You’ve Got This

To the mummy who is worried about whether her decisions are right. They are. Your decisions are always right, because you know your children best, because you love them the most. Because every decision you make, you make with them in mind. You’ve got this. Decisions are tough but you can do it.

To the mummy who hasn’t got dressed today. It’s ok. Sometimes a day off is exactly what you need. It’s ok to take time out, to hide from the world. To watch TV, to read a book, to cuddle on the sofa, to eat rubbish food. Tomorrow is a whole new day. Today was you getting ready to face it. You’ve got this. You can do it.

To the mummy who wonders whether to stay at home or go back to work. You can do this. If you are happy, your little one will be happy. Banish that guilt. There is no right and wrong. You’ve got this. Shower your little ones in kisses and follow your dreams, at home or at work, whatever works for you.

To the mummy who worries that her child doesn’t eat. You can do this. You can smile at mealtimes and make them fun. You can prepare endless meals that will never be eaten. You can hide in your bedroom and have a cry. But you’ve got this. You can do it. It may take a while but you will get there. You are strong enough and so are they.

To the mummy who is worried that her child doesn’t play. You will find a way. It’s hard at first but you will find a way round it, a way of playing with them on their own level, a way of creating new games. One day, they may surprise you and play your games too. But for now, you’ve got this, it’s ok to do it their way.

To the mummy who hasn’t slept. I know it’s hard, oh so hard. But it will get easier. Your child won’t always wake in the night. One day you will get to sleep again, hey one day you’ll even be the one that gets to wake them. Grab the chocolate, grab the coffee and be kind to yourself. You’ve got this. You can do it.

To the mummy whose partner has left. It’s ok, you’re allowed to be sad, you’re allowed to be hurt, you’re allowed to be angry, you’re allowed to be scared. Give yourself time to feel everything you need to feel. It won’t always be like this. You will recover. You’ll find a happiness greater than you ever imagined. You are strong, so very strong. You’ve got this.

To the mummy who worries that she doesn’t know what do do. Let me tell you a secret, we’re all just winging it, every single one of us. And that’s ok, because there are no rules, each child is different, each mummy is different. This is the one time in your life you get to make all the rules, and be sure they are right. You’ve got this. You know everything you need to know.

To the mummy whose child just got a diagnosis. I know this is scary, oh so scary. I know you wonder if you are up to finding out all you need to know, to learning all there is to learn, to parenting in a different kind of way. You are. You have got this. You will find a strength you never knew existed, you will be the best mummy your child could dream of. Love will make it happen.

To the mummy who needs a break. It’s ok, we all need a break sometimes. Don’t feel guilty, don’t feel bad. Take some time. Get a rest. Recharge those batteries mummy, and come back stronger. You can do this. I know you can.

You’ve got this mummies. All of this. Whatever life throws at you. Whatever happens. You are super human. You can do it.

You know I know?

There’s a little one that told me so.

Posts From The Heart 30th January 2017

Hello and welcome to Posts From The Heart, hosted by myself and fellow blogger Becci over at The UnNatural Mother.

We love to read blogs about things that matter to people; whether it’s something your child did that meant a lot or a political event on the world stage, from the smallest of details to the grandest of hopes, if what we write about means something to us its light shines bright.

We wanted to create a Linky to showcase those posts, to make sure that those posts which mean the most to us are seen and read, and this is the result of that dream.

Whether you’re here to link up, or here because you like us you love to find out what people care about, welcome and thank you for joining us.

Each week, we’ll read, comment and StumbleUpon each post as well as each choosing our three favourites to highlight the following week.

