Easy meal planning making life easier

easy-meal-planning-orange-border-300x300Meal planning is a brilliant idea for all families, it saves us all the stressing of what we want to pick on the day. I know before I started meal planning I was in the habit of shopping on the day just to keep everyone happy, at one point I was even cooking up to three different meals a day for the whole family. The stress of it all was unreal and I let my children dictate what they wanted.

By meal planning not only are you taking the stress away, but you are also giving everyone in the household a pick of what they want for the week when use plan your meals together as a family.

Your shopping becomes easier wether it’s going to the store or shopping online, personally if I can I prefer to shop online it saves me the worry of my eldest son playing up as this sort of task for him would set him off with his behaviour (ADHD).

This is also a money saver, I know me and my family had to budget recently so we could pay for our holiday to Spain. These are things we have to do to enjoy these luxuries and if I’m honest I love to bargain shop lol.

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Here is a picture to something similar to what we use at home a plain pad is just as good, i like my children to see what our weekly meal plan is for the week.

I will also give a list of some meals we like at home they are simple and not time consuming and maybe this can help you plan your weekly meal planner.

Here is a basic week for my family unless the children are at school then they get school meals.

Four of these dinners can be done in the slow cooker which is a god send in my eyes.

Dinners

  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Cheese stuffed chicken fillet, wrapped in bacon with mash potatoe and vegetables
  • Tuna pasta bake
  • Chicken curry and rice
  • Chilli con carne with wraps and salad
  • Homemade pizza
  • Sausage casserole

Lunches for kids

  • Chocolate spread smeared on a wrap, place banana in and roll up. Cut into slices
  • Pitta bread filled with a filling if your choice
  • Bagel with ham and cream cheese
  • Ham and cheese egg muffins
  • Hotdogs
  • Chicken wraps
  • Sandwiches

My children prefer to have a variety of snacks which I pre pack for the week, it seems less boring too them this way and all of these lunches are quick to make.

Breakfast

  • Peanut butter and banana on bagel
  • Boiled egg & toast
  • Pancakes (make from scratch it’s cheaper)
  • Yogurt and fruit
  • Omelette
  • Sausage sandwich
  • Cheese on toast

I know this is easier said then done and we all don’t necessarily have time, things like boiling eggs the day before will save time or, cooking extra sausages from the day before when you do your sausage casserole for dinner. Stored correctly can be used the next morning.

Snacks

  • Cheese and ham skewers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Carrot sticks
  • Crisps
  • Homemade biscuits
  • Fruit (tinned fruit is cheaper)
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Raisens
  • Jelly (buy small plastic pots and make yourself, saves money)
  • Chicken bites
  • Flapjack (homemade)

All my children seem to want to do is eat as I’m sure all of yours do, snacks is something I like to stock up on so they can have a couple after school.

Everyone is different it would be up to you to decide what’s best and what will work for your family. I have loved meal planning it also stops my children asking me continuesly what’s for breakfast, snacks or dinner which as mothers I’m sure your awear this is all we hear as well as “mummy I’m hungry” lol.

My children know this is what we stick by, if we have day trip’s out we obviously change our plan for the day. I also love how it gives me the chance to give my children a good variety of food.

We are far from health freaks and my children get their treats, I just love how easy this makes my life and how much more time I have with my children not needing to go shopping every day or stressed trying to decide what’s for dinner to make everyone happy. I hope this can help anyone as much as it has helped me and my family 😊

Easy home exercises to keep fit

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BEFORE EXERCISING PLEASE CONSULT YOUR GP. 
I AM NOT AN EXPERT OR TRAINED IN THIS AREA, THIS IS FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCES. 

I am no expert these are things I do at home myself and work for me, if using your baby please take precaution. Everybody is different and some start off small like I did, do not see this as failure believe me within 6 weeks and 3-5 days a week with a good balanced diet you will see a difference.

These exercises are great, I also like to add 30 minutes of cardio each day I do these. Getting your heart rate going is good to burn fat.

Squats

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These are so easy to do and great on your legs, can be easily done with your baby.

wall sit 

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Wall sit’s are great on your thighs, time yourself to track your process. The longer you hold the better.

