Autism awareness- Resilience in parenting

Today is Autism awareness day. Every year I feel compelled to write or share something on this day. Luckily for me I am now in employment where I can do my part to raise awareness and acceptance daily.

I will spend most of my day finishing the first draft of my dissertation which investigates resilience in parents of children with autism. The difficulties in raising a child with autism can affect parental functioning, yet resilience can positively influence outcomes for the child.

As a mother of a daughter with autism, it is so important to me to understand how she feels and to help her with coping mechanisms to navigate her way through this odd world. I want her to be herself and be happy and comfortable. If I cannot balance the difficulties with my own methods of coping, it will be hard for me to help her. Therefore resilience is key.

Only at this stage, 5 years after diagnosis, can I say I am confident in my resilience, but this resilience has been partly developed through support. You do not have to understand what a parent of a child with autism is going through or be one yourself to offer support. Just listening without judgement, empathising, being inclusive and positive and even offering a bit of respite if you can, goes a long way.


School holidays are coming…😩

Today some of the mums asked me which club I was sending the munchkins to over the holidays. 😳 erm I was planning to entertain them and work at the same time….somehow. They were like who manages for seven weeks without summer clubs?! 

I’m now wondering what I’m letting myself in for! 

I love someone with autism 💙

Today is autism awareness day. A few years ago I knew a little bit about autism but like most things, you don’t become fully aware until it affects you or someone you love. I now feel like an expert and my daughter teaches me new things everyday.
People with autism are not all the same, they are not all Rainman. It is a spectrum disorder. Below are just some challenges that people with autism experience:


There are many things innate to the majority that a person with autism has to learn, such as social cues. These are things that we take for granted. I would not have been aware of this had my daughter not had autism. Watching her struggle is hard but as her advocate I hope I can raise some awareness so that when she is older there are more people that understand her and are willing to accept her and others with autism.

If it’s cheap and keeps the kids entertained, I’m on it

So this morning I attended a speech and language group with the Munchkinita. After eating all of the unhealthy snacks and asking for more (like I don’t feed her), we moved onto a table activity.
This was our third morning of speech and language and normally the Munchkinita runs off after snack but she quickly came back to the table when she saw paint in a bag.
It sounds so simple and I’m annoyed I had never thought of it before. You put paint into a large self seal food/freezer bag and that is it.
You can then use it as a wipeable board. The child can draw circles, lines, numbers etc. The child could also just squish the paint. My girls love squishing and feeling things so this could keep them occupied for a bit without making mess.
I went home and recreated this. I need to go out and buy self seal food bags because all I have at the moment are the small ones that you tie. It works but not as great 😦
Anyhoo here is a pic of the bag after they squished it to death:



Summer Holidays – Have I actually got it right?

I often dread school holidays. I always want the kids to enjoy themselves but I also need to work. Anytime I take off has a knock on effect to my bottom line so I have to plan carefully and be really disciplined.

The summer holidays last year were really difficult as I had all these plans but no car 😦 Public transport with toddlers in a pram was not working!

This year I have a set of wheels – lucky me! I have planned to work three days a week and devote two days and the weekend to taking my munchkins out. If we do not visit friends or family, we will explore different parks (weather permitting). Our budget is tight so we will see if we can fit in swimming, cinema and soft play.

So far it has been nearly two weeks and we have really enjoyed ourselves. I have been productive with my work and in keeping the house tidy(ish) and the munchkins have been fully occupied.

Yes, they are still arguing over Lego and I am refereeing but they wouldn’t be real sisters if there were no arguments 😉

Have I actually got it right these holidays? So far so good. Just five more weeks to go……

Relax Dagnammit!!

It seems ages since my last blog, well since I published one! I tend to start a lot of drafts and then get caught up in something else.

Work has been very busy during the festive period. I have been stressing myself over work problems and the munchkins and making myself run down. This is something I have always been guilty of, but so much harder to deal with when you are responsible for two small ones and running two businesses.

I have recently had to rebuild the website for Tiffany Jades Lingerie  after bugs and glitches with the company who supplied the site. This has cost me money and time, all at the wrong time of year. Dealing with everything had caused me to feel really down and I just wanted to slap myself around the face to pull myself out of it.

My daughter’s pediatrician advised me to take more time out for myself and actually relax. Relax? What is that? I really struggle to do that. I’m sure most mothers, workaholics, natural born worriers and perfectionists would agree (yes, I just described myself). However, I decided to make an even greater than normal effort to do as she said as my children need a relaxed mother and my husband needs a not so naggy, moaning wife.

Soooo, my drug of choice is music. I do not listen to it like I used to as I do not like being interrupted while I’m singing and feeling a tune or skanking to a beat. So now I have decided to listen through headphones when the kids are at nursery. I can not always do this as sometimes my work requires silence, but I am trying to do it once a week.

I have changed my work schedule so that I have a couple of hours of just me and munchkins time. We cuddle and play and then in the evening, I get back on the computer. This has been working for the last couple of weeks, PLUS, I have noticed a change in their behaviour! RESULT.20131207-130246.jpg

A few days ago, I had my hair did. Cut and colour. I did want to go blonder but I am happy with the result and will go blonder in a few months time. Thanks to Jamina Brown for doing my hair. She is an experienced, qualified, mobile hairdresser specialising in European and Afro hair. So if you are in London or the home counties area check her out on facebook here.

20131207-130744.jpgI treated myself to some new makeup (first time in years). When you look good, you feel good. I am not into a lot of makeup but I love eyeliner and lashes. I got a Revlon gel eyeliner which is amazing and a Seventeen liquid eyeliner pen which is good. I am trying a serum for lashes and brows to make them longer and thicker. This serum has had good reviews and was £11 which is cheap compared to others!

I tried applying individual eyelashes and let’s just say, Tim Burton would be interested in casting me in one of his dark films. I really should have taken a trip to Camden Town and knocked on his door ( I have no idea where in Camden Town he lives).

I am still hunting down a bright red lipstick, any suggestions?

I have taken a little time out to make a few Vine videos. I love the Vine app – it is hilarious. I have a lot of ideas, so I will be posting more soon (my username is tiffanyjade if you like foolish videos lol)!20131207-130427.jpg

I am much less stressed out after taking a little more time for myself and doing things that I enjoy rather than just the mundane things that I have to do everyday. I am still not getting out much but that will come with the time. I hope I can will keep this up!

What do you do to relax? What de-stresses you?