Special needs parenting: Spring into Spring!

Rochelle Followes by Rochelle Followes Additional Needs

Rochelle Followes

Rochelle Followes

I am parent to a gorgeous little blue eyed boy who has complex needs. I have a Facebook page, 'my daily miracle' where I share our life with others...

Special needs parenting: Spring into Spring!

It’s been a while…

I have just opened up my blogging word document to find that it was exactly a year ago that I last typed up any thoughts.

It was about no other than the beginning of the pandemic, around the fears of the unknown, and realising once again how vulnerable my son is.

Anyway, I’ve left that there, as we speak and hear enough about what's happening, so I wanted to bring something a little different, well I’ll try, as everything in life seems to be associated with or because of the pandemic.

Zachariah returned to school yesterday and I am feeling a little lost, but also feeling re energised, I don’t know about you, but the sunny weather, whether it be cold or hot, instantly gives me a 10% booster, and creates a new perspective on particular aspects of my life at that moment in time.

I believe the 1st of the month has a lot to do with it also, as it's a new beginning, a fresh start...add the factor of it being April in there also, and we feel that spring vibe, and the prospect of new life!

But before we spring into spring, let's just look at the journey getting here…

Life had become a little mundane in some ways, the same get up routine, the same logging onto virtual school, the same feed, nappy, sleep, play routine, the same evening routine, and the occasional walk (the same route I must add).

Zachariah needed school again, and I needed time to find myself.

I say this as I roll my eyes, as the number of times I have said this is unreal, I never quite manage to find myself when I’m not with Zachariah 24 hours a day.

Since he was born, I have dedicated my whole world to him, like many mothers do.

Tim continued to work full time, whilst I did bits in between, with my main role being Zachariah's no1, but no real career or passion.

Yes, I absolutely love my little business, and yes, I have loved the projects I have done over the past few years, but nothing has ever been big enough to fill the whole gap, or fill a long enough period of time.

Events have either got in the way, Zachariah has needed me more, or my mental health has created a huge barrier preventing me from pushing that little bit further with something.

It’s almost like since giving birth to Zachariah, there has been a fog in my brain, a blur that has held parts of me back.

I can be my own enemy in this too. I feel guilt.

I feel less confident these days too, I have definitely lost myself in many ways over the years.

I almost hide behind my son. And this is exactly what I have been doing over the past year.

We were told to shield at the beginning, and I have taken this to a whole new level, where I have almost put myself on a shelf, becoming just an attachment to my son.

I have dedicated my whole time to being his no.1, even though we’ve had carers some of the time, and he did a few months of school before Christmas.

I just could not pull away from the Mum role.

I keep asking myself why I do this, why for almost 7 years, I have not been able to break free and accomplish something for ME.

I know deep down that bigger thing are achievable, caring for a young boy with complex needs or not.

We have everything set up now. We have the adaptations, the carers, the school.

Why oh why am I unable to fully find myself again.

I get to points where I feel I have, but then I get overwhelmed, crash and burn out, and this state is really difficult to get out of.

I have to start again from scratch, which leads me on to now...

I feel this month is the month to really work on this, like April is the new January, and really pull out who Rochelle is and who Rochelle wants to be.

It’s time to stop hiding behind my son, who no longer needs me every single minute of the day.

What is the plan I hear you ask?

Well like I said earlier, I am very easily overwhelmed, it is no secret, therefore I need to take it slow and simple.

I started with a spring clean of the house yesterday, and today I have started writing again, as this is what helps my mental health, getting everything out on the page, in a chaotic, but meaningful way.

I am well aware that I am not the best writer, but there is a sense of freedom in writing, so I try not to edit or over think.

I feel this is a great, comfortable step, as it will help me brainstorm, and also filter my thoughts.

I have also started to reach out to a few friends I have disconnected from to arrange walking dates in the local park, and cut down on the social media.

This step was a big one, as I feel I have been very active with posting and engaging on social media, but not so much personal conversation going on, so there's layers of me that have been blocked out so to speak.

It’s so easy to be present behind a screen, not so easy in body.

April is looking exciting, and I am feeling like I can achieve it, as I haven’t set myself some silly out of reach goals, which I feel is the key point of my blog today.

Much love,



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