Lunges 

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Once again fantastic on legs and easily done with your baby, please wear sturdy trainers and on none slippy floor if you are using your baby.

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Planking is awesome for your abs, don’t be too worried if you can only hold for 30 seconds your first time. Keep track of your time you will progress quicker than you think 😊

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You may feel if you are overweight you are doing it wrong but persist, do not pull on your neck as this will cause you an injury. Believe it or not this is another exercise you will progress quickly with.

Double crunch v-sit

These are a lot easier when using your arms as above, once you get fitter you will be able to progress with your hands behind your ears. These work on bottom and too abs also arms and legs.

Leg lifts 

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These are great for your lower abs and if you are ready to exercise after a c-section and have been given the ok by your gp these work fantastic, although I would suggest a cycling motion while laying on your back bringing your legs straight out to begin with. From my own experience these leg lifts were too much for my scar tissue even tho i did them before my c-section but once I strengthened my lower abdomon leg lifts work great again.

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I absouloutly love these, so easy to do although bit harder on the arms to begin with if you carry weight like i did when I started.

Bicep curls with baby or weights Bicep-Curl-with-Baby_ALL1

These can be done with your baby or weights, I prefer weights but if my son is unsettled while I workout I use him and he enjoys it 😊

cobra pose (yoga)

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This pose is great on your arms and back and is very easy to do. I would hold for 15 seconds then relax for 10 and repeat 5-8 times.

One arm one leg plank

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This can be tricky if your balence isn’t great, this one is new to me, you hold and track your time. It works on your abs, legs and arm. The aim is to hold as long as possible and hold your core in at the same time.

Cardio 

Running

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Running is my favourite thing to do and easy with my son in his stroller, I love how it clears my head and gets my heart pumping. Iv recently ran the 10k for cancer research race for life which i loved every second, was an amazing experience.

If you are a beginner stopping and starting is not a problem, I remember I used to have to stop every 30 seconds when i started. Its actually better to burn fat if you run as fast as you can for 1 minute and walk for 30 seconds and repeat this for whatever suits you best.

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If running is not for you swimming is also a great source of cardio, its great on your arms and legs. Personally I don’t have time my trips to the swimming pool consist of playing with my children which isn’t exactly the type of cardio I’m talking about lol.

Speed walking

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I love this type of cardio, it doesn’t have the same effect as running but very enjoyable. I like to do this with my children, I have them run ahead while we walk the coast. As long as your a safe distance from roads etc this is more than manageable to fit into your daily life and the kids love this.

I hope some of my ideas can help, please remember I have no expertise in this field. I just want to help mums feel better about themselves and maybe make a difference in their lives for the better. I know all these things work for me and around my children and home life even when I was working.
Since exercising regular I have felt so much more energetic, its something Iv missed after having my last child. Due to complications and 9 months later it’s only now I’m able to get back at it and I already feel fantastic.
Motivation is the key, DO NOT GIVE UP… If you skip a day or eat a burger do not see this a failure carry on like it didn’t happen. It’s not a diet or a temporary fix your looking because if you are this won’t work, this is a change of lifestyle (permanent)❤

Parenting tips to make life a little easier 🤞

Favorite-parenting-tips-sqOk so we all know everyday is like a war zone when you have children wether it’s 1 child or 6, the fighting and screaming, food being found all around the house even tho you specifically told them “eat at the table please” the endless of washing, I mean come on does it ever stop.

The cleaning which is absouloutly pointless because by the time your on your second room the last one you cleaned is a bomb site and may I add I must clean my floors 3 times a day lol, and if I hear “mum where is my …….” one more time im going to lock myself away, you know what the best part my day is? Waking up just about being able to make myself look presentable for the day and only to get baby sick all down my clean clothes haha.

When i decided to have my second child i thought “yep my son would love someone to play with” thats the craziest idea I ever had, because what your really doing is making your child’s first arch nemesis. And you know what I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world, I love my crazy life we are far from a perfect family which we love.

