It’s an awful thing to admit, but if I’m honest sometimes I feel like I’m a stuck at home Mum - not a stay at home one. Because when it comes to doing anything with my two children outside of our house on my own, I really struggle. Mainly because it’s impossible to make sure that they’re both safe. And that’s the priority right?

My eldest Brody is nearly 5. Primarily undiagnosed, he also has autism, a learning disability, epilepsy, hypotonia and hypermobility. All of these things combined means that he is unable to walk distances (we thankfully have a wheelchair), has no danger awareness and cannot talk or easily follow instructions.

My daughter Sydney is 1. She can walk and talk quite well, but she is a typical toddler. Stubborn, very much wanting to do things her way and still in need of a buggy when we’re out.

So how do I go out with them on my own? I can’t.

To be honest, it’s not even an easy task getting them in and out of the car safely on my own sometimes.

I can’t push a wheelchair and a buggy at the same time. Brody is too big for a double buggy and they would take great delight in walloping each other if they did sit next to each other anyway.

I can’t do simple things like walking them round the block because if Brody refuses to walk, which he often does because he gets tired legs or just doesn’t want to, I can no longer carry him.

In a park or soft play, Brody has no danger awareness whatsoever and Sydney is still so little. I can’t leave them to play on equipment unsupervised.

Supermarket trolleys (and I am eternally grateful for the Firefly GoTo ones trust me) only fit one child, so the supermarket is out of the question.

The sad thing is I don’t even feel confident anymore going to friends’ houses with the two of them. I can’t sit down and leave them to wander and I can’t follow them both round when they go in different directions. Most friends don’t need stairgates anymore or don’t have to worry about things like hot drinks being grabbed or breakables being within reach.

Basically, I need to ensure that my children are safe and if I’m on my own with them being at home is the only way I can do that without help.

I am eternally grateful to Brody’s nursery because when he is there it means that both he and Sydney currently have more opportunities to do things other than being stuck in the house together playing with me (or watching YouTube and fighting). And when he isn’t at nursery, without my Mum I would have quite possibly lost my sanity since Sydney was born. I kid you not.

At the weekend, it of course all changes when Daddy is home, but we admittedly sometimes stay at home as a family too because Brody is so unpredictable in what he likes. We like to go to as many places as possible and we don’t want them missing out on anything, but sometimes his disabilities and sensory issues, combined with not being able to tell us how he feels or what he wants, means that we can’t always keep him happy. It’s a constant guessing game. And it’s hard for everybody. We’re slowly getting better at knowing what places might and might not work – but we quite often get it wrong.

Home is our safe place. It’s our happy place too. But sometimes the situation can leave me feeling utterly useless and like a crap Mum. And it makes me feel a million times worse if people don’t get it, which a lot don’t. Or they compare it to having two typically developing children, which is always helpful when you have a 5 year old with a learning disability.

I am hopeful of course that this situation isn’t forever and one day it will get easier. Maybe Brody’s understanding will improve. And when Sydney grows older she’ll be able to walk alongside his wheelchair if need be and will thankfully have awareness of dangers and be able to understand dos and don’ts (I know she won’t always conform!).

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll also be able to return to work when they’re both at school (I’ll factor in the hospital appointments, different schools in different villages with different start and finish times somehow right?).

But for now, some days, I am a stuck at home Mum.

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to try and not feel so guilty when we are at home or when we don’t go to certain events or places. Because we know what works best. And we just have to go with it and not worry about being judged. People will either get it or they won’t.

Read more of Laura and Brody's blogs at Brody me and GDD

Laura is also making it her mission to get supermarkets to stock affordable nappies in larger sizes for disabled children, support Laura's Petition here