This week I was lucky enough to go to the BAPS Awards (this stands for Bloody Awesome ParentS) and for those who haven’t got the foggiest these are awards for:
“…SEND bloggers to be recognised for their talents, their stories and their families – from the everyday to the exceptional. The BAPS will celebrate SEND bloggers, recognise their valuable contribution to raising awareness of additional needs, both within the SEND community and the wider society.”
My Family, Our Needs
I made it as a finalist in the category for Best Newcomer along with these amazing bloggers:
Living with Lennon was the winner in our category and if you haven’t had a chance already please do take a look at all of the blogs as they ALL deserve some great recognition.
So when I got back yesterday I walked in to find this bundle stashed by the front door:
It was a present wrapped in a home-made envelope thanks to an old Aldi magazine and a card which required me to open to find out who was the wInner (just love how she puts a capital I into everything).
Inside was a plastic flower and a tub of body butter (which I probably bought for myself yonks ago but never get round to opening).
She’s so good at convincing me of her authenticity when she insists she bought it for me.
The words she had written meant the most.
She had made an award for being the best mum in the world.
This has even more significance because she had been extremely anxious about two uncontrolable things relating to this.
Number one was the worry about mummy going away to the awards and number two was what would happen if I didn’t win the award.
Now I can’t begin to explain how much time I’ve spent prepping her that I might not be the person who takes the award home.
I have tried to explain (nearly every day for about the past few months) that there were other blogs in the category and they might also win.
Each time this landed in a meltdown usually resulting in someone getting hit.
“But I voted for you,” she kept saying. She was not able to deal with the unpredictability of the situation.
“I know you did darling but lots of people will vote for other bloggers and mummy doesn’t mind not winning. I’m just happy to be a finalist,” I kept reiterating.
“I only want YOU to win,” she often would yell and spit.
I had to keep distracting her off topic but minutes later I’d be asked again “why won’t you win?”
It’s been like a wheel going around and around and around.
Her ability to communicate camouflages her social and emotional impairment and also her inflexibility of thought.
I should have been looking forward to going but instead the nagging feeling of how I’d drop it to her that there was no award to bring home was hampering my excitement.
Without trying to be negative I was aware that the other bloggers have much larger followings and are very established at blogging – I almost felt like a cheat for being included.
In all honesty I knew it was unrealistic that I’d be bringing anything back and the impending doom of her meltdown was seeping through my enjoyment.
So the next morning I sent this picture home to my mum hoping I’d be able to wing it:
Nanny showed it to my PDA daughter and said “Wow! Look at that award certificate, mummy is the SECOND winner!!”
She thought about it and after the news had finally been processed she set to work to make me my very own award prize. It was probably her way of taking control of the situation.
I was so pleased with how she had managed to deal with the uncertainty and I was so grateful for the thought she had gone to in order to please me.
I have mummy guilt so often that it made me feel reassured that I am doing something right.
I do want to thank everyone for reading this blog and for all of the amazing things that were quoted about what I write.
I was just beyond excited to have been nominated in six of the seven categories and then to make it to the finals in one of them – well words cannot say how happy it made me and that would not have been possible without the generous support I’ve received so far.
It also spurs me to keep on going.
Every time you have commented or shared or liked what has been written it has given me a lift. A nudge in the right direction to keep moving forwards, even though I often feel like giving up.
It can be incredibly lonely and extremely challenging behind the charade of false smiles I feel like I give out on a daily basis.
If this is what can happen in the space of a year for a newcomer then what possibilities are there for the future?
Oh yeah did I forget to mention that Gethin Jones was presenting the awards and he actually started a conversation with me about the PDA blog – HE SAID HE HAD LOOKED AT IT!!!!
Now if someone had told me this time last year I’d be writing those words well I’d have fell over laughing.
My little old PDA blog where I ramble on about things we get up to and how challenging life can be and then continue to moan about PDA not being properly recognised – well you kind of don’t think it reaches anyone.
You think it’s just your thoughts.
But it does.
A life in SEND is not always how you plan it and you have to learn to alter your mind set.
At the awards ceremony I realised there were so many ‘bloody awesome parents’ out there and I was lucky enough to be in a room with an abundance of them.
I can pretend I won an artificial ‘second’ to ease my daughter’s expectations – but the priviledge of going to the BAPS was the real win for me.
In our house second is the new first.
Thank you to the team at My Family, Our Needs for hosting such a great event and for their ongoing commitment which improves the world of SEND – to learn more read here.
Please also click here to find out more about Nai – the autism charity set up Gethin Jones.
#BAPSAwards #PDA #SENblog
Love the home made prize!
And you are a finalist, 2nd winner is a pretty good description for that!
It was a great night and was so lovely to meet you!
Ahh thanks Vaila… I loved it and hope we get to meet at another event soon x
Love this post, and your daughter is an amazing PANDA – can imagine I’d have had similar difficult conversations here, but pretty sure I’d not have had the homemade card presented to me! We all have different struggles but there are definitely some parts of the PDA life which are very similar. You’re doing a great job and I was so pleased you were in the finals! x
What an wonderful daughter you have, lovely to read this. I love your blog, it reflects my own life and my children so much. Thank you for writing xx
Ahh thank you so much for this message yesterday it really made my day 🤩 – when you get a message like this it makes you feel so motivated to keep on going. Thank you so so much xx