are born in to money and yes, it might seem unfair. But plenty of people got them selves there! I didn’t! Because I didn’t make those choices in life which can lead down a road of wealth. I chose to become a nurse, not invest in the stock market. I chose a common man to marry (sorry Richard, no hard feelings 😉 ) not a rich guy, or do anything else that might have made me rich. I made the choices. I can not blame anyone else.

Ok, so our boys have autism and various difficulties. I can not change that! But I can change my attitude towards it.
My career plans didn’t work out as I’d expected because of various reasons. I did probably complain about that, which is fine, but I also weighed up my options and came to the conclusion that at this moment in time, being home with the boys is what I need to do and I adopted my attitude around it. So instead of being bitter because I’m sitting here with two professional qualifications but not working with either of them, I try to embrace all the things I can do.
Even when I suffered from depression a couple of years ago, once I realised that, I did something about it. No, it wasn’t easy to admit that I needed help, but when it affected my family and not just me, it was my responsibility to make sure I did everything I could to get better. And therapy was the best thing I’ve ever done.

I don’t mean to make it sound easy, because it’s not, and I have bad days and good days. Some days I do feel a bit bitter and sorry for myself. But my mindset is one in progress and in the long run I always come back to what I’ve already said: I can not control everything around me, I can only control my response.

To live my life on purpose, not just let my life happen to me.

I know and understand that some people are more prone to negative behaviours because of their early environment. I won’t go in to the really heavy stuff, because like I said, I’m not talking about real victims. But what ever the childhood environment, at some point these children grow up, become adults and responsible for their own actions. Their road to self reflection and responsibility might be a bit longer, but childhood trauma shouldn’t be an excuse for destructive adult behaviour. It might explain it, but it is not an excuse.
I say it again:
You can not control other people, you can only control how you respond.

Not being a victim of how unfair life is to some. But make the most of what we’ve got, be grateful for big things and small, and make conscious choices every day to get us in the direction we want to go.

No, I am certainly not perfect, and I do not always react in a mature manor. But I own up to it, I take responsibility for my actions.
I am the only one responsible for my life and I really try to live it on purpose.

 

I love this one
Jack Sparrow knows it!

xx

Lets step out of our comfort zone

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I sense a Kung Fu Panda theme this week! But bare with me..

We took the boys to see the 3rd one this weekend and even though it is a children’s movie I can’t but help being inspired by it. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry I won’t spoil it for you 😉 I will just mention this: At one point ‘Master Shifu’ said to ‘Po’:
“If you only do what you can do you will never be more than what you are”

What a great line!

I think most of us have heard the supposed quote by Albert Einstein that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” or lots of other similar “If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done” kind of quotes. But what I liked about what ‘Master Shift’ said is that its about who you are as a person, to evolve in to something more. What a lot of people don’t realise is that by stepping out of our comfort zone, we can not only do more we can be more! It is only out of that comfort zone we can evolve as a person. Step out of it to not only do more or better, but to be more or better.

Sometimes we are thrown out of our comfort zone by other forces and sometimes we step out of it consciously. A simple example of this can be exercising. Yes, it is out of our comfort zone where our body grows and change, we have to constantly try to get out of that zone, run faster or longer, or lift heavier weights, to get our body to change or as I quoted Einstein earlier; you can’t do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. You have to push that limit.
And I love to push that limit. I love to lift a little heavier than I did last week, or squeeze out that extra rep. But not simply because I want my body to change, but because what it does for me mentally. When I can do things physically that I couldn’t do before, Imagine what I can do mentally! I am stronger and more capable than I thought!

Moving is another example. Yes, moving to England from Sweden was scary, and definitely out of my comfort zone. It would have been so much easier to stay put and plod along with our every day life in Sweden. But we decided we needed to move if we wanted what lies beyond that initial discomfort. And boy, did I grow from that experience.

Although, sometimes we are thrown out of our comfort zone by things beyond our control. Like when our boys were diagnosed with autism. That was hard as hell, and I sure did not want to step in to that zone initially. But I had to, and once I did and embraced it, it made me grow.
Another saying is, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
Well, kind of. It only makes you stronger if you let it. If you choose to take the hard lessons in life as an opportunity to grow and learn from it. Otherwise we stay in our comfort zone.