One thing I have had to learn even when i was working that these home ideas/routines im about to list and show you is, I honestly wouldn’t be able to function properly if I didn’t stick to them especially with my eldest coping with ADHD everyday and night. I hope even some of these things can help yourselves.

Wake up early

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By allowing yourself even half an hour before the children wake up it will give you enough time to grab coffee or shower.

There is nothing worse than starting your day off rushing and in a panic, not only do you over stress but it then effects the children leaving everyone in overdrive, This will allow you to have a much more productive day.

Understandably if u have infants this is much harder especially if you are a single parent but believe me if you can manage even 30 minutes before the children you will see a big difference.

Always prepare clothes for the next day, the night before

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This always saves time even leave out your own clothes, accessorize etc. I know because of my son I have to add on extra time for him, he wakes at 6.30am with my baby boy and my daughter gets up at 7am. It saves fighting on the landing and over the bathroom too lol.

pre pack snacks or lunches for school/work and after school the night before

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I know we all don’t want to be standing at night when the children are in bed and we finally have peace and quite. I personally pack for the week, example… on a Sunday I would make all the snacks and lunches to do until Friday.

They each have their own plastic container that holds fruit, crackers, raisens etc to do them the week. Also if you plan carefully the food you need to store in the fridge also keeps longer than you realise. I also write a meal plan each week on a Saturday to do my shopping on Sunday.

Pre plan your meals for the week, a weekly meal planner is perfect and saves money

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I know some of us like to decide on the day what we want to eat which is all being well but honestly if you want an easier life and less stress with more time on your hands to spend with your children this is something you might want to consider.It gives you the chance to pick something each day that makes everyone happy, as my son is very picky on what he eats we compromise. He understands we all get to pick a day on what we want for dinner this also can be fun to plan as a family 😊

Eating together at the dinner table 

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This not only is nice to be sitting together as a family but it also gives you the opportunity to talk about your days, we always start with the youngest as they are less impatient but in my case my son is lol we still stick to this as it’s our rules.

We all as a family wether it’s school, appointments, activities or visitors, never give each other enough time to communicate this is a great opportunity to fit that in, It also gives us as parents the opportunity to see if our children have any problems they want to talk about and if not we let them know either me or my partner are available to talk one on one after dinner.

Giving children chores for age appropriate 

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We all work hard as a family and I’m a strong believer that our children need to learn responsibility from a young age. Don’t worry I do not take my children’s fun away from being a child they have plenty of time to play, attend activities and spend time with us as a family wether it’s days out or family time in our home and play dates, But I will not have my children grow up thinking they can be lazy and everything done for them, believe it or not my children respect me more for it.

This is also a reason my son is so manageable with his condition because he knows what he has to do if he didn’t that’s when my house becomes chaos.

Bedtime routine

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I’m very strict when it comes to my morning and bed time routine mainly on school/work days, if I wasn’t I honestly believe I’d suffer with depression. Children need to have stability not only in routine but in every aspect of their little lives, every child is different. We also don’t all agree or parent the same and I do not and will never judge anybody for the way they do.

I like to go by Jo Frost bedtime approach “bath, book, bed” it has worked with all 3 of my children including my son. He does not go straight to sleep but does lay quietly reading by himself and to me that is more than success.

It helps my 10 month old son fall asleep by himself and settles himself without screaming fits, which if this does happen unsettles all the children.

Exercise in the morning

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As mothers we spend all day on our feet running after our children and looking after our homes putting everyone else before ourselves, we start to get ourselves run down and over tired. That’s when we struggle to function and it starts to effect out relationships with our husbands/partners and children.

After dropping your children at school try and find 30 mins to do some exercises wether it’s at home because we just don’t have the money or time or at a fitness class or gym. This not only helps us to distress but also gives us the energy to face the day ahead. Yoga is a brilliant class to relieve stress or anxiety, it helps your body relax.

Find opportunity to relax

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I know this is also easier said than done and believe me following these ideas does not always go to plan, but bedtime is a perfect opportunity to get the kids settled in their routine and then run yourself a bath and relax for 30 mins. This will also help you sleep well helping how you feel the next morning.

