I’ve worked out why I’m crazy!

Parenting is a tough job. You’ve got your own timetable to keep up with, the house timetable, the pets, your partners, their work, your work, fitness, diets, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, medical appointments, social events, tests, homework, clubs and even menstrual cycles for those lucky enough to suffer this curse!

So when I wrote Adoptymum – I didn’t think I was an expert – by a long shot. But I felt I had a good grasp on my kids and what to expect from them. Obviously really as I found time to write our crazy life on paper!!

And as the year has gone on, i’ve worked out why I’m crazy and my life has slowly descended in to an actual loud exclamation of WTAF?!

Lockdown – yeh wasn’t prepared for that. Homeschool two kids who seesaw in behaviour and attention needing, while fighting over the sofa, the remote, bubble wrap, a cardboard box, the dog, cushions – even breathing near each other.

Just wasn’t going to happen. As an ex teacher, I feel lame. Adoptydad, as a very academic and gifted pupil in his former years, think this is terrible and that they’ll fall behind and be stupid when they grow up, never getting a good job and always being reliant on us FOREVER!

This made me sit up a bit. FOREVER?! I can’t do this forever! I am not one of those silent sufferers who eventually implode. I plan on exploding and dragging everyone in with me! Forever being needed to this extent? Forever dealing with the refusals and tantrums? It’s exhausting to even think about.

So I pondered and thought long and hard (I mean drank!). Why is this so hard now? The last few years have been tough but working towards manageable. I had confident moments and real good parenting moments too. Ok – the odd epic fail was in there – like when I got the kids ready in uniform for school, with packed lunches, only to find out as I looked for my keys, that both schools were shut!! But on the whole I didn’t feel as daunted every day as I had in the past.

Then I realised. The books, the training and the advice don’t set you up for the right type of parenting. They prepared me for textbook parenting where you have terrible twos, toddler, school, tween, teen and sloth.

No one ever prepared me for ‘moon’ parenting.(copyright) The kind needed for kids who constantly change. My school age child loves between baby when things are really bad and horrid teen when the planets align

My tween flits between toddler, tantrums, unhygienic zombie and sloth. And I can’t keep up. Nowhere does it say in the books, what you should do when your child cleans their teeth with water as it’s too much effort to add toothpaste.

The books also don’t give advice on what to do when your child appears late one night, with pen drawings all over her body and face, sobbing as she’s embarrassed, claiming her body told her to do it I can hear her now shouting and screaming in her sleep – night terrors should have been grown out of by now!

So thank all that is holy, for Facebook and instagram. Filled with understanding people, laughing, sympathising and understanding just how batshit crazy this parenting lark can be.

Sigh. Better go check she’s not colouring something else on her – or cutting her own hair. Again.

Loving the moustachio!

Brick wall

You know that feeling when you are so entirely stuck – it’s like you’ve hit a brick wall.

It happens in running, in dieting – in all areas

Of life. But what I wasn’t prepared for

Was to hit one in parenting.

Yesterday Biggie told me he doesn’t need me and won’t ever again. Now obviously what he meant was – I don’t want you because clearly he needs me – the 6 miles car journey to school and back is proof of that

But he doesn’t want me – and I don’t know what to do with that

He’s not quite teen and I know all people have hated their parents at some point when they won’t give in to what seems a reasonable demand but our problem

Seems deeper than that

Our relationship became wobbly a few days ago because he told lies, manipulated me and caused upset at home over the Bain of our lives – homework.

I explained to him calmly that I felt hurt by his behaviour and I wanted him to do some repair work – in the same way I do when we fall out because of my reactions.

He’s done this before and actually is currently very insightful about himself so I had every faith he could think about what it was that’s caused the issue and how I might feel.

However after 3 days I was still getting the silent treatment and there was no sign of it changing. His father asked him why he was finding it so hard to sort the issue

He replied – there’s no point. I’ll just do it again anyway and I don’t need her. It’s not worth repairing.

Amazing for me – I didn’t cry or eat chocolate at this.

But it got me thinking – does he genuinely believe this or is it anger talking?

Our relationship has always been strained due to me being a replacement for a birth parent who rejected him so he’s always been on the cautious negative side of loving me. But is he really deciding now at 12 that our relationship is past saving??

I’m at a loss as to my next move. I shall look in the A-Z of therapeutic parenting (Sarah Naish)

And I shall think back to our many hours of training and reading.

And I might fit in a little sob and a bar of Cadbury’s *

But I think it’s ok to hit brick walls – we can’t carry all the answers around all the time – as long as we keep trying to find them

Xxx Elena

*it seems my phone knows me well, it changed bar to vat (haha)

No chocolate allowed

So as part of my weight loss kick – it is going well, thanks for noticing! – I decided to stop eating chocolate. I’m not doing this for extreme dieting, or no sugar, or for an alternate Dryjanuary – I just simply want to see how long I can manage without any!

But today – jeez! I have come so close to nomming down on those orange quality streets sitting by my tv. Littlie has been feral and extremely anxious due to a birthday party tomorrow. She’s destroyed her room but knows she has to tidy it before the party. She’s screamed, hissed, growled and hit. She’s cried, insulted and hurt people. There’s just been no stopping her today

And the bloody party doesn’t start until late tomorrow afternoon!!

It’s been impossible to therapeutically parent her today due to her pushing all of us away and being so unkind with her words.

