A whole year has past can you believe it?
Despite Hogmanay tending to be quite emotional for me, I’ve found that since having my boy, there’s much more reason to feel good about the prospect of a new year.
More time to spend with him and be his mummy. Additional time for “Peppa Pig” viewing parties, singing nursery rhymes and more recently “Baby Shark” marathons. All things that light up my little boys life.
So in a desperate attempt to continue with that happy theme, I want to share a look back at the highs and lows we’ve faced, celebrated and overcome in 2018.
We began this year with the rarest of events… A family holiday.
We all ventured on a little staycation 100 miles from home in Taynuilt and it was wonderful.
For 3 days we played board games, celebrated birthdays, ate great food, drank delicious drinks and were very merry.
It set the tone for the rest of the year perfectly.
We were struck by the “Beast From The East” but made the most of the it.
We took an impromptu overnight to Dunfermline, courtesy of my ever-so-thoughtful hubby. It was lovely. However, the hotel was next door to a nightclub therefore it wasn’t the nice relaxing escape from reality it was intended to be.
We took part in the Bliss campaign to highlight the effect of life with a baby in the NICU. It was a success and the government vowed to devote more money to the NeoNatal Expense Fund.
I felt incredibly proud of my boy for being part of such an important cause.
This was also the month my interview was featured on Mental Mutha with the amazing Natasha Bailie. It was the first time I’d been open and honest and my Mental Health struggles and it felt liberating to let it all out in the open.
May brought some inordinately warm weather and so it was only right that we took advantage and spent most of our time outdoors… Even in our PJ’s.
But these photos represent something else too. The resilience of my superstar little boy who before this point couldn’t bare the feeling of grass on his skin, but pushed through it and ended up having a ball (no pun intended) in his bare feet.
This was my birthday month and thankfully the beautiful weather continued throughout. My family threw me a little BBQ birthday bash and I was thoroughly spoiled.
I struggled in July to hold my sh*t together. Matthews sensory behaviours were at an all time low and so I was really feeling the stress and strain of it all. So as always I wrote about it and was pleasantly surprised to find it was shared at Families Online where I later became a contributor.
My favourite month of the year… The month my baby born was born! This year we celebrated his 3rd birthday and decided that unlink past years it would be better to keep the celebrations to a minimum in order to avoid any sensory-related meltdowns.
Instead, we used all of our time and energy to create a Sensory Room fit for a king.
It was the best decision we made. The room is amazing and my boy loves it.
This was also the month my beautiful little human started nursery and despite all of my fears and all the stress of being separated from him, he’s loved it and it’s made such a difference to his development.
In September we and our extended family all ventured to Devon for a week at the most beautiful farmhouse. There was 20 of us and despite a pretty difficult 12 hour journey each way, it was fab to get away for a week with the people I love most.
Halloween month and a chance to dress my boy up in a cute outfit and take photos before he’s too old and doesn’t let me do it anymore!
Seriously… Is he not the cutest little Penguin you’ve ever seen???
This is always a big month for us, and one that doesn’t ever get easier. It’s Prematurity Awareness month and it’s always an opportunity to reflect and spread awareness of Preemie life.
This why I chose the name of my blog. It’s my whole life.
And finally, we’re onto the last month of the year and the one I’ve struggled with the most this year.
Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. I love the festive cheer and everything else that goes with it. But this year was different.
It was my first time realising that our Christmases might never be what I hope or expect them to be.
Matthew is non-verbal and on the Autism Spectrum so has absolutely no idea what Christmas even is. What made this even more difficult this year was that all of the kids we know around Matthews age were beginning to understand and were looking forward to doing all the festive things. Like visiting Santa’s Grotto and waking up to all of their gifts on Christmas day.
It’s hard to adjust your expectations of what your version motherhood might look like. But I tried, and despite the feeling of hopelessness I felt at the start of the month, I certainly felt better towards the end.
We even managed a few smiles on Christmas day whilst opening gifts, and that’ll do for me.
So there we have it, our 2018 condensed into one blog post. It was a great year for us and we spent so many happy times with our family and beautiful boy. We feel so blessed to be able to do that, and so I’m not going to hope for anything more in 2019. Much of the same would be just fine!!!
Happy New Year lovelies!!!Tags: 2018, 2019, autism, family, MentalHealth, newyear, parenting