My Knucklehead, The Professional

Yesterday I could have burst with pride, and thinking about it makes me so happy I could cry!

I watched as my boy calmly and confidently led a group of people through a “discover scuba” experience. The one young woman had a one-on-one session and even though she is physically disabled and wheelchair-bound, she said she felt completely secure with him and had an amazing time under the water.

Sigh… Still can’t get over how grown up and mature he is…

Is There Such A Thing As Mommy Limbo…?

I read quite a few mommy blogs.
I have many friends who have young children, and they blog frequently about being a mom to those children.
I belong to a mommy bloggers Facebook group.
I am a mom.
But I’m a mom to a grownup who doesn’t live here anymore, and most of my blogging is now about my dogs

There’s no more school run, homework drama, PTA meetings, parents evenings, or doctor’s visits.
There’s no more OT, fundraisers, play dates, speech therapy, or fighting with teachers over my son’s ADHD.
There’s no more arguments with him over taking his meds, us fighting over everything, or panic when the phone rings (well… almost).
His school life and growing up was hard. His ADHD diagnosis complicated his school life, his home life, his friendships, our family life… Beyond comprehension for people who don’t live with it. Everything was hard work.

And now I feel like my mommy duties have been suspended.

My son is doing really well at the moment.
He’s matured so much in the last 18 months, and he’s worked his backside off – on his own – working and studying! He’s doing an internship where he’s getting an internationally recognised qualification and he’s learning the business around it. It’s really hard work, and the final leg he’s in now has him stressed, but he’s doing it. On his own.
We pay his rent, we buy his groceries and we’re paying for his courses, but unlike the school fees I felt like I was wasting, he’s actually thriving and he wants to do this and do it well.

I only see him a couple of times a month, when I insist on getting a #mamalove selfie to try and make up for how few photos I have of the two of us together, and he doesn’t need me right now.

He needs groceries, but he doesn’t need me to take on belligerent teachers who refused to accept that he had a special needs diagnosis and required extra attention and was allowed extra time during tests and exams.

He needs cigarette money, but he doesn’t need me to take on the bullies who loved to pick on him because he gave them the kind of reactions that feed a bully’s ego.

He needs electricity money, but he doesn’t need me to drive him to endless doctor’s appointments for prescriptions and therapies, that sometimes made me feel like I was stabbing myself in the eye.

He needs us to pay for his trips, but he doesn’t need me to help him with his homework and stock up on stationery.

He’ll probably come back and live at home once he’s finished his internship, while he looks for work and a place to stay, and we’ll probably fight like cat and dog while he’s here, but I will never again be a mom to a little boy who needed me for everything…

Edited to add:

Make no mistake, I am a very happy mom.
I have time to indulge in my hobbies and learn new things. I have learned how to crochet, I have a few grown-up colouring in books. I can be a full time wife to my darling husband. I can work with my dogs.
And I love seeing my boy! We have actual WhatsApp conversations! I miss him like mad, and I am so proud of him.

Mama Pride Overflow

The weekend past was full of tears. Most of them though, were happy.


Sadly we weren’t there to see him get his certificate, but our Damien has qualified as a Dive Master!


For those not in the know – and as I have learnt – its an intense course and means at least 60 dives, a full physical, a series of fitness tests, skills tests, several exams and courses requiring at least an “A” to pass each one and leading at least 5 dives.


He did all this while working six long days a week and living away from home – which meant he had to look after himself- doing his own housework, laundry, cooking and cleaning – and he had to discipline himself to study and revise his course work in preparation for his exams.


He’s healthy, happy, tanned, he’s smoking less, he’s getting to travel a bit, and I only hear good things from his employers and instructors.


Man… I’m in tears again just thinking about how much he’s achieved.


I am so proud of him I could burst.


He’s changed and grown and matured so much. We have actual conversations on WhatsApp and when we spend time with him, like for his birthday, he chats to everyone and tells them about his work and his dives.

