To write this blog I have had to stop and think of when, in just one day, have I the time to ponder on me and only me...I had to ask myself - "remember me, you know her the one that used to think of nothing else but herself before children and husband and responsibilities and autism came along..."

It is one of those questions; "How are you feeling today?" that is like looking out to sea - you pinpoint one wave of emotion or feeling before that is swamped by another feeling and then it becomes a confusing picture of how exactly do you feel right now in this moment. 

Honestly, right now I cannot wait until 7.30pm as that is when it is likely the children are in their bedrooms and I can feel like me again, even then I am often seen reading about autism or looking at therapist reports, teaching assistant accounts of how my son's day has been, then there is a dinner to cook for my husband or ironing school uniform, mending the latest thing my son has broken - when are my own needs, wellbeing or health going to be addressed?  In the last few months I have tried to invest in me more because if I am depleted with no energy left in the pot, who is going to pick up from where I stopped? So I did try a meditation app until they started asking for money. I then thought colouring is all the rage and my daughter is never keen on me helping her colour in Minnie Mouse, so I have my own book and lovely sharpened pencils, but I haven't finished one page yet and it has been three weeks since I bought it!

As many of us have found, motherhood is an all consuming pastime, it completely took me by surprise how devoted a mother I became when I held my baby for the first time - a combination of hormones and a deep genetic memory of what we are put on this earth to do, a nurturing unwavering love so unconditional and strong nothing or no one can break.  The unfortunate downside to all those emotions is that it naturally puts your own needs, wants and desires firmly on the back seat.  This is magnified as you realise that your toddler isn't doing quite the same as others around him and you have the added worry and need to find out what is happening to your precious child and why and where do we go from here?

Therefore time slips away even faster as life is lived not in the present, but pondering the past and worries for the future - mindfulness goes out the window!  What can slow me down is taking the time to observe my children and be overjoyed at a new skill or a new word; as life has had to mirror my son's pace, I mean he may be into Thomas the Tank Engine forever!

The one thing which may be surprising to some is that I enjoy going to work!  It is a peaceful environment where tea is hot and savoured, I am a woman who is useful to the world at large again, I wear a uniform and to customers and other staff I am Emily, not that mother whose son has autism or an estate agent's wife.  Even when I encounter issues and problematic people at work I am smiling inwardly as it is small potatoes compared to other things I have had to endure that day. 

It is the small things in life like a smile or the little wins which happen which can lift my mood and also the bigger treats like a holiday to look forward to which can make life feel special.  In a strange kind of way having a child who has a disability has helped me realise how much you need to look after them and yourself because if you are burnt out or stressed everything becomes so much harder and I have learnt that the hard way.  So treat yourself and take time to take a deep breath it is worth it.

Emily is a mother of two; a boy of six diagnosed with Autism and speech and language delay a few years ago and a girl of three, with her own challenges!  "Family Fund has been a beacon of hope ever since, whether that was a new appliance or a much needed holiday."