Quite a few people have asked me how Emma and Audrey are coping with everything that has happened. You can see by these pictures that they are either their usual, crazy selves dressing up and playing games - or they are seriously in need of some therapy - I'll let you be the judge!!
Seriously though I feel like I have completely dropped the ball with them at the moment. Their behaviour combined with my lack of patience has not been a good mix. Last night we decided to draw up some new behaviour charts to try and positively reinforce some good behaviours rather than just have me yell at them when they do something I don't like. I thought it might be helpful for me to have a chart too - for using a calm voice and not yelling. I'll let you know who fills their chart with stickers first - me or the kids!!
I have a new found respect for all my friends who are single parents - I never realised just how tough it is! Even though I am able to cope with the practical side of doing all the work involved with looking after the children, it's the weight of the responsibility of being solely responsible for the welfare of these 3 little people - and the lack of respite - that is really a challenge. Also I don't feel like people have really twigged to the fact that I am a single mum at the moment - and will be for quite some time. Even when Murray comes home it will be awhile before I can leave him on his own let alone on his own with the kids.
On the whole though I think Emma and Audrey are OK at the moment. We have managed to keep their lives as normal as possible throughout this whole ordeal. They seem to be coping with the fact that I keep sending them to school with the wrong news topic or without their library books. I'm sure this has had an impact though - and if Murray doesn't make a complete recovery it will continue to have an impact on their lives. If any of my local friends know of any respite/support/siblings type groups for kids like mine please let me know. Emma has started attending siblings groups run by the CPA as I really want my children to meet other families like ours. Other families where things are a bit crazy at times. Where people have to go to hospital. Where there are only certain things we can do and many things we can't do because of Ashlea's limitations. Other families that live in Bizarro World!