Sunday over at Adventures in Xtreme Parenthood is hosting the 'Different but not less' bloghop today, to share tips on how we all managed over the Christmas period.
Christmas went very well for us, much better than I had expected. This is our second Christmas with HRH diagnosed with autism and last year was very unsettled for all of us. As always, we were in our own home on the big day, we do not travel on Christmas day, ever! The present opening went well with HRH showing some interest in the 'new' things although he didn't stray very far from my side.
The big difficulty for us comes on St. Stephens day when all of my husbands family meet at his parents house. There are 11 grandchildren who are all brilliant, lovely children and get very excited to meet each other. As you can imagine it gets loud, very loud. This is the perfect 'meltdown' setup for HRH, he can't cope. Therefore I can't cope and, because I like to share, my husband also gets stressed. This year we were snowed in and couldn't go, the roads were just too unsafe to risk it. I missed seeing the other children and I missed the fun, but a big part of me is very relieved at the same time.
I feel very guilty about being relieved. My husbands parents are the best, they love HRH very much, as they do all of my children. They are genuinely interested in HRH and his autism and they listen when we explain things to them. I mean really listen, not just pretend to listen.
At times I find it hard to balance everyones needs and expectations. My husbands family love the gettogether and it is great fun. But HRH has autism and SPD and finds this kind of situation hard. For the most part I have reached the stage whereby HRH comes first because ultimately this is what benefits my family unit. I don't know if other people understand this though and it is something that I need to work on during the coming year.