Every New Year’s Eve since Conor stopped speaking, I stopped making Resolutions, instead putting all my positive energy into wishing and hoping he would speak again one day if I was ever lucky enough. This past November he said his first words in almost 8 years. I still can’t believe I am lucky enough to be able to write that, especially when I know and realize so many of my friend’s wait still to hear their children’s voices.
Instead of making wishes for Conor’s voice to return, this New Year’s Eve I decided to set Goals I wanted to achieve in 2019. So my tradition of not making Resolutions continues and instead I want to set some “work in progress” goals. Conor and Jack’s journey with Autism is a work in progress, I am learning something new about them and their Autism, almost every day. The same goes for my two other, Little Puddins: Hailey and Max, they change and develop so much as the days go by.
When you have children with Special Needs sometimes you almost forget to take your next breath when times are hard. Waiting all these years for Conor’s voice to find its way back, has been like that. Waiting and hoping he would talk again, I realise I stopped living in a sense. I waited for him, to find his way and stood still in the meantime. 2019 will be my Year of Brave, to try and start living again, looking outside the Special Needs bubble and see what I can add to the world around me.
I want to start 2019 with a more focused mindset, to get outside my comfort zone, to try and be more. Having 4 children, creates a busy house, add to the fact, two of my four have special needs, it can be chaotic, with appointments, therapies, home therapies, school, homework, insomnia, meltdowns, it’s exhausting trying to keep on top of it all. It can be exhausting and overwhelming. It can be hard trying to find a moment in all, to stop and breath.
Below I list my main Goals for 2019. These will be “work in progress” Goals, I would love to hear what your Goals are? What are you aiming for this year?
My 2019 Goals:
On Camera: I am incredibly shy if you didn’t know me. If you know me in real life and we’re friends, I am a chatter box, and love joking around with my friends. I can write for hours, I “talk” through my written words but in person if I met you, I would be very shy. I love watching all the amazing Bloggers I follow on Instagram and Facebook and You-tube. When I am pottering around at home cooking dinner or cleaning the house or even going for a walk, I pop on one of their blogs and listen to them. I really enjoy it and it is great to hear what others think and how their lives are going. It broadens my perspective and understanding of the world. By the end of 2019 I want to be able to say I contributed, I counted myself in and I faced my shyness head on and spoke on camera.
It is the oddest thing to talk to yourself into your phone but then again, I guess it’s a bit like “talking to yourself in your mind”, so maybe it’s not that odd.
Planner: I have recently ordered a Planner so I can get more on top of appointments and so on. With the boys at an Autism Unit and at Therapies during the week, alongside Hailey at her school and Max keeping me busy as well, I want to try and become organized in every aspect I can in my life. I want to be more productive. I will share how I am using my Planner and how it is all going once I have a system in place. I feel more grounded once I can see exactly what I must do each week.
Health: My health in the last 12 months has not been the best. Staying awake most nights because of the boy’s insomnia has taken its toll. I am exhausted. As many families of children with Autism will tell you, there is no Respite service at all here in Mayo. There is no one there to swoop in and say, “go to bed for an hour”, we (my husband and I) are wrecked with tiredness but there is no end in sight. I have let my health become a back-seat consideration. I have to actively change that as I realise if I am not around to help my children as they grow up, there will be no one to step in to fill that void in their lives. One of my goals is to get out doors more often, to make better food choices and to hopefully go to the cinema or meet with friends occasionally. I would say go with my husband; but the reality is, when you raise (multiple) children with Special Needs, your relationship takes a back seat and instead you are a Carer first. Husband/wife second. The only way either of us can leave the house with the children is that one of us stays behind. Conor needs 1:1 supervision always so if we did want to go somewhere together, we would need two people to be here, one for Conor and one to look after the other three children. Sadly, we don’t have multiple people we can ask for help and there isn’t any Respite Care here in Mayo, so we leave the house separately. It’s not what we want as a couple but that is the reality for so many families like ours.
Goals for my children
Max: I have been watching Max closely for Autism. At the moment, he is not talking at all with the exception of the odd DADA, which isn’t directed at anyone and he has lost his ability to say Mama (which I am heartbroken about) but I am hoping it will return. My Goal for Max is to help him progress as much as I possibly can, working on Speech Therapy with him and helping him to become more social.
Conor and AAC: I have been taking some footage of Conor using his “Talker” (that’s what we call his AAC device). Over the next year I want to keep pushing him to use this as a means of communication and pushing for as many verbal responses/requests as possible. I hope by the end of 2019 we will make great progress.
Jack’s Anxiety: Christmas has shown me that with a lot of preparation Jack can over come some of his anxieties, but it is very much a work in progress, I plan to keep working on this with Jack. I want to help Jack with handwriting too as he struggles to hold a pencil properly. His fine motor skills are a work in progress.
Hailey: I want to continue giving Hailey as much one on one time as I can. She will soon be teenager and I want to ensure we have a strong bond so she can come to me with any worries, concerns she has especially during those years. I want her to always know I am here for her, I love her and am always on her side.
These were just some of the Goals I am aiming towards this year, I have tonnes, but I don’t want to bore you to tears. I would love to hear what your Goals are for 2019? Comment below or chat to me over on my FACEBOOK page or Instagram.
Thanks for stopping by!