Its Been Hard

I am not the kind of person who moans and complains about my life, I have always been of the mindset that you deal with the cards you have been dealt in life and just get on with it. But if the last 11 months has taught me anything it is that its OK to say that you're not OK, that you feel like throwing your kids out of the window, or just walking out the door and never coming back! I say the first in partial joke, I would never throw the kids out the window, but they have driven me to want to!! I have no shame in saying I have come close to walking out the door several times in the past 11 months. I know I am not alone and there are lots of other people in our situation, but right now it does feel like that, it feels like I am the only one in the world who is struggling. I feel like I have been pushed to the very edge of my sanity and I'm not sure how to get it back again! I'm not the best at asking for help either, I am the one people come to for help so admitting I want or need it usually gets brushed aside.

Balancing the needs of my entire family weighs heavy on my mind, the needs of 3 autistic children, all whos needs are VERY different from one another.  Our house has always run in a very finely honed schedule, it is how we get through the day, how we get through the week and ultimately how we get through life! It's a schedule we have all, autistic or not become accustomed to and a routine that is abundantly clear we all very much need. School is a major part of that routine, that 6 hours a day is a massive part of their schedule, its structure, respite, fun and learning all in one, very different from the routine we have at home. They know their home routine, they all filter in from school and we slide right into our home routine, the same at weekends, everyone knows what they want to do. I'm a full-time stay at home Mum as well as a carer for the kids, but when they are at school that little 6 hours is my time, whether that be having a brew with my mate, a phone call with my Mum, writing my blog or just cleaning the house, it was my 6 hours. Oh boy have I missed those 6 little hours!

I am very fortunate that 1 of my children has been able to go to school full time all the way through, sadly that's not been the case for my 3 other children who so desperately needed it. Spud, who doesn't have autism, wasn't entitled to a place at all. which meant 100% home school. I was sad for him, school is a big part of normality for him, he lives with 3 autistic siblings and our lives are dominated by them in every aspect, so for the past 3 months, he has had no let-up from the trials of living with them. Pops has especially struggled and when she struggles the WHOLE house knows it. She's a verbal struggler, so the past 3 months have been full of screaming, swearing, biting, spitting, pulling her hair and looping the same section of tv shows constantly. There hasn't been a whole lot of homeschooling going on with her, as she just doesn't have the attention span to sit at the table and do it. I  managed to get her into school 2 days a week, which was a huge help, she goes to an SEN school, so the whole school has an EHCP, so there was no way to get her in every day like my other child who has an EHCP. For L, who is in his 1st year of college there was no option to attend college, it was straight online for him. He has struggled a bit, he likes the social aspect of college, so he has missed his pals. Lockdown has made him feel isolated.

We all gave a huge sigh of relief when we heard that schools are set to reopen. I know many are opposed to the move, but I think my kids, my families children and lots of friends children certainly need this. I have 2 going back on Monday and 2 on Wednesday, I am SO looking forward to Wednesday, it will be the first time since December 19th that there will be no children in the house!! I intend to fully appreciate the silence! I am hoping we all just fall back into routine and happiness and harmony will resume. We are just all hoping this will be the last time we will be returning from homeschool, we can all only hope!

Thanks For Reading

Mandy

xx

                                                                                                                      

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