This is a shift in mindset of course. I used to be far to comfortable with being in my comfort zone. I felt safe when I stayed put. This probably had to do with my terrible self esteem and lack of self worth. Growing up I didn’t believe I could achieve anything. I could probably talk the talk but not walk the walk. Terrible self esteem. And I was never pushed or encouraged to believe I could achieve anything. It was deep rooted in me that I was nothing special.
But slowly as I grew up and had to be forced out of my comfort zone, slowly a mindset shift happened. To become a better version of myself. It’s been a long road, a lot of work and I am not fully ’there’ yet. I still tend to not embrace change as well as I’d like to, but I’m working on it. Because how else will I grow, evolve, to be more than what I am?
Or as Oprah Winfrey said it: “The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.“

xx

This weekend was a win

Richard and I took our boys to see Kung Fu Panda 3 this weekend. Taking our boys to the cinema is always a bit risky and if we can go all four we try to do it and not just one of us with the two boys.

A couple of years ago, while Richard was travelling I took the boys to see Paddington, or should I say I tried to take them. Both had said they wanted to go, but as we got there, Harry just decided that No, he wasn’t going. I will never know what made him change his mind, but he blankly refused to even enter the cinema. He ended up having a complete meltdown outside and my only option was to tell Joshua that I’m sorry but we can’t go in. Joshua, who really wanted to go and had his heart set on in, got really upset and started screaming and crying how unfair it was and why should Harry always get his way? I tried to explain that it just wasn’t doable, I couldn’t have Harry in the cinema in complete meltdown mode! But Joshua of course didn’t understand that, so there I am, with both boys crying their eyes out and I can’t please any of them! We ended up going home of course, and I felt like a complete failure as a mum.

Last summer we took them to see Jurassic World, it was the first ‘grown up’ movie we’ve taken them to see and they were both so excited to see it. We made it in to the theatre, and we occupied Harry with a tub of popcorn so he would sit still which worked quite well, but about half way through, Joshua leans over to me and whispers: “I’m a bit bored”
!?
This is a action packed movie filled with cool dinosaurs running rampage! How can he be bored?!
But to look at it from an autistic point of view, it is a lot going on, in fact too much. People on the autistic spectrum can’t filter all of lives inputs like us ’neurotypical’ can. They see, hear, feel, smell everything and have trouble sorting the informations as to whats important and whats not. So in an action packed movie like that, it is simply to much input. Sensory overload. His brain had had enough and he couldn’t see the forrest for all the trees anymore. Hence the boredom.

A few years ago, Richard took both boys on his own to the cinema. This was quite early on on our autism journey and we didn’t quite understand how they experienced the world, so this was before we knew the importance of ear defenders, which they now always wear at the cinema to lessen their sensory input. It all got a bit to much for Harry about half way through the film and he wanted to leave. Joshua didn’t want to leave, and Harry ended up screaming the place down to which point poor Richard had to carry them both out of the theatre, kicking and screaming.

All these experiences really makes us think both two and three times before we decide take them to the cinema.

All their lives they have struggled to watch a film all the way through the first time, which we now know is for this reason. They could watch a new movie a few minutes in, then the next time they saw it they could watch a little bit more, and so on until one day they could watch the whole film. Of course by then they’d probably watch it, or should I say part of it, probably 10 times. And being on the autistic spectrum they like and take comfort in watching the same thing over and over and over. So then they started to watch the whole film, over and over and over. Thats why we always bought their films instead of renting them and ended up with a massive library of childrens movies, because we certainly got our moneys worth! And I know probably a hundred kids movies by heart, haha. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen Cars, or “Many Bil” as Joshua used to call it when he was little. (“Many” because, well, there was a lot of cars in the movie, and “Bil” because thats swedish for car)

They still like the familiarity of watching something over and over, wether it being a movie, a youtube video, a song or a game. For us it gets a bit boring and repetitive, but for them it’s comfort-knowing what’s coming next, what to expect. They live in a world of so many uncertainties and doing something repetitive brings comfort.

So this weekend when we took them to the cinema, seeing them laughing and enjoying a film for the first time, that for us was a huge win!

xx

Good morning?

Mornings

Love them or hate them?

I looove mornings! Love!

