A DAY IN MY WORLD as a mother of three, small business owner, charity champion for Anna Kennedy online and most recently an Autism peer support trainer.
The one job I am proudest of in the entire world is being a mum, I have three birth children and two godchildren that I share care of after the loss of their mother and I take my job as mum very seriously, I am not a friend, I am there mum, you
only get one mum in your life, you can have lots of friends, sometimes when my teenager is telling me how unfair I am, I smile inside because it means, I’m doing my job providing boundaries for him.
I feel very lucky to have had two parenting journeys I have two older Neurotypical children who are young carers now at 16 and 21, and then we have Oscar aged 9 who is on the Autism spectrum. I feel in some ways Autism has made me realise lots of things I took for granted the first time around and has shown us as a family what is really important, which is inner peace and finding joy, no matter how bad the storm there will be joy if you look hard enough, its about flexibility.
I feel as a mother to have two young adults that I have bought up into amazing human beings that are so aware about Autism Awareness, Diversity, intersectionality, invisible disabilities and awareness of what might not be visible to the human eye. I feel glad for them that they have experienced this and been able to develop into who they are as a result, it shaped them it wasn’t always easy but it will benefit them lifelong.
I sometimes daydream and think I wish I was one of my kids, not that I didn’t have great parents of course I did, but my kids have a great life, really positive they are thriving and they have a great mentality, nothing is off limits.
As a mum of three equally amazing children, it can be really tough to divide time and keep all the plates spinning but I do try to not give myself a hard time these days. I have learnt a few lessons the hard way in the early days of suffering burnout, the best way to get where you need to be is slowly and that is something that really works for us as a family. When we are calm, we usually can plan and complete whatever is at hand without too much difficulty, the key is planning and I write lists to remind myself. I prepare visual clues and social stories, things to distract, occupy and aid transitions, Oscar will wear clothes now so huge win there in public.
As a family, we celebrate all targets met no matter how small this keeps a positive outlook and helps confidence.
An insight into my world it is chaotic, hilarious, dysfunctional and it works for us😃. One thing we say is, we do not sweat the small stuff, we’re too busy, the one thing that’s a consistent theme is Autism Acceptance and inclusion. It’s taken seriously we are all consistent in this belief, it’s not something we visit, we live it.
We do face challenges and at the end of every storm, there is always a rainbow. It’s really important to us to celebrate the small stuff and our family Moto is ‘if it’s not going to matter in five years, don’t give it more than 5 minutes, because every day is brand new.
It’s super important as a mum to not lose yourself in the role, still keep you and look after your well-being and health. Do what works for you, get your nails done or meet a friend for coffee, and get regular health checkups. There will always be enough of you to go around, but you must rest not quit. If things are tough to manage its because you’re spreading yourself too thin, there’s no such thing as perfect, find some supports, tap into them, and don’t always be the one supporting others, it’s not selfish to have some time for you too.
I have a huge respect for fellow Mums of Neurodiverse kids. I think there’s an unspoken understanding of how intense the relationship is and how many hats we all wear and it truly is a MOTHERHOOD. We are not at work like professionals we are at life, there are no days off. A few hours perhaps if we are lucky to find a PA that isn’t as reliable as a paper bag in a rainstorm (personal experience). We have got this and remember if it isn’t ok yet, it isn’t the end yet, because everything will work out ok in the end it always does. That sounds cheesy I know but I’m a huge believer in the energy you give out you get back.
Enjoy mother’s day the one day where I hope you find a moment, take a breath and feel how amazing you are in the way others feel about you.