Manning up for half term
last day of term for us and I have to say it’s flown , I’ve not actually gotten back into the swing of things since the Christmas break to be honest with you , I drop the kids off each day and I’m not sure what goes on in between, but what I can tell you is ,I finish each day with a long list of jobs still not complete! By the time I drop of it leaves me 4 hrs and it’s never long enough! Like I’m juggling a million balls! But that said I do enjoy having that thinking, planning doing space I think every mum needs that , so for half terms, and any school break oscar struggles without that routine in the mornings, so we are usually up and out by 9 am anyway, and make all our play dates or visits and trips early planned, that way your back by lunch time or just after, and there’s only a couple of hours in the afternoon to fill with structured play .
Parents of children with special needs mostly dread the holidays ,purely because that amount of freedom can send your child into overdrive ,for me I love it when all my three children are off and at home, as I’m very aware that at ages 17,11,5 these days are precious and there not all going to remain in the same place for long , our family school holidays are numbered with plans to go off to college next year for my eldest ,it’s also hard to make plans as most places are busy and unsuitable in school holidays .
That said my older two children are nuerotypical, enjoy social experiences ,so it’s up to us to pad out those experiences to allow Oscar to experience them also , which is easier to type that to actually do!!!!!!there’s also the fact that oscar has Autism, I do not! And I like people! So careful management of time is required to ensure everyone is emotionally fed .
I do try and make the most of the holidays and plan them in advance so I don’t get those lonely days, where we have no plan and Oscars not sure if he’s coming or going! as that’s when the difficult behaviour comes out and it’s pure boredom and confusion ,and it’s just not fun 🙃he struggles to regulate himself even with a plan, so for us a small plan each day works ,a little structure get out meet friends or go to the park then home again , it lets oscar know where he is and feel calmer .
There aren’t many activities for Oscars age group in our area ,for special needs as he approaches 7/8 depending on his behaviour there might be ,but for now it’s up to me to plan a good balance of low key time fillers.
We have a large circle of fellow SEN parents and children we keep in contact with and we all support each other ( safety in numbers) we have accumulated these from the very beginning of our journey ,and are still adding , we keep contact with everyone , it’s also great that I have a great support network of personal friends that are not parents of special needs children as it brings balance .
There is one thing that I can safely say ,I am and that’s a people person, I’m a good friend I make sure of that , I maintain friendships and keep contact with people also on oscars behalf , as I just feel he’s richer for it ,a big network is needed for a little boy ,that’s a big deal💙
But also I feel it’s a great message to all my children ,that being a good friend and a support to others is one of the best things you can be , I wouldn’t be without my friendship square !
If you are a fellow parent, and feel a bit sparse on support or friendship! as let’s face it special needs parenting can be really lonely, you should check out some support groups in your area, and make the jump to get involved you will certainly benefit from it and others will too, as what you give you get back , I support and receive support, in many ways online , I’ve found support from all over the world , another good way is in person ( it’s good to see real people too) through your child’s school ( check if there are ways you can socialise with your child also) it’s not as hard as the alternative ( loneliness sucks )
To close this blog I just wanted to share my view, and this basically sums me up and these are my rules I go by( adapt as you wish)
school breaks are not a surprise ! Man up! Forward plan as much as possible, ask your partner to book a day or two off to break the week up, or if solo, tap into other supports make people aware you need there time so they free it up .
Don’t be a victim of your own situation, own it , being a special needs parent isn’t dictating me or where I go .
Be kind to yourself, your not a child entertainer ,don’t take too much on and invite yourself to other people’s houses don’t always play hostess .
Dont be afraid to approach other parents to suggest meeting up .
plan the week before children finish school load up on food shopping and avoid unnecessary trips to the shops! And get those small jobs complete .
plan to call in any favours you may be owed in terms of good deeds 😄grandparents perhaps babysit an hour to allow older kids some time ( stops you feeling guilty) as special needs holidays are not the same as ones past , they can be limiting .
it’s ok to have a no plans day too don’t burn out
remember you do what works, don’t be judged and don’t compare to others your situation is unique to you💙
I think this t shirt from my range is so apt
im not just an ugly face you know😃