Our Rules

  • You may link up a maximum of two posts, old or new, as long as they are about things which matter to you.
  • Please comment on at least one of the highlighted posts.
  • Please comment on any four new posts which you feel relate to you. There’s no obligation to comment on ours, they are no more important than any of the other posts people have linked up.
  • Please use #PostsFromTheHeart in your comments, that way people know where you have found their post.
  • Please add our badge, if you have any problems doing so please get in touch and we’ll try our best to help.
  • If you would like us to retweet your posts (which we would love to do) please tweet them to @2ndtimeMama and @MotherUnnatural using #PostsFromTheHeart.
  • It would be lovely if you’d like to retweet any posts you’ve particularly enjoyed, though there is no obligation to do so.
  • If you decide to sign up we’ll add you to our email list, and drop you a quick message to remind you when the Linky Opens (every Monday morning).

Remember, as Mrs Christmas likes to say ‘If you give extra kisses, you get extra love’, the more you put in the more you will get out.

Our Badge: (If you struggle to grab it from below, the one in the sidebar seems to be a little easier)

Mummy Times Two

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My Highlighted Posts From Posts From The Heart 23rd January

Our third week of #PostsFromTheHeart contained some incredible posts. Each week, I feel so privileged to sit and read the work of so many incredible writers all in one place, and yes each week I have to reach for the tissue box more than once.

There is no obligation at all to comment on this post but we would love it if you could sprinkle some extra love on one of our Highlighted Posts. You the linkers are what make this Linky such a pleasure to host and we want to make sure you all get as much out of it as possible.

This week’s highlighted posts were once again incredibly difficult to choose, but I think you will all agree that they are more than deserving of their place:

A Letter To Myself On My 17th Birthday by Five Little Doves was one of the most inspirational posts I’ve ever read. Laura’s strength and vulnerability shone through the whole piece in equal measures, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who had tears streaming down my face as I read it. It’s a letter about loss, but more than that it’s a letter about love and survival. Quite simply, it needs to be read.

A Letter To My Pregnant Self by Someone’s Mum also touched me deeply. The feelings Danielle describes within it cannot help but resonate with everyone who has ever had a child, but its message is even more poignant to those of us who have a child with additional needs. All parents worry if they a good enough, but if your child is different in some way that worry is amplified. It’s a beautiful piece that explores both fear and growing confidence.

Every Friday I Feel Like A Rubbish Mum by Becky at The Family Bee Hive spoke straight to my own vulnerabilities. It’s often so hard to know whether the decisions we make for our children are the right ones or the wrong ones, and this post portrayed that beautifully. I defy any mum not to relate to what is written here.



Does Diagnosis Matter?

Over the years in education there have been so many different schools of thought about whether diagnosis matters. About whether giving a condition a name is important, or whether the name is unimportant as long as a child gets the help that they need.

From a teacher perspective I understand the second argument well, from an educational standpoint it makes no difference. The help and strategies are what are important. A name is simply a name, knowing that a child has or doesn’t have any condition is unlikely to affect how I treat them. Instead any educational plan I develop is based on a child’s strengths and weaknesses, developing the first whilst consolidating the second.

From a personal point of view however I feel very differently. At 15 I was diagnosed with Dyslexia. I had spent years feeling angry at myself for struggling with spelling. I was frustrated that no matter how hard I tried I produced less work than my peers in the same amount of time, and I couldn’t understand why despite the rest of my family being ultra sporty I could barely kick a ball. I felt different, I felt as though I was a failure and if I’m honest I felt pretty rubbish about life in general.

For me a diagnosis changed how I thought about myself. It made me realise that I wasn’t stupid, it made me feel proud of how far I had manage to come on my own and it made me understand my own strengths and weaknesses better. Perhaps even more importantly it gave me the courage and motivation to try even harder. It made want to fight for my dreams.

I don’t know whether my diagnosis changed the way other people viewed me, and if I’m honest that didn’t really matter to me – either then or now. But in my head I was no longer the silly girl who couldn’t copy from the board properly. I was the girl who despite everything managed to get eight A grade GCSEs. I was no longer the girl who couldn’t kick a ball. I was the girl who managed to qualify as a football referee. And later, I was no longer the girl so stupid she couldn’t drive on the right side of the road. I was the woman who worked and worked at it until six driving tests later she was safe enough to pass.

