Thats a bold title/statement if i do say so myself and not something us parents are generally allowing ourselves to think or say!
Our lives and those of our other children (even more so with PDA children) are very much governed by the needs of our SEN children and rightly so, if we can keep them happy and balanced then life is better for the entire family.
That said, I do feel that sometimes we as parents need the opportunity to just be us whether thats as a couple or just on our own.
Nothing is ever quite so simple though is it?
If you are lucky enough to have child care options with someone who understands your childs needs and can cope with them and the needs of their siblings then embrace it and make the most of them whenever you can, but for many of us the reality is that we have limited childcare options (i.e. I personally can only confidently leave the kids with someone else if they are already asleep!) And unfortunately the days of starting our evening out at 9pm are not really appealing these days, I tend to be in my pjs by then and Daddy is usually spark out for the night 😂
Workwise, I am lucky enough to be able to run my business from home and can be very flexible with my working hours which means less pressure and demands on Ethan, the downside is that I often feel like a prisoner in my own home as I rarely get the chance to go further than the local supermarket.
It can begin to feel very lonely on one hand, but on the other staying home is so much less stressful than going out most days as the boy is just so much easier when he is on his own turf with his own comforts around him.
That said, we do venture out as it would be unfair to his big sis otherwise, however minute planning has to go into every trip and we almost always have to leave ahead of schedule when it becomes too much for the boy and that is where having good mummy friends is so important!
I am lucky enough to have made two incredible lifelong friends during my first round of playground duty with my now adult children – who are still invaluable to my sanity, but they are now in a very different phase of their lives as I went on to have my younger two.
I feel super fortunate this time around to have again made another lifelong friend who has children of similar ages and is 100% understanding of how things have to work with Ethan! I cannot express how much this friend means to me as she overlooks his meltdowns as if they are not happening, supports me in everything and doesnt blink an eye when I say ‘right we are leaving now as Ethans had enough’ even if that means leaving her in the middle of the cinema/ shopping centre/ woods etc!
And she occasionally offers a small glass of some fizzy, grape based juice when we visit so is definitly a keeper 🤣
Having someone to talk/cry or moan to is such an important thing and stops me feeling quite so lonely and detached from ‘normal’ life and if it wasnt for my lovely mummy friends I honestly dont think I would cope so well.
So for any other Mummies out there struggling with the whole socializing with kids thing regardless whether they are SEN or not, my advise is to find YOUR person/ people- the ones that wont judge, compete or turn their nose up at your child or your parenting- those people are the keepers, the ones you will always be able to rely upon and will have your back no matter how bad things get!
Big shout out to the three witches that I couldnt live without xxx