I also like to walk in the evenings when my partner can take the kids for 30-40 mins and listen to music, I don’t get this often but when I do it’s relaxing and I get to clear my head of the days events.

Set up nap time

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We all know if we have a baby or a toddler they get extremely grumpy when tired, this is where nap time is so important and it gives us some quite time to do some cleaning or even just relax with cup tea and something to eat.

My son is 10 months old and he naps twice a day. After dropping the 2 eldest I come home and give my son a bottle and put him down for nap, this gives me the opportunity to exercise at home for at least 30 mins and grab a shower. We also eat lunch together, as mums we often say we don’t have time to eat, we always have time it’s planning and preparing. My son then naps after the kids are home from school giving me the opportunity to help with homworks and cook dinner if i haven’t already prepared it in the morning.

Allow a bit of chaos 

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We all know we can spend most of our days watching our children destroy their rooms you spent so long cleaning and organizing, or toys all over the living room, sofa cushions all over the place and food all over the floor, but it’s ok to have this chaos and let our children be children.

I know we want to teach them to be responsible and we have plenty of time to do that bit by bit as they grow. Just make sure your children know it will be them cleaning up after they are done making a mess 😊

 Family time 

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Family time is so important to all families, we get so busy with our lives we forget what’s important and miss out on so much in our children’s lives because in reality we are not superwomen as much as we try or like to think. I know with us we set aside Sundays as our family time also in the school holidays it’s always family time which is so much fun, with days out or activities in the house. We don’t have to spend any money to have time with our children, we like to take it in turns on who picks what we do. Family time makes us so much more closer as a family and it’s something we all look forward to.

Making time for you and your partner/husband

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We all don’t have family or friends we can ask to mind our children but that doesn’t mean we can’t have time with the man we love. For example if you stick to bedtime routine you will have your evenings free to do things together here is a list of just a few

● Lay blankets out on the floor with cusions, light some candles and pick a movie. Me and my partner did this the other night and it was beautiful.

● Eat dinner late, its not ideal but we do what we can. Cook together then eat at the table with candles and this gives use the opportunity to talk and communicate about any worries or problems you both have.

● Enjoy a massage night, then a lovely warm bath together to end the evening. There is nothing more romantic and close than helping each other relax and unwind. It also helps bring romance back into your relationship.

● Play bored or card games, as silly as this sounds it can be so much fun. If you need to bring a little romance back into your relationship this is great oppertunity to have the winner pick something they miss or want to do.

● Taking it in turns to participate in each other’s hobbies. I know my partner loves football sometimes I would join him in watching a big match cuddled up together with snacks. In return he would watch movies/ Tv programs I enjoy or he takes time to read the things I write and I’m passionate about.

Here are just a few things I feel strongly about, they may not work for everyone but I do believe morning and bedtime routine is the most important. It gives us as parents the strength to get on everyday and be happy and distressed as possible.

I know it may sound I don’t allow my children time to be children but I do believe me, on school days yes it’s very military but they also know once their homework is done after school and their chores they get to play. They also do not have chores on the weekends except the basics like making their beds or cleaning up the mess they have made these are things we do everyday and they need to understand I’m their mummy not their slave lol

I like to see them enjoying themselves on weekends and holidays which is why i say chaos is ok, if we were strict all the time we would have unhappy children and be taking away their childhood. I hope this can help even just a little with your home lives.

Keeping your relationship strong

relationship-pics-images-pictures-photos-17Ok viewers there are so many things we can say about keeping a relationship strong and we all have our own opinion but here im going to tell you some of my own stories, opinions and experiences that has gotten me to where I am today 😊

Ok so I met my first love when I was 18 and as you can imagine how childish and naive I was at that age thinking this was us forever. We had such an unhealthy relationship, unfaithfulness on both sides. Me thinking I’d get him back believe me I know now how terrible all that was and only degraded myself in the process. We went on like this for 5 years.

