Saturday was the first full day of the Easter holidays. Until recently that meant that I would be packing up the car to head to Wexford or Wales. But no longer. We don't go anywhere much these days. So I should have lots of spare time, right? But unlike other children, my younger two need more time and attention as they get older, not less. Difficulties with secondary school have meant that almost everything else - the house, the garden, the finances, friends, exercise - has been put on the back burner. On that first morning all the conversations with my son involved shouting, while Smiley refused to drink from a straw again - for the fourth time in recent weeks - and I had to use a plastic syringe to get fluid into her, 5ml at a time. Yet I couldn't properly address their needs - because I was working. Luckily Smiley cheered up later when we walked up to her club in the afternoon. But I wasn't able to talk to my son properly until the evening, and that was only because I said 'no' to a work request from a friend. Sorry about that.
The teenage years could be critical for my son, and Smiley finishes school next year and faces an uncertain future, with a continual contraction of adult services. It could be left to me to do everything for her.
But as my children's needs increase, and services are cut, I am getting older and more tired. Perhaps I would be able to do this if I had the support that I had ten years ago. But I don't.
My kids HAVE to come first, and right now the two younger ones need me more than ever.
So I've resigned. I will miss my job: what's not to like about being paid to do something you enjoy, and learn more about social media, and help people at the same time? But I do feel lighter. One less pressure.
It looks like being a carer and holding down a job was just a dream for now.
Instead I have great plans to turn off the electronic babysitters and fill the Easter holidays with activities. I'm off right now to make it up to my special girl by dancing to Britney with her. See you later...
One more way Disney World is magical for our children with special needs - For months now, Max has been planning and anticipating a boys' trip to Disney World with Dave and Dave's dad, Grandpa Michael. I figured they'd have the ...