Crafted by Mummy – My Etsy Shop

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Alongside my blog, I also have an Etsy store which helps me in supporting my son. Please take a look and let me know what you like best.

Want vs Need – Reality of Special Needs

Want vs Need - This special needs mum's daily struggle by Ramblings of an Autism MumWant vs Need – This special needs mum’s daily struggle.

Want: have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for

Need: require (something) because it is essential or very important rather than just desirable

The difference is obvious but, the reality?  It’s not that simple.

I constantly struggle with a major lack of time and an ongoing battle with looking after myself and doing what needs to be done.

I’m a special needs mum to Autism with Demand Avoidance Traits, Anxiety, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADHD and that doesn’t include my issues which include depression, anxiety and OCD tendencies…..


As every mum (and dad) knows, there are things that need to be done each and every day for life to function:

  • Washing
  • Dishes
  • Cooking
  • Shopping
  • Cleaning & tidying
  • School run
  • Walking/feeding the dogs
  • Poo picking the garden (yep, all non doggy owners, it’s a real thing!)
  • Earning money

Then you get the things that crop up:

  • Paperwork
  • Accounts
  • Doctors visits
  • Hair appointments
  • Washing machine malfunction

These lists are endless.

Let’s look at this in a little more detail.

Washing – want vs need:

an essential part of life.  We all need clean clothes. Will we die without them?  No. However, I don’t know about you but I don’t like dirty clothes and I really draw the line at turning underwear inside out to get another day out of it…….  Not to mention the whole hygiene issue….

Do I want to do it?  No. Do I need to do it? Yes

Dishes – want vs need:

another essential part of life.  Without clean dishes, we have nothing to cook our food in or eat our food on.

Do I want to do it? No.  Do I need to do it? Yes

Shopping – want vs need:

An essential part of life.  We all need to eat, have clothes, replace things that are broken or lost etc etc

Do I want to do it?  No. Do I need to do it?  Yes

Cooking – want vs need:

An essential part of life.  I actually like cooking when I have the time but, when I’m short of time, the pressure is on, I really don’t enjoy it.  It becomes a real chore. However, we all have to eat. (Not quite as simple as you may think…)

Do I want to do it?  Sometimes. Do I need to do it?  Yes

You get the idea……

Being selfish – not what you would think…..

This morning I had a selfish moment.  Completely selfish. I had a shower. Yep…..that’s me being selfish.  Did I relax? Nope. Too busy thinking about what I needed to get done.  Everything else tends to take priority over my needs.

It’s a real balancing act.

A typical day

Today is a typical example.

Me time

My alarm, the dog, wakes me up anywhere between 5am and 6am.  I get out of bed and let the dogs out. Then I have a selfish 30 minutes drinking a cup of coffee and having quiet time.  Without this 30 minutes my pills are not enough to get me through the day. Then starts my morning.

Here ends Me Time

I make my second coffee and a cup  for hubby who was on days today and he has to leave between 8am and 8.30am. He’s then out of the house till between 9pm and 9.30pm. (This varies as he works shifts)

During school term, (it’s currently Easter holidays) I have a school run to get my daughter to school, followed by a school run to get my son to school. Typically these are completely opposite directions. I usually get home mid morning

This morning….

The kids need getting up, the dogs need feeding, the chickens need feeding.  The dishes need washing as I was too tired last night. (they had to wait as my son was getting anxious).  I threw on some clothes, told my daughter that I was taking Robert to the yard, then counted to 10 because, although he was harassing me, he actually wasn’t quite ready! Off we went. The journey wasn’t so good. If the roads are clear then it’s only a 15 – 20 minute journey. Why did there have to be roadworks! Two lots!!!!

He was supposed to have a packed lunch but he was unable to make it this morning so I took the easy option.  We went via Sainsbury’s Local. I know that some of you will be thinking “why didn’t mummy make it for him?” Normally I would but, for the last few days, he’s been making it himself which is an amazing achievement!!!  So, I kind of assumed that he would do it again today but you know what they say about assuming…..  My expectation became a demand that he couldn’t deal with.  We are also trying to help him understand about responsibility and self care etc.

Not part of the plan!

One of my sons challenges is that he doesn’t do well when things don’t go as planned.  Roadworks had not been a factor in our journey so this added to his anxiety this morning.  

Now, while all of this is going on, I was thinking about the fact that my daughter wanted to go and get some riding boots and that we had to be at a clay modelling session for 1.30pm.

When I got home from dropping off my son (the yard is the only place that he will go without me!)  I went and sorted out the chickens then, on the way back down the garden, I poo picked the garden.

I checked my daughter’s temperature because I found her mopping the floor – not sure what’s come over her but I’m certainly not going to look a gift horse in the mouth!

A selfish shower

This is when I had my moment of selfishness.  I made myself a coffee and had a shower. The whole time I was thinking about what needed to be done and, this is where this blog post was born!  In the shower while I was being selfish and feeling guilty!