I think deep down I’ve always been a morning person. Sure, as a teenager or as a late-night/early-morning partying 20-something I wouldn’t exactly jump out of bed at sunrise, but I think I’ve always felt that the mornings are my most productive and happiest time of day.

Benjamin Franklin wrote: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”, and I’m sure that rings true for many, it certainly does for me. I think…hmm…maybe not, I’m not ‘wealthy’ and I’m not to sure about ‘wise’, but hey, you can’t have it all, haha!
But the mornings are when I’m most alert, present and able to focus. Later on in the day so many other things grab my attention away from what I actually set out to do. Like writing this blog. I just can’t focus as well later on in the day.

So morning person or evening person? Or ‘Lark’ and ’Night Owl’ as modern scientist tend to call these two groups.

I think every (wo)man for her/himself have to figure out where they belong on the ‘lark’ vs ‘night owl’ spectrum. If you do feel like getting up early is what would make you happier and more productive, but you’re not quite there yet, then read a few books or articles to help you get there. I have read my fare share of ‘self help’ books and needed a while to figure out when a good time for me to get up is and tap in to the real lark in me.
Getting up early feels more natural to me. If I stay in be later than 7am I feel like half the day has passed and therefore my window of productiveness.

My dad was a true lark and I remember one time when I was about 16, he woke me up at 7.30am on a Saturday morning during one of my weekends at his house, saying: “Anna, are you going to sleep all day?!”
I finally understand him! Ha!
I didn’t then of course, and as a teenager I certainly needed more sleep than I do now. As all teenagers do.

I can’t wait for the day our boys starts sleeping in!
Imagine all the things I could get done if I didn’t have to worry about the boys first thing! I could get on with my stuff and by the time they’re up I’m all done!

But both our boys are ‘larks’
Although Joshua tends to stay in his room, he’s usually up by 6-7am.
Harry wakes up really early, usually comes in to our bed sometime between 3-5am and hopefully goes back to sleep. Now this is a problem, because I get up at 5am every morning, 6am on a weekend. And if Harry is in our bed he wants cuddles, lots and lots of cuddles. I do cuddle him for a while before I declare my intention of getting out of bed and usually he’s fine with it and he turns to cuddle Richard instead, provided he’s there. But I do feel bad for leaving him.
I leave hoping that Harry will to go back to sleep and wake up at about 6.30, but that doesn’t always happen.
I try to make up for my lack of morning cuddles by giving him plenty of cuddles during the day and when i put him to bed, but I have to admit it’s really hard to leave a warm, cosy bed when it’s still dark out. Summer time is a bit easier.

So what do I do in the morning, I hear you ask?
Well it depends.

I used to get up early to go for a run. Not every day but a few times a week and I used to feel so much better for it.
I can’t run anymore because of my dodgy knee, but sometimes I have a workout or go for a walk. On the weekend I usually get up early to go for a walk while I listen to a podcast, or I do yoga.

Now I’ve set up a pretty good routine of getting up at 5am on a weekday and here’s what I usually do:

I make myself some green tea
I meditate
I write in my Journal and I plan my day a head.
I write this blog.
I read, a non-fiction book or an inspirational article.
I put some laundry on
I chuck the bread that’s been proving over night in the oven so it’s ready for (the boys)breakfast.

Most importantly, I start my day gently. I don’t have to rush around. When I’ve had some time to do my things, I feel set and ready to start my day. At 6.30 I get myself ready, make breakfast, pack lunches, help the boys get dressed etc.

I know some people my read this and think “5AM?! But thats insanely early! I could never do that”
I’m not saying you should. Every one is different and this works for me.
Lately Richard has been getting up a bit earlier than usual just to get in to work an hour early and get on with his work before the hustle and the bustle of the day sets in, and he feels so much better and less stressed for it. Maybe you can have think about your own morning routine. Could you set you alarm a little earlier and get a head start, or to simply not having to rush?

If you need any tips I’m more than happy to help, or if you have any comments I’m happy to hear them.

Good morning!
xx

I feel like I need to explain myself…

I recently gave up my job. I had thought about it for a long time. I think I thought about it ever since I went back to work a year and a half ago after being a stay-at-home mum for five and a half years. Not because I’m lazy or don’t want to work, but because sometimes we have to change our priorities in life.