The next big qualification is Dive Instructor – another set of courses and another 40 or so dives (he has to have 100 to finish qualifying), along with working full time and being a grown up, and he should finish that by the end of this year.

My child is happy.


Songs from My Childhood

I grew up with music playing all the time.

Thanks to my darling parents the soundtrack to my childhood included Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Cliff Richard, The Beatles, The Who, Steppenwolf, The Small Faces, The Monkees, Janis Joplin, The Carpenters, Boston, Neil Diamond, Jesus Christ Superstar… My mommy darling also loved Motown so my musical education was vast and diverse.
The list of artists I grew up listening to is a long one, as was my mom and dad’s vinyl collection and we played it to death.

My grandad also played several instruments including the mouth organ, so family occasions often turned into sing-a-longs with Christmas hymns, big band classics like I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo, Chattanooga Choo Choo, and wartime songs like Wish Me Luck, Begin the Beguine and You Are My Sunshine.

And then there is a collection of children’s songs my mom sang to us, that I sang to my son as he was growing up. Here are a few of my favourites (I can’t find the versions I grew up with, but these are close)…

Did you grow up with music?

Do you sing to your children?

Shopping For One

No, don’t panic, I’m talking about shopping for my knucklehead!

Its been quite an adjustment not having him at home, and we’ve had to work out how to shop for him so he eats properly, and enough. He has a fridge with a small freezer, a microwave, two-plate stove, kettle, toaster and snackwhich so I have to shop with that in mind. I also know that if its raw, he’s probably not going to make the time to cook it.

I started teaching him to cook when he was about 12 as a solution to his “I’m bored…” moments, so even though most of his meals are heat-n-eat, he knows how to mix things up a bit and he likes making flapjacks for himself too.

Anything that doesn’t need refrigeration is good – tuna, bully beef, two-minute noodles, bread (which he freezes if he has space), long-life milk, muesli, baked beans and and tinned meals like spaghetti and meatballs. He doesn’t have an oven so frozen pies and pizzas aren’t an option. I do buy him paninis which I freeze individually for him as they are already cooked and they make awesome sarnies.
PnP and Makro both have a nice range of frozen meals for the micro that aren’t too expensive – cottage pie, beef lasagne and mac-n-cheese, and I&J has an awesome “mealbox” that he loves – chicken curry, red curry, sweet & sour chicken and a tika masala curry, but I can only get those if I find them on a special offer as they can be pricey.
I also buy big packs of vienna sausages which I split up and freeze in portions, when I make supper I serve a portion for him and freeze it in a ziploc bag, and I pre-cook a whole lot of chicken breasts which I buy in bulk, then freeze in portions for us and for him so he can heat them up and stick them on a sandwich or eat them with noodles.
I try to make sure he has some fresh items like eggs, apples, tomatoes and onions, but if he doesn’t eat them they will go off, and I’ve taught him how to check if the eggs are off before cracking them.
And he gets coffee, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, mayo, tomato sauce, chutney, cheese, pickles and bread spreads, and if I can I pack in a couple of packets of crisps, cookies, gumballs and cool drinks.
Ooh, and this weekend we discovered this – cooked chicken in single portions, ready for a sarnie or pasta, or just on its own, in four flavour varieties. It doesn’t need refrigeration and its not ridiculously overpriced either so its definitely going on the shopping list!


I try to get out to see him every two weeks, and take his groceries with me. He has Mondays off so I try and go then, sometimes we’ll head out to a mall nearby and we’ll do his shopping together, thats always fun.
He even sends me a shopping list now when he runs out of things, and he had to wrap his head around thinking about things like toilet paper, washing powder, razors, toilet duck and dishtowels.

He’s so grown up. He’s so independent.

My heart wants to burst with pride and happiness when I see him and talk to him.

Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to meals-for-one?

And as per my Ladybloggers pledge, just in case you were wondering, I wasn’t asked, paid or given anything to mention the brands I’ve included in the blog post.