Then I met my next partner who was the opposite, he showed me affection and love. All he wanted to do was spend time with me and sweet talk me to the extreme we married 9 months later into the relationship ( yes again believe me iv learned from my mistakes ) that lasted the first year then i started to realise he was actually very selfish. He wouldn’t work or even clean, his own hygiene went completely down hill. Obviously that was when I realised he suffered from terrible depression and had done before we met, we had our daughter and he just got worse. I tried to help but how do you help someone who isn’t willing to help themselves. This went on for 6 years until there just wasn’t anything there anymore, we agreed to live together as he had nowhere to go. In the end we got divorced, you can’t fight for a marriage by yourself believe me Iv tried.

Now here I am with a man who I absolutely adore and who adores me, we share our family life 50/50 obviously when he works I don’t expect too much as he provides for our family. Our communication is open and even if we don’t like what the other has to say we always take it on board and compromise. We had a beautiful baby boy and never have I experienced sharing duties of one of my children before until now, he does more than I would ever expect of him and he enjoys every minute of it.

I ended up having a c-section with our son and had normal delivery with my other two so it was a shock to my body and being so independent it was so hard to rely and expect him to help me wash the first week after our son was born.

We both have the understanding that you don’t just fall in love with one another and that’s it for life. You both spend the rest of your lives working together to remind each other why you’s love each other and respect each other. There isn’t a day that goes by we do not appreciate what we do for one another and we show that in our actions not just words.

We do not tell one another continuously  that we love each other otherwise it doesn’t feel like it means the same. We accept that one day, through stress or whatever life throws at us that one of us may even fall out of love with each other but then that is down to us to make us fall back in love, we did it before we can do it again.

If relationships were easy it would be boring, I love how each day he shows me something new about him, I love how he knows me so well just by looking at me he can tell what I’m thinking or feeling and will be first to take the stress off me.

My life experiences have taught me to be open minded and not naive, to accept the good with the bad because come on do we honestly want someone perfect, I know I don’t where is the fun in that. We give each other space but plenty of time for one another, we do not tell each other what we can and can’t do.

We believe if we make a mistake it’s down to us to decide wether what we are doing is right or wrong even if we don’t agree. Even as adults we learn by our mistakes, but that’s exactly what we need to do is learn by them.

We are in no hurry to get married as much as I love this man we are very happy as we are. One day im sure we will but right now it’s perfect.

One thing iv defiantly learned is never try to change someone because it never works, if you do not love that person as they are then it’s not the right time or person.

I think after all the stories my Nanny used to tell me about how much she loved my grandad and how we work always to keep our relationship strong. It’s finally clicked, sadly my Nanny passed 6 years ago but from teenagers my grandparents were together until the day she passed age 79 and it’s them who I strive to be like. They were soul mates forever and always, and I’m telling you this if I have to work the rest of my life for my soul mate then it will be worth every tear, every obstacle and I know all the happy moments we share will outweigh all of that ❤

Being an at home mummy

1000x400_BlogBannerWell first of all I’d like to start by saying thank you very much for taking your time to read my blog. I have recently decided to stay at home after my maternity leave of my 3rd child finished, I spent between 35-40 hours a week working while running around after my children and home life causing myself to fall into extreme stress and anxiety. I never realised how much i was missing with my children until I took this time off, so far iv been home with my family for 1 year my maternity included in that.

I always thought I had it harder being a working mother trying to provide for my family when in reality being a full-time mother at home is a full-time job in itself, i am not saying working mothers get it easier. We all have our different reasons to work when we have kids wether it’s being a single parent or just not enough income, or staying home full-time because we can’t afford childcare and have no family or friends to help. Either way we do our best to provide for our family and make choices even though we really don’t know wether they are right or wrong.

I always thought I had it hard working all those hours and then coming home to care for my children and cleaning my home, but what I didn’t realise was I actually was giving myself a break by working, from continues fighting between my two eldest, food being thrown around my home, the relentless questions that these beautiful little beings seem to have one straight after the other lol, most of which were pointless and I generally had no answer to.

But you know what I have loved every single day iv had at home with them and getting to see more of their personality and watching them grow, being able to remember everything that goes on in their school rather than other mothers telling me last minute (I still don’t remember everything lol) I just never realised how much of their lives I was missing, considering my son who is 10 was diagnosed with ADHD and needs cared for 24/7 due to his inability to fulfil a simple task and get frustrated over. I should have put more of my time into him and my daughter rather than being driven to work, in reality it’s not like iv needed to this last 2 years.

