We were living in a busy town with an even busier work life and the social life that goes with it. I worked, I was dedicated, I was doing the best for my family.. The Daddy worked, he worked hard.. Shifts in a local car manufacturer.
Like most hard-working families we towed the line, and did the best we could… Working all year for the two week holiday abroad or to our beloved Devon. But those two weeks never seemed enough.
Still we worked, still we juggled the hours.. and boy did we do the hours.. working from home and in the office.. We enjoyed a good standard of living, the nice things, the nice holidays, the beautiful home and the new cars, they all softened the blow of the hours..
My lovely Mum was often cross with me for being late home.. she could see it, even if I was blind to it… “These boys need you home.. They are your priority”… I thought I was being like my Dad, my late Dad (and no, I don’t mean in the timekeeping sense – although he was well known for that).
I’d always had a good work ethic, I always wanted to please others and I worked hard to be the best.. sometimes to my detriment and the detriment of my family.. I can see that now.
Without seeing it coming… it kind of crept up on me.. us…. our little family.. things started to change..
The signs had been there with No.1 Son.. but without being an expert… or indeed a paranoid mother.. they hadn’t all added up.. One of the major symptoms had been sleep and the lack of.
My once peaceful, sleepy boy, who slept through the night and was no trouble to get off to sleep.. suddenly started being ‘naughty’ at bedtime. We returned from a fortnight in Greece, and thought he was out of his usual bedtime ‘routine’… For weeks the stress levels at bedtime were raised and we all struggled to settle No. 1 Son back into a routine.
In fact he never settled back into any form of routine..And so for nearly eighteen months we struggled.. Up and down the stairs up to twenty times a night… sometimes sleep would allude hm until midnight and gone.
He was tired, we all were.
And yet we all carried on, with the hours… at least we tried.. working in the evenings was challenging to say the least. Sometimes we could do it… we’d tag team the Daddy would settle No. 1 Son, whilst I attempted to catch up on the reports due in or the emails that were threatening to explode my mailbox… It all seems so pointless now.
Other times we compared notes ‘I lost it today – I shouted at him’, I fell asleep in his bed, when I woke up, he was playing cars on the floor’.
We were zombies.. we were so tired and No. 1 Son was too. We even had reports of him falling asleep in class, the school was great – I explained… he just won’t sleep.
We sought advice from the Doctor and the Health Visitor – routine… he must have routine.. try lavender. try black out curtains.. try a warm bath.. try a milky drink.. Believe me it was all going on.
And so there came a point where something had to give… And I was the first to fall… The Mummy.. It all came tumbling down… I finally believed my suspicions, I finally took on board the schools observations.. And finally the Daddy and I started our journey to gain a diagnosis…
I took some time out from work… I needed my space to think..to do the best by me and my family.. I sought solace in the advice of my oldest and dearest friends.
It was during one incredibly open and frank conversation with one of my very best friends that a discussion took place that was to change everything…
The question was asked “If you could do anything – what would you do?”… It started with ‘I’d own and run my own cafe.. selling cakes and sandwiches… ideally in Devon..’..The conversation evolved and plans were laid bare..the idea formed and I thought.. “What if?”.
And so after a good nights sleep and a plan of sorts forming in my head I began the drive back to the town where I had grown up, the town where we lived, the town which was everything we’d ever really known..
On the way, the Daddy rang to check in on my arrival time back to civilisation.. Only to be greeted with the bombshell “I’ve had an idea… what would you say to selling the house and moving to Devon…”.. And so the seed was sown…