Such an insignificant little word. One that we never really think about because we just take it for granted. Its just there in our word bank to pull out whenever we just happen to feel like it. But we don’t even realise we need it so much.

I am just a mum. A busy mum to three wonderful kids. I am just a housewife and a full time carer to my 11 year old son who has Autism. I am just trying my best to get through each day.

But I just reckon its such an undervalued word that really doesn’t know its worth. I know this to be true as it’s a word I use all day as I go about my jobs, without even giving it a second thought.

“I’ll just pop the kettle on” I shout upstairs as I am trying to rouse the sleepy heads from their beds every morning. “I’ve just got time to shove a quick wash load in before I do the school run” I think to myself whilst shoving the mountain of the laundry fiercely into our battered old machine “I had just about enough sleep last night to get me through the day” I tell myself as I am scraping my hair into ponytail whilst dashing out of the door clutching the car keys, school bags and trumpet just about still under my arms.

“We should just make it on time if we hit no traffic” I tell my daughter as she scoffs her cereal bar in her mouth whilst fiddling with the radio stations to find her favourite song on the way to school. And then my day really begins as I just have to dash to the shops, hoover the house, walk the dogs, order the meds, clean the bathroom, make the beds, email school, phone CAMHS and write a social story for swimming after school. And I then I might just about have time to eat, gulp some cold coffee whilst opening the mail, if I’m lucky.

Before I then wash the pots, polish the table, empty the bins, fill out the DLA forms, iron the shirts and all this whilst trying to catch my sons therapist in her office at some point on the phone today- I’ll just have to keep trying on redial till I catch her.

Then its just about time to head off to do the school pick up and hope there’s no delay so I can get back for my son arriving home in his taxi, who will be ready to just run through the door and have his snack there waiting for him as he does everyday.

And so this just continues day after day after day after day. I just plod on.

You see really I am just like the word just. I am always there. Always holding things together. I just get on with things despite how tired I am or how much I have to do.

But I am not ashamed to say I am more than just a mum. A Mum who’s always there to love and nurture, yes that’s a huge part of what makes me – well me. But I am so much more.

I am Michelle. I am not just a tired thirty something mum with grey hair wearing comfy knickers. I am funny and loyal, and by the way I make a mean chicken curry! I have depression and yet maintain a deep faith in life and love. I hold my friends and family so dearly that I would do anything to protect them from harm. I enjoy baking and reading and history- and so much more! (I secretly wish I lived in the 40s and drank from a china tea cup, whilst wearing floral kitten heels and a spotty head scarf too if truth be told.)

However I think I may have fallen into the trap of having so many just moments throughout the day that I take myself for granted now too. I need to reclaim my fabulous justness back!

So as we face this New Year I will try to have just one selfish moment all to myself each day- just for me and no one else!

I will just have half an hour reading a magazine. Or I will just try and drink my coffee hot today. Or “I am just going upstairs for a bubble bath children, the TV is on in the lounge.” Or even better still "We need a few hours together could you just sit for a bit for us darling sister of mine?"

This New Year is the time to just say enough is enough, I am more than just a mum, I am more than just a middle-aged woman wearing slippers and drinking tea from a chipped Wispa mug from Easter 2002. And in order to be all those things for everyone else I first need to just to look after me every now and again, even if it’s just for 10 minutes every day. It doesn’t mean I love my kids any less, it just means I love me too.

So let’s stop neglecting that insignificant little word and just care for it. Let’s care for ourselves and realise that we are so much more than just our jobs, whatever that may be. I am gonna start by pulling out my nan's old fine bone china tea set, putting on a bit of lippy and some killer heels (well I can sit in them at least) and just for 10 minutes each morning watch a bit of Philip Schofield on the tele sipping my tea in style!

Now who’s with me- one lump or two?

Mrs M x


"It can be difficult in day to day life to spend quality time together and Family Fund has helped us greatly over the years by helping us afford UK cottage holidays in remote locations, as my son loves being outdoors so much. These short breaks allow the kids to spend time together with no pressure of daily life weighing them down, and being in the countryside really helps reduce my sons anxiety not to mention my own stress levels."

Michelle lives in Cheshire with her husband and three kids. Her middle child has a diagnosis of autism, anxiety and Sensory Processing Disorder. She’s worked with autistic children for eight years in schools and also has a passion about the benefits of relaxation therapy for kids and mums alike. She loves baking, reading and sharing her life with others and the ups and downs of living with depression. She finds it a real comfort to know she’s not alone and writes hoping to speak to all mums no matter what they are going through! You can follow her family’s journey at asliceofautism.blogspot.com