Prior to meeting my current partner I was so dead set on working my butt off to give my children everything it consumed me which was clearly unhealthy. I’m now able to put 100% of my attention into all my children giving them a very happy mother, meaning they are very happy children. I’m able to give my 6 year old daughter some one on one that every little princess needs with their mummy and I can now watch my baby boy grow and learn and be there to teach him rather than rushing off to work or being to tired to even want to sit and read with them. But mostly I get to give more time to my partner who does everything in his power for our family, care and love each other without stressing at one another because we have both had hard days and this is what keeps our family strong dealing with this all together.

I’m not saying I will never go back to work because if I’m honest, I’m a very independent women and prior to my partner I was always the provider it’s been hard allowing someone else to look after me but I have to remind myself every day, he loves providing for us all and taking care of us and that’s something that makes him extremely happy.

So here I am washing done, activities attended, cleaning done, baby fast asleep, children having play time, shopping done, appointments attended, bills paid and dinner on. That’s what has brought me here today I hope you enjoyed this small blog and my first one of that I have many more to come.

Coping with a child with ADHD!

h_butoday_iStock_000023840138_XXXLargeWell where do I start, my first born is now 10 years old he has had this condition since birth, sadly it took the government until he was 9 years of age to diagnose him. Understandably there are many parents out there that try to label their children for their own reasons wether it’s to cover the way they parent them causing them to have a misbehaved child, because they just have an over active child or as common as it sounds because someone thinks something is wrong with them wether its family or friends.

Either way this is a real condition and coming from a mother that lives with it every day and the hardest being 9 years before my son got the help he deserved and desperately needed. My son grows up living in his own head away from reality not understanding feelings or the effect his actions are having on people, causing harm to others by accidental all because he doesn’t understand the consequences no matter how much time you put into explaining it to him or showing him. Yes the older he is getting it’s getting much easier to help him understand.

He has no safety awareness even now and he will be turning 11 soon, he had no concentration leaving himself upset. Unable to keep friends because mentally he is at least 3-4 years behind but yet he is top of his class ready to sit his exams for grammer school.

He would say things to me like ” mummy why does my brain go so fast? It just won’t stop” “I try concentrating on my work but it’s too hard but I really want to” he would cry to me asking why is he so different and why doesn’t any of the other children want to play with him and my heart would break into a million pieces seeing him like this.

I would fight with the asset team week after week after week when finally we got the help we needed, even tho I always knew he had this having it confirmed destroyed me. My poor boy struggles day in and day out fighting to fit in and here I was complaining how hard he was to control, i was continuously telling him off for one thing or another and i wouldnt change the most part, i think being strict with him helped. My son is now on medication also another thing that my son insisted on trying, How could I say no to something my son was so optimistic about thinking this will make him better. So we did and I have to say he has been one of the lucky children that these medecations worked first time, yes we struggle in the morning it’s probably our hardest part of the day.

Routine is everything with a child with this condition, he has excelled at school he has always been smart but this condition was stopping him from growing, from showing his potential. Now he is one of the highest in his class and his own goal is to complete his exam for grammer school and he doesn’t even want to go.

He has always been the most caring, sweetest boy you could meet, he will always be the first to help someone and the kindest heart. Not all but a lot of people assume if you have ADHD your child is out of control, no that is not always the case. My son has never threw anything at anyone or punched, kicked or even sworn at anyone. He lives with this everyday and you know what adhd is not an excuse to failure. I will always stick to my sons saying and that is “I’m gonna kick ADHD in the butt” lol he is so determined to show everyone this will not take him down the wrong path and for that and him being just him.

I am the most luckiest mummy in the world and he makes me so proud everyday and I know with his attitude and his family’s help he will do just as he says and hopefully as a mother we have to have hope, that he outgrows this. Either way I love my son just how he is, he has had a big part to play for who I am today it’s me that looks up to him everyday.