Friday 11 February 2011

Home Alone

Wait! Before you call the police, that's just me, on my tod, at home, no kids. I've not left the kids at home alone, that would be wrong, they're only 5 and 3!

Tamsin goes off into the classroom with barely a glance backwards these days. Funny how you spend so much time wishing they were less clingy but then when it happens you'd like the cling-on back. Sasha also skipped off into nursery quite happily again this morning, which was a huge relief as she was very tearful when I picked her up at lunchtime yesterday. They told me she'd had a strange morning and was hot and cold - am hoping this was just a reaction to the pre-school jabs she had to have in her poor little arms the day before. Made Daddy take her for those, I always feel I did my bit with the jabs when they were younger and it was difficult enough then! Anyhow we had a lovely afternoon and tea round at a good friend's yesterday and she asked to go again, so she seems to have recovered fine.

It still feels weird, being back from the school run at 9am, 'free' in an empty house. Never bored, never a dull moment, still plenty to get on with, but the first feeling is always 'weird'. Not quite got used to it yet I guess but I'm trying :) I realise how lucky I am to have been able to be a SAHM (Stay-at-home-mum for the uninitiated...) and I am very grateful that I've been able to spend so much time with my children whilst they were young. Easier than working? Hmm not sure. Mentally and physically demanding, non-stop, but also rewarding. Only slightly envious of those mums who have been at work during these times; who have been able to go to the toilet AND close the door (I still leave it open even now when there's no-one in the house!! Bad habit, must remember not to do that out anywhere....) and sit down and enjoy a whole sandwich in one go without anyone grabbing them by the hand mid-way through to take them to another room, or having to jump up to find out which crying child has just chopped their arm off bumped themselves for the millionth time that day.

That said, I've no idea how working mums manage to do it all in such a short space of time at home - to stay on top of the laundry, pay bills and shop online, tidy toys, pens, paper and foodstuff remains away and clean the house every 10 minutes (well OK cleaning's not my thing but I try...sometimes), do the food shopping, remember birthday cards and presents, organise parties, empty bookbags and throw away carefully select and frame the zillionth piece of artwork from the bookbag that week, make packed lunches, sew/iron nametapes on polo shirts, trousers, skirts, cardigans, coats, tights and even socks (yes, I actually did that once!! Mummy brain or what...) etc etc. The list goes on and on. But I'm not complaining, it's been brilliant and I'd love it to never end really.

Right must tidy those rose coloured spectacles away along with everything else and get on with it. One last thing is to say how pleased with myself I am for making a visual timetable for Sasha, big pat on my back :) It's only two sheets of A4, laminated, one showing what happens on a weekly basis and the other showing one day split into timed sections (so getting dressed, morning, lunch etc). Then I've laminated lots of photos of people and places that we see, or things to do, and these get stuck on with velcro according to what's happening that day. So it starts with a picture of the school uniform she has to put on, then school, lunch bag, mummy etc, and we can swap them around if we're going to see someone different. It gives Sasha an idea of what will happen - often just telling her things doesn't really make sense to her, so the pictures really help. I love the fact that Sasha now uses this herself when I'm not in the room - so once we'd got her dressed this morning and I was off getting coats, she took that picture off as it was 'done'. She also uses it to tell me what she'd like to do - so I often come in to find various friends stuck on at different times as she'd like to go to their houses! A little tricky as she doesn't understand why we can't just go when we've not been invited or it's not planned, and she then gets upset about it.... but hopefully this will help her to learn. Can't wait to be able to put my parents picture up next weekend as we'll be going to visit them and I know she'll be really excited!! Anyhow here's a little pic so it may all make sense - but must dash now, off to gym, New Year New Body and all that....


  1. Been meaning to tell you that I have been following your blog (on my iPhone - don't get me started on internet connection problems!) Just wanted to say "Bloody Well Done". Some of your early posts remind me so much of Dais. The "just want to do what I want to do" no matter how inappropriate, really resonate. We must have a chat about where the "Willful Child" stops and "the Spectrum" begins ...

  2. Steph, just a quick note to say I love reading you're blog and think you should really consider writing it up as a book. There are loads of 'real life' books these days and so many families are effected by Autism I think it would fly off the shelves.

    Anyhow just a thought.

    Sarah XXXXXX

  3. Aww what a lovely post! Loving the idea of the visual timetable, and completely agree with the SAHM thing xxx

  4. I love being a SAHM too.
    Great timetable. I had to do similar when I worked with SEN kids before babies number 5 and 6 joined the family.
    Following your blog now
    QWERTY Mum

  5. forgot to mention - found you through Blow your Own Blog Horn xx

  6. Hi all,
    thanks so much for the lovely comments - only just found them, it's taking me a while to get up-to-date with all this technology! It is really nice to know people have enjoyed reading though, so big thanks for posting!


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