A Day In the Life of a Family with a Child Missing Education

Today is Wednesday, and probably not the best day to write about, but it is also the 20th day in the last five weeks of school (November to January) that Jack has missed school.

I woke at 5am as usual, and checked my phone, my emails and my other notifications. I journalled, made some things for the social media pages I manage, and I had a coffee. I usually do meditative yoga around about now, but I was in a decent fettle so I skipped ahead and I did laundry, filled the dishwasher, washed the benches, washed and dressed, made the beds, and even had time to snuggle my little man. I then took in the grocery shop, unpacked it, and it was 9am. I do this even at weekends, because then it means I get some time alone before Jack wakes. I love him, but I get my ‘me time’ where I can. It’s amazing how quiet the world is at 5am. It’s wonderful.

Bryan was off work today, and so he offered to entertain Jack while I went for some much needed pampering – Nail Day! And so I went to see the lovely Alada of Miss Murray’s Marvellous Manicures and I got a beautiful set of spiky stiletto nails, created with Glitterbels acrylic, and some beautiful gem clusters.

One of my stipulations of Jack being off school is that his screen time is limited. I’ve never been one to place massive restrictions on screen time, but he’s not sitting on the Xbox One all day instead of learning! So today, Bryan took him over to the beach to hunt for Pokemon, and for a walk to the field to attempt to fly his drone.

Pokemon hunting is brilliant for improving geography – finding poke-stops on the map is actually way more educational than I’d ever have anticipated. I met them at the beach after my nail appointment, and we stopped for coffee and hot chocolates. Then we all came home and had a nice quiet time just relaxing in various parts of the house. We are all avid gamers and, since it was after school would have finished, I allowed Jack to do a bit of Xbox gaming. He hasn’t had it all day, after all!

Most days, Jack refuses to leave the house. We managed two hours at school yesterday, but on Monday, we both sat in the house for the entire day, just relaxing, watching TV, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t convince Jack to go out.

Sometimes, three or four days can pass without us leaving the house, and that is so hard. I’m pretty extroverted and I need time around humans to feel ‘charged’. I feel the isolation very quickly, even with a huge circle of friends who are available online at all hours of the day and night. Jack comes first, and he doesn’t mind, but this is something I am really struggling to come to terms with.

Some things have had to stop. I have had to withdraw from a number of projects. I’ve also been struggling to socialise, to network. My blog is taking a hit – I’m often disrupted during live videos and while writing which can really throw me. I’ve had to cancel one of my parent support groups, because I couldn’t find cover. I want to view special schools but I can’t just ‘get childcare’. Part of that problem is my mother – she has trouble with alcohol and I cannot leave Jack with her because, god forbid if anything went wrong, I know she wouldn’t call, but also Bryan could lose his job, and that would absolutely cripple us.

I am proactive and know how to get help. But I often find myself pondering, what if i was not educated well, or was not proactive, or if I had a learning disability?? How would I get through this? Where would I find the information?

I look forward to evenings most of all. I get a bath and then I bathe Jack. After his bath, he comes to my room and we talk, laugh, mess about and process the day together. We sometimes watch a little TV depending on the time, or we have a hot chocolate together. It’s the best time of day, winding down together, and spending time with no screens or tech. I go to bed at the same time as Jack so that, by the time he’s asleep, I’m ready to go straight to sleep, so I can wake at 5am, and do it all again, whatever the day may hold.

It’s not easy, or even fun some of the time, but I love my boy and I rise up and be what he needs, every single day.#

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