Everybody has struggles in life and, to be honest, mine are worse than some but far less than others but, I’m human. To me, my struggles and challenges are all consuming and, to be bluntly honest, I’m not worried about other people at this moment.  This is not natural to me as I’m the type of person that goes out of my way to help others. I care about my family, friends and my acquaintances but, at the moment, I just do not have the capacity.

Anyway, back to the actual subject of this blog.

All systems go!

I knew that, once I got out of the shower, it was going to be later than I thought, my daughter and I had to have lunch, the dogs needed feeding and we had to leave the house by 12.45pm.  I really wasn’t feeling the love for clay modelling today as I still had so much to do. But, off we went.

Why do things never go as planned…

When we got there, my son informed me that he really didn’t want to take part today.  There was absolutely no point in trying to make him as the resulting meltdown would have been enormous!  So, one of their friends took his place. While my daughter and her friend are playing with clay, I’m putting the days events down in the form of this blog post.

Annoyingly, one of the things that i should have done this morning was take something out of the freezer for dinner.  One of the things that I didn’t do was take something out for dinner so, here I am wondering what I can cobble together.  There is plenty of food in the house but it’s not that easy as you can read about in this post Special Needs and a Yellow Diet.

There is a knot in my stomach as I’m beating myself up about it.  Will that make a difference? Absolutely not but that’s just how I’m feeling.

What’s next?

What has the rest of the afternoon got in store?  Well, clay modelling finishes at 3pm. At this point I will have to run home, through the roadworks to get back to the dogs only to return to pick up my son and maybe my daughter (she hasn’t decided yet if she wants to stay at the yard).  Pick up is 5pm. The reality is that they are often not ready to leave till much later but, if I’m not there at 5pm, that will be the day that they are ready on time.

So, this means that we’ll be quite late home, the dogs will need walking, the dishes will need doing before dinner can be started.  We’ll eat late, which in turn means that the bedtime routine will be late.

When the kids are finally in bed I might be able to think about the things that I want to do.

End of the day

I recently started a little Etsy shop making beaded charms and jewellery.  If you are interested in taking a look, please visit Crafted by Mummy.  This is something that I love doing, I want to do (I find it therapeutic) but, it is also a source of income so I really do need to do it.  However, trying to make time for it is difficult. By the time the evening arrives, I’m tired and, to be honest, I’m then not really feeling creative and things quite often go wrong.  I find myself cutting wire too short, dropping beads, doing something in the wrong order, messing up a wire wrap – you get the picture. Also, in the back of my mind is the fact that I have another business that is sitting there that I should be working on but I’m finding it almost impossible.  Another feeling of guilt…..

Before I can go to bed, the puppy needs convincing to go out for a wee, my rats need feeding, things need switching off etc.  I am also generally thinking about all the things that I didn’t get done.


At the moment, I keep putting off doing my accounts!  I hate accounts but I need to do them. I also need to complete some paperwork for an insurance claim due to my daughter having an involuntary dismount from a pony, at speed, and giving herself concussion.  This resulted in her being unable to attend the school ski trip, hence the insurance claim. Invites need to be sorted for our 50th birthday bash later this year. The shopping needs doing, my washing pile is fast approaching the size of Snowdon, my office needs sorting as I can’t get in there, I need to fix the argument between my printer and my chromebook


Ok, before I dissolve into a complete negative spiral and depression, what have I actually achieved today?

I try, every so often, to write an accomplishment list.  It helps to build me up slightly. Many of the things that I write on it, to the normal person, will not be anything special but, to me, each little tiny thing is an achievement.

  • Got up
  • Got dressed
  • Emptied tumble dryer
  • Let dogs out
  • Fed dogs
  • Paused Riverford delivery
  • Ordered riding boots for my daughter
  • Took my son to the shop
  • Took my son to the yard
  • Drove home
  • Had a shower
  • Fed the chickens
  • Poo picked the garden
  • Unblocked the outside drain
  • Made lunch
  • Fed the dogs
  • Drove back to the yard for clay modelling
  • Drove home
  • Checked out the dinner situation
  • Put on a load of washing
  • Argued with my printer
  • Lost the argument
  • Drove back to the yard
  • Waited around
  • Drove home
  • Walked the dogs
  • Washed up
  • Cooked dinner
  • Ran my son a bath
  • Wrote this blog post
  • Fed my rats and had a cuddle with them

As I said, nothing on this list is that remarkable but, they are all small achievements.

What methods do you use to get through the day?

Until next time,


PS, please feel free to share this post if you have found value or know someone that will benefit from the contents.

Tales from Mamaville




  1. 13th May 2019 / 10:30 pm

    RESPECT! How you manage it all, and have time to start your Etsy shop and blog, and still keep your chin up, is so so commendable. Love and a tight hug Lyn! #itsok

    • Lyn Haslegrave
      13th May 2019 / 11:20 pm

      Lol,thank you my lovely. Some days are much harder than others but, that’s what being a mum is all about. #itsok

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