Before we moved to England 7 years ago we lived in Sweden, where I worked as a nurse. But when we moved we decided that I would stay home as long as needed for the boys to acclimatise to their new country. But then the boys got their autism diagnosis and our life changed. Harry was three, Joshua was four.
Things didn’t turn out the way we’d planned.
So I ended up staying home for over 5 years because our boys needed it and because it is so hard finding something that would suit us as a family. I knew I didn’t want to go back to nursing. It’s not what I really want and realistically a nursing job would require a lot more both in time and energy than I can give. I want to do something positive and now was the time to follow my passion so I became a Personal Trainer. Now, that’s still what I want to do eventually, but at that moment it didn’t quite workout the way I’d planned, for reasons I’ll cover at another time.

Then I found a job working in a school kitchen. Great! All hours while the kids were at school, all the holidays off, it seemed perfect on paper. Not so much in reality.

Here’s the thing. Having children with autism and ADHD is not easy. It’s never easy, and it will never be easy.
Our children don’t socialise. Not like other children do.
After school clubs barely exist in our world.
Play dates don’t exist in our world
We have no grandparents near by to help us out.

Our boys are now 11 and 9. But they are not like other children their age:

Harry is quite a social boy, but he doesn’t have the communication or social skills to play independently with his peers, not for very long at least. And even though he has a few friends, most with autism themselves, I could never leave him in the hands of another parent, they would have enough on their plate without having to look after Harry as well:

He is a flight risk, he has escaped several times and is very good at working out escape routes from any given situation.
He has very little sense of danger.
He might act aggressively and violently if things don’t go his way
He doesn’t understand ‘common sense’

For all these reasons and more he can not do any activities after school, unless I am there too. (Apart from once a week when he does an after school club for one hour at his school which is a special needs school, so it is of course catered for children like him)

Joshua goes to a mainstream school, but he doesn’t socialise. He doesn’t have friends. He never plays with children after school. Even though he’s now 11 we still don’t feel he’s mature enough to walk to school by himself. School is very hard for him. Not academically, but because of all the pressures of the day to ‘keep it together’, stay focused, not be bothered by other children, noises, events, and so on.

When he comes home in the afternoon, he’s exhausted. Trying to get him to do homework can be like World War III!

The boy is the laziest child I’ve ever known. He will not voluntarily move all day unless we make him. He is not overweight by any means but all that sitting all day is not healthy. Walking to and from school is his only exercise, apart from PE, or the occasional bike ride at the weekend with us.

So everything we do as a family is a struggle. Very rarely something goes smoothly. And when I came home from work, I was tired, but like all working mothers I still had more work to do. Their whole life depends on us. And if we didn’t have the energy or time to play, do homework, cook, encourage (lets face it, NAG, haha) battle every. single. thing. Then who would?

Now add everything else that needs to be done as a special needs parent:

Review meetings
Parent – Teacher meetings
Form filling (There’s a lot!)
Dentist appointments (our kids go more often than regular kids)
Doctors appointments (again, more often than regular kids!)
Countless workshops for parents of children with special needs
And the occasional playdate, because, like I said, they can’t go without me
and so on…

This is why I gave up my day job.
To be able to be there for the boys wholeheartedly. So I can go to that workshop. So I don’t have to hoover, do the laundry, have my dentist appointment, or workout when I should be with them.
Now when they come home from school, I can focus on them and their needs. I don’t snap “What?” the tenth time Harry calls “Muuum!” Well… not as much anyway 😉

It wasn’t an easy decision.

It was nice to go to work, distract my mind and not just be an autism mum. BUT in the big picture:

1) We are very fortunate that I don’t have to work. We’re not rich by any means, but we can survive on one salary. Ok, so we can’t go on a big family holiday every year, but I get to spend quality time with my boys every day!

2) What matters in life? Money, or your family? Is anything more important than the wellbeing of you children? And since our children are different, we have had to adapt around them.

3) Nursing or working in a school kitchen weren’t my dream jobs. Now I can spend time figuring out what I actually want to do with my time. Again, I know this is a luxury most people can afford, but I see it as a pleasant side effect of 1)

We all have to make sure we make the choices in life that suit us and our families and not what other people think we should do. It is Your life, so live it on purpose!

xx