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The end-of-term endurance event

The last half term of school is very much like the last few weeks of pregnancy. There are a trillion out-of-the-ordinary things to do before a rapidly approaching deadline, you are emotionally wrecked, your brain has ceased to function and at the end of it all, when you deserve and desperately need a REST, you get a CHILD instead. Or if you are extra-blessed, multiple children. This year we have the bonus of it being too hot to sleep, reminiscent of those nights where the twins were having punch-ups in the bump that was so big it hung off the side of the bed, preventing even the notion of sweet repose. (Yes, the fights began before birth. We had the scans to prove it.) (I can't believe it used to make us laugh. Pair of innocent young fools.)

I can’t even remember all the things we’ve done since Easter, but over the last couple of weeks there have been Summer Fairs, a whole-school Charity Run, a 'Run to Russia' challenge, Open Evenings, Work Shadowing, Enterprise Week, a ‘…
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Where have I been??

Hello everyone, after a long absence!

So where have I been?

Living down an anxiety hole of my own creation.

My last blog ( practically wrote itself, as I was keeping track of a 90 day challenge, and the whole effort was linked to a charity that I could talk about for years - whether or not anyone would listen. This blog started because I didn't want to stop writing, and people asked me if I planned to keep going, but it felt weird to keep writing as 'The 90 Days Mum', as 90 days had been and gone. But all of a sudden I felt like an imposter. Who was I to talk about 'Mum-Care' when I was so singularly rubbish at it myself?

So here are some of the things I thought I needed to do:

Real ALL the self-care books (or at the very least, one).Find the perfect solution for time management for Mums.Fill the freezer with batch-cooked healthy food.Courses! All the courses! About everything!Declutter seven years' worth of rubble from my h…

Small steps (and taking my own advice)

Well, I have no idea where this month has gone. Clearly there's the small matter of 24-hour parenting through the Half Term holiday, and the all-important quicker-than-a-normal-month-ness of February, but I feel like it was Christmas, then I blinked and noticed March had got in on the act. It's just as well nobody uses cheques these days, as I would definitely still have the wrong year. My heart says it's about 2010, and my head has not the faintest idea.

Life has been feeling good, but there's a measure of overwhelm creeping in, and that disconcerting feeling that the year is flying by without me really having a handle on things. In my 90daysdry blog I wrote about that sense of being overwhelmed, of expecting too much of ourselves and needing to step back and look at any small achievement in order to regain a bit of perspective. But I can feel myself reaching a point where I'm not actually sure what I've achieved or what I'm supposed to be achieving. A sta…

Seeing 'Alone'

So, this may post be a bit 'out there', but I've had a reflective kind of weekend.

On Saturday, we had a major victory when The Cat (my 8-yr-old with autism) actually agreed to go to a birthday party. He doesn't get invited to many, and when I saw this was a swimming party I was pretty sure he'd refuse to go. Not because he doesn't swim - he has his own unique but surprisingly effective style of 'catty paddle' - but because he'd never been to a swimming party or even to the pool where this party was being hosted, and, as with most autistic kids, going somewhere he can't imagine brings on huge anxiety. Frankly he'd rather be in bed. In his pants (if we're lucky), with the (actual feline) cat. Probably re-reading his favourite passage in his current favourite book for the 977th time.

Anyway, after google searches to show the pool and chats with others about what happens at a swimming party, he went. I was required to stay poolside at all t…

A Mum-Care Basic

I've had a couple of really interesting conversations about 'care' with friends recently, and exactly what self-care or Mum-care might look like.

My take on this is that it will be different for everyone, depending on what they need on a particular day, or at a particular time in their lives. Just as we look at our kids and figure that sometimes they need a duvet day but sometimes we can push them out of their comfort zone in order to try something new, or some days they'll only eat their favourite food but other days you can slip in some broccoli, we need to judge how far we can push ourselves. As a parent of three SEN kids, I'm tuned in to their anxiety and 'triggers' to a degree that some have jokingly called supernatural and others have dismissed as coincidence, but it's real and it's all through fear of What Might Happen if I miss the signs of need. So why on earth are we Mums so utterly hopeless at applying this sort of awareness to ourselves?…

The Mum-Person

Once upon a time there was a Person. She had a load of hang-ups and was a bit complicated, like most People, but she also had dreams and when she got an idea into her head, she would pursue it. Then the Person got married. She was still the Person, but kind of a Person with Benefits, and, well, A Mortgage. She was pretty happy and has the photo albums to prove it, although, as with all young married People, she probably didn't fully appreciate how free she was at that time. There were some sadnesses that haunted her, but also made her grasp life to the fullest, which is how she had come to marry someone in the UK rather than worrying about the details of having her roots - her family, her history, her culture and, even more seriously, her favourite foods - in New Zealand. (Pineapple Lumps and Bluebird Chips are easy to post, after all, and then a Kiwi food shop opened up just 5 minutes from her front door in Shepherd's Bush. All was well.) Then she became a Mum, which was the …