People often worry about giving a child a label, they worry it will single them out, make them feel different, lower their self esteem. But the truth is when there is something they find difficult, most children realise they are different. And that difference worries them. By giving them (or telling them about) a diagnosis, it gives them a reason – an explanation for that difference. And that reason raises their self esteem, because they are no longer responsible for the difficulties they are facing. And even more importantly it gives them a tribe, allies, people with whom they can find affinity and go into battle.

So for me, whatever the practical validation or lack of behind a diagnosis, on an emotional level it is essential. If a child can understand difference, they can understand the importance of a tribe. And we as their parents and teachers owe them that.

What Is This Blog About?

More and more recently I’ve been thinking about my blogging niche (or lack of it) and the direction I want it to go in. So as with other decisions that I’m struggling to think through, I thought I would write about it. In main part because I value what you, the people who take time out of your life to read my ramblings, think.

I blog because I love to write, but more than that I blog because I want in my own little way to somehow make a difference in the world.

Now I have decided only to return to teaching in a very part time capacity, I feel that that is even more important. Not for the world, but for me. For my own sense of self-worth, I need to give something back. I have a lot to be thankful for. I have made more mistakes than I care to mention (or even remember) over the years, and yet somehow life has always turned out for the best.

When Number One was diagnosed with Autism, no-matter how prepared I was for the decision that was made, it rocked my world. I spent hours searching the internet, scouring it, hunting for information which back then simply didn’t exist. Girls with Asperger’s were in those days only just coming to the attention of the world, there was an Article by Tony Atwood (the guru of the Asperger’s world) and a handful of books by adults, mostly self-diagnosed talking about their own experiences. What they were writing about was a far cry from my two year old girl, so bright she could recognise any Disney song from the first two notes, yet so anxious she would scream for hours if the slightest part of her routine changed. The information wasn’t there, so together she and I forged a way.

We were lucky, I was a teacher, I had more experience of autism than most. The lack of services, the lack of information, made life harder but not impossible. I will be forever grateful that she was given to me, and that I had the knowledge to give her the intervention she needed whilst she was young. There were sleepless nights, many of them, as I worried about whether I was doing the right thing or the wrong thing. I worried, and still do, about whether I was pushing her hard enough, and then about whether I was pushing her too hard. But together, we have found our way, found the Other Half and ultimately become a family.

When Number Two was born, it was in many ways like reliving history as I once again scoured the internet looking for answers which were not there. His little body so rigid, his inability to feed, his obvious distress had me beside myself. This time I didn’t have the answers, unlike with Number One, I had no idea how to help my second baby. His difficulties were far beyond my experiences and the only answers I could find were ones I didn’t want to hear.

So I did the only thing I could do. I began to write, to record our experiences. I wanted somewhere out there on the World Wide Web, to be a story of a little boy and his big sister. So that at some point in the future it might make one Mum worry a little less, as she sat there hunting, and scouring. So that whatever the outcome, it might give one Mum hope that life would go on. That life could still be normal, whatever that might mean.

Writing became my way of feeling less helpless. In my quest to help one mum worry a little less, I didn’t think about having a niche or a theme, I just poured my heart out on the screen, one day at a time.

Over the last six months we’ve found some answers, and continue to look for others, and I have carried on writing, and you – lovely readers – have carried on reading. My blog is not an autism blog, it isn’t a reflux blog, but it isn’t a family lifestyle blog like a I originally named it either. If I’m honest, it doesn’t fit into any of the traditional niches. For a while I tried to make it, but that meant censoring what I wanted to say.

And that isn’t what I want. It isn’t what this blog is about.

I want to write about autism. I want to write about reflux. I want to write about normal (whatever that might be) family life. And yes, occasionally I want to rant.

I’m not sure what my new strap line will be. But I know it needs to change. We are not a Pinterest family. We are a real family, living real challenges and surviving them.

And hopefully on the way my random ramblings may make one of you feel a little less alone.

And that is far more important than trying to fit into a niche. After all a square peg does not fit in a round hole. And in this house we like to be different.

Mummy Times Two