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Booked a holiday without ds1 - tell me I'm not mean!

(65 Posts)
Jimjams Sun 23-Jan-05 12:28:30

Some people's reactions are making me feel a bit guilty....

it's 20 miles down the road from home for a week- during school term- mum and dad are moving into our house whilst we're away. They'll bring him to visit at the weekend.

We're doing it mainly for ds2- otherwise he can't get to do any normal stuff at all. I mean he's 3 now, we live within minutes of the sea and he's never been to the beach for the day (he's been for a walk on the beach but never done the bucket and spade stuff). Someone asked me the other day whether he liked ice cream cones and I had no idea.... it will give us a break as well of course- looking after ds2 and ds3 is a doddle tbh.

Also ds1 hates going away- he freaks - won't go to bed and won't eat. He'll be much happier going to school and at home.

We're not going anywhere else this year.....

Some people have looked really surprised then kind of dubious when I've explained the reasons.

onlyjoking9329 Sun 23-Jan-05 12:33:03

i for one dont think your mean, i think it would be mean to make him go when he doesnt want to, wouldnt enjoy it and will make it difficult for everyone else to enjoy it, anyway he gets to stay at home with grandparents to spoil him, you are doing the right thing

Freckle Sun 23-Jan-05 12:33:20

B*gger other people's reactions. You do what is best for you and your family. Life is hard enough with an autistic child and your other children are entitled to have some fun too. And you could look on it as DS1 having a special treat with his grandparents and 100% attention focussed on him.

Hope you enjoy it and don't spend most of the time worrying about DS1 or feeling guilty.

zubb Sun 23-Jan-05 12:33:47

Sounds a good idea Jimjams, and its great that your parents can move in to look after ds1. Ds2 will have a great time, and as you say you'll get a break. It's the same as getting respite help, but with a bigger bonus for ds2.

Jimjams Sun 23-Jan-05 12:41:33

Thanks- I feel mean though which doesn't help. I particularly feel mean as being around ds2 is such fun (and ds3 is a baby so kind f easy to be around) whereas being around ds1 is such hard work at times. And yet despite being such hard work he's lovely so then I feel really guilty. And he's only hard work because he's having to cope with so much. Feel like I should take that on wiithout complaining.

aloha Sun 23-Jan-05 12:46:27

How could it possibly be mean to do what makes him happiest - ie stay at home with all his familiar things and his grandparents who love him? What a bizarre thing to say to you (or even think of you).
Of course your other children need different things to ds1 - all children have different needs and in your case that's quite an extreme difference. This way you are happy, all your kids are happy and you get a holiday for once in your life - who is the loser here?

Jimjams Sun 23-Jan-05 12:48:51

I think I feel guilty as I know we'll get more of a break

SoupDragon Sun 23-Jan-05 12:53:05

You're not being mean at all. As you say, DS1 would hate it so it would be far meaner to take him.

aloha Sun 23-Jan-05 12:54:39

What's so wicked about having a break? Or have I missed the whole purpose of holidays?
You know ds1 would HATE a beach holiday - so to take him might well be mean - but to leave him wouldn't be.

morningpaper Sun 23-Jan-05 12:56:50

I think it's lovely that your grandparents get to have a great quality time with ds1. Have a lovely holiday!

charliecat Sun 23-Jan-05 12:58:09

Your not mean at all...whoever is looking surprised doesnt have to live a day in your shoes. You enjoy yourself and DS1 will too, if you take him you will be stressed and he will hate it. Its the right thing!

Jimjams Sun 23-Jan-05 12:58:33

Oh I know the logical part of me agrees with all of this (which is why we have done it). I wouldn't feel guilty leaving all the children..... I just feel guilty that we can't have a relaxing time with him as well. He's sitting behind me eating lunch and humming happily away at the moment being lovely and I feel mean mean mean for leaving him behind..... If I could think of somewhere to take him that he would enjoy I would. But I can't- except for the campervan and I haven't found a spare 33 grand yet..... and then we still have the problem that we have to split up to do anything.

tigermoth Sun 23-Jan-05 13:08:57

Are you feeling that this is a bit of a milestone jimjams? It's the first holiday you've organised without ds1, isn't it? I can understand you feeling very torn.

