Natalie’s Blog Part 6

Welcome back…..

The summer break has flown by and I can’t believe in a few days my little dude is due to start secondary school. The summer has been filled with many highs and lows and very little selfcare time which I think many of you can relate too.

My little dude has struggled with socialising and communicating with others and has probably become more withdrawn over the summer then during lockdown, which has had a knock on effect as I continued to work the odd days over the summer and with no summer clubs he’s been home with me.

I’ve had many zoom meeting were he has come in and during one meeting even my teenagers managed to come in on the call and as a parent naturally I apologised and that is when I realised I was apologising for meeting the needs of my children.

The whole COVID -19 situation had put me in a position where I felt the need to apologise for doing something I naturally do all the time, COVID -19 has turned our worlds upside down and inside out and a lot of families including myself have gone through the past few months with little to no support.

I have been blessed with my bubbles which have kept me in touch with the adult world where I could laugh, cry and create memories and well WhatsApp has become the most used app on my phone.

I have found watching my children become new versions of themselves increasingly difficult wondering if they would be like this if it wasn’t for COVID -19, I watched my daughter cry over the ALEVEL saga and spend days and nights riding the rollercoaster of emotions with her and then got to celebrate her results A*A*A and now get to watch her plan her move to Oxford University as she embarks on the next step in her journey of life.

I am still unsure how I feel about the return to school…who does, but I am remaining positive in front of my little dude as I do not want him to see my concerns I am sure he picks up on my vibes already…I’m only human so it’s inevitable he will pick up on them, so don’t beat yourself up for feeling anxious.

I found the preparation, limits of school uniform, cost, fitting all stressful as which child wants to shop for school uniform let alone try it on outside, he put it on and of course I cried not because he’s grown up but because I have no idea what September or the coming months holds for him.

So I say to all families take it one day at a time, talk to your friends and family about your worries and make contact with your education setting if your concerned. This weekend my friend took me through things step by step to support me in working out a plan because even I don’t have it together all the time.

In the land of Portsmouth Parent Voice we have been supporting Solent Therapies with interviewing new assistants, running drop in sessions on returning to school with the support of the Portsmouth Educational psychology service and CAMHS.

We have continued to support PCC in the school welcome back plans and our future plans to work in co-production.

The Neuro diversity Project has been a weekly occurrence, we have been working in co-production on the up and coming training for professionals and finishing the tool kit.

We have also added a new member to our team over the summer, so I am sure you would all join us in welcoming Hannah, our new Administrator, to the team. ‘Welcome Hannah’.

We will be returning to office soon and we look forward to planning events for parent carers over the next few months.

So remember take it one day at a time and we will get through this together.