I think you are absolutely right to go, as you know ds1 will be happier at home. I read in one of your threads how he sat patiently waiting for the school bus for 20 minutes, and how this new special school is making him so happy. I guess that's the one side of the coin. The other side is that happiness will mean very different things to your children and this will show itself more and more as they get older.

Of course your ds2 needs that bucket and spade experience - the beaches round your way are so lovely. You must think of him - and I am sure you could do with a break, too.

Blackduck Sun 23-Jan-05 13:09:50

JJ when I read your posts I am always amazed at how much you have to deal with, and how you do it with so little complaint ..... you, ds2, ds3 and Mr.JJ deserve a break too....You give so much and work so hard for ds1 this is a chance to have some time and recharge the others have said it would be mean to drag ds1 away somewhere he would hate...go, enjoy, come back refreshed...

coppertop Sun 23-Jan-05 13:14:56

You're definitely not being mean. Ds1 will enjoy school and time with your parents a million times more than he would enjoy the seaside. Ds2 will love the trip and you and dh will get a break. If other people don't understand this then it's because they haven't lived in your shoes and just don't know ds1 the way you do.

Portree Sun 23-Jan-05 13:18:42

Absolutely not mean and you do need a break too. JJ, you may remember, my sister has special needs and is still cared for at home by my parents. They recently had their first holiday alone in 30-odd years and it breathed new life into them. And now they plan to do it again. Also, from the child point of view, I often was the one who was cared for by others rather than my sister. It would have been super special if it was the other way around as so much of what we could do as a family was dictated by her (very real) needs. And yes, I did grow to resent it and it took me a long time to come to terms with it.

Gwenick Sun 23-Jan-05 13:21:03

I think it's great and definitely not mean. YOU need the break just as much as he does - and not having to look after him for one week will give you the opportunity to recharge your batteries and be able to look after him better.

I think you're doing exactly the right thing (I don't have a SN child - but I wouldn't mind a short holiday without the kids to give time for me to recuperate).

SoupDragon Sun 23-Jan-05 13:22:45

Can you promise yourself you'll do something just for him, even if it's just a short outing leaving the others DSs at home?

oooggs Sun 23-Jan-05 13:23:05

I think it's great and I hope you have a fab time. Everybody in the house has needs and DS1's needs will be catered for by grandparents whilst you and DH have special time with DS2 and baby DS3.

Jimjams Sun 23-Jan-05 13:25:13

Thank you....

Portee that's a good point. DS2 does need to be indulged sometimes- I know he has to behave as the eldest a lot of the time and I expect far more of him than I would if we were a "normal" family.

Tigermoth- we're usually pretty easy to spot at Bigbury (ds1 running ahead- straight over to look at the toilets in the pub- dh running after him, and ds2 with me either sat in one spot or wandering way behind ds1 and dh.). God knows where ds3 will fit into all of this!

Jimjams Sun 23-Jan-05 13:27:58

TBH soupy we do that pretty much every weekend as it is. He starts to scream and climb the walls so dh takes him out somewhere leaviing the rest of us behind. Trouble is he doesn't like grass, he doesn't like crowds, he doesn't like trees (walking underneath them), he doesn't like places like aquariums. He quite likes parked cars at the moment but that's about it. We spend ages trying to think of places to take him (that are close enough that it doesn't matter if we have to bail out).

SoupDragon Sun 23-Jan-05 13:31:42

A multistorey carpark? Must say, I hesitated to suggest taking him on a special day out because I realised it would be (a) tricky and (b) probaly what you do anyway. I know the parents of my autistic second cousin missed out on a lot of holidays because they couldn't take him and had nowhere to leave him very often. Take the opportunity whilst you can.

Jimjams Sun 23-Jan-05 13:33:29

oh god a mutlistorey carpark would be a nightmare. The hardest part of each day at the moment is getting him from the car into through the front door as he wants to run down the road sniffing every car in the street. He'd love a multistorey carpark but dh would be a wreck ;o

Jimjams Sun 23-Jan-05 13:33:56


Jimjams Sun 23-Jan-05 13:34:40

or a washing machine shop I guess. Although he has a habit of pushing other customers out of the way so he can stick his head inside the drum.....

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