I’m still recovering from whooping cough which is getting a little worse and adoptydad has his own arthritic issues. Add to this our young dog is currently sleeping on our bed due to her big brother passing away at Xmas. I’m convinced she’s in mourning so she’s getting extra cuddles. So this all adds up to exhausted parents with minimal patience, barely keeping the calm!

But that’s ok. I don’t want anyone to think that we know what we are doing all the time. It seems like we hardly ever have our shit together at the moment as we don’t really recognise either of our children in the behaviour they are both displaying.

But again, this is ok. We can suggest it’s Xmas, new year, school holidays, past trauma at this time of year, the dog dying, anniversary of my beloved dads death, different routine, parties, exciting food, back to school,new toys or masses of chocolate. But I think it’s all of it.

So we did the only thing possible. We took ourselves off for some self care and avoided speaking to either child for almost an hour. Obviously we didn’t just leave them at home alone – we all went for a long walk with the pooch in a huge field area. Both kids ran off in to the woods to enjoy their freedom, looking for the best hideouts and getting along with each other. We rambled with the pup who is so wonderfully behaved that we almost skip with happiness as we forget our troubles and nearly forgot we had kids!

It was pleasant. The sun was shining and we were all happy. In true adoptystyle – this did not last! Biggie picked up a stick and began smashing down plants – not something we encourage as he tends to hit sister! And Littlie ran off in to the distance, straight through a boggy patch and lost both shoes!

Sigh. Another day. Another mess to clear up. Another hysterical child thinking we would be mad. Sigh.

And in full circle – I nearly ate chocolate. I almost pulled in to buy some! Instead Adoptydad and I ordered a curry rather than eat as a family and are ready to watch Dracula. Because let’s face it, he’s not as scary as Littlie when she’s let loose!!

It sounds like going into a war zone at times

Adopty Mum: a Survival Guide to Life with Adopted Kids

By Elena Holmes

So you can’t have your own children and you adopt some. Once you’ve poured loads of love, care and attention all over them everything in the garden will be perfect, just as if they were your own birth children, right?

Wrong. This young woman describes her really scary rollercoaster ride with the two little ones she and her husband took on.

It sounds like going into a war zone at times and all the love and reassurance in the world does not prevent tantrums of tsunami proportions and mortifying social interactions – some of them very funny (for outsiders).

Adoption has changed dramatically over the decades. Now there are very few teenage mums giving up their babies to childless couples. The stigma associated with unmarried motherhood has all but disappeared and proper birth control has drastically lowered the rates of unplanned pregnancy.

It is rare for brand new babies to come up for adoption these days so the toddlers and children who do need homes mostly come with considerable baggage and often with horrific histories. And those taking them on are thoroughly briefed as to facts.

Before they had even been accepted as safe pairs of hands this couple fell for the siblings they were to adopt when shown a video.

“…blimey! they were our children…we watched over and over again, transfixed by our future running round the screen. We were goners. Our hearts had been stretched and two small people had reached up and tucked themselves inside.”

When you finish the book you are full of admiration that Adoptymum and Adoptydad put themselves through it all and stuck with these highly needy and difficult children. They could have had brilliant holidays, more dogs and just done a spot of youth work on the side. But they opted for thestretched nerves and almost daily calamities which came with this adoption.

Adoptymum shows herself as vulnerable and frustrated – not at the children but at the cliquey mums at the school gate. However she is really funny, not at all self-pitying and her bouncy, irreverent style makes the book a page turner.

Her top tips for surviving shopping trips, holidays and schools– not always tuned into individual needs, are sensible, practical and battle-tested. Mostly. Sometimes they are slightly off the wall, though.

“Parents: don’t offer your kids’ teacher class A drugs at a parents’ evening. It’s not the ideal ice breaker…”

You will grieve over this troubled little boy though he is in good hands with rock solid love and support. Adoptydad has agreat rapport with him.

But I challenge anyone not to fall in love with his sassy little sister.

“If we eat out she has been known to save leftovers and ask the waiters to box them up for her, so she can give them to anyone homeless. She has questioned me very publicly about why the homeless lady on the floor can’t come and stay in her room with us as she does have a bunk bed and she wouldn’tmind sharing.”

The personalities of the parents are the greatest aids to survival. He is empathetic, appreciative of his wife, calm in a storm. She is full of energy – sustained by her ability to see the funny side and, of course, chocolate.

These children are getting an excellent second chance – I just hope their new parents survive. Sharen Green

Exciting News!!!

Assortment of Positive Vibe Badges
Positive Vibe Badges – Product Pic

Wanted you guys to be the first to know – I’ve made badges!! Available in a set of 4 for only £4.50 inc postage.

Randomly mixed up and may include:

  • This mama rocks like a fox
  • Life is tough but so are you
  • I often struggle but I never quit
  • You only have to parent until bedtime
  • You’re doing great
  • Everyone fed… Nobody’s dead!

Pre order yours now – on sale from 5th Dec, right here! Xxx Elena

Xmas prep

It is so exciting. Songs, making cards, wrapping paper rolls, decorations and jumpers galore! There’s not getting away from it, the festive season will be upon us so very soon and I, for one am extremely excited and looking forward to it.

This was me 6 years ago – Pre adopting kids

It just doesn’t work the same way now we are a family of 4. Yes Xmas is everywhere still – however this causes so much anxiety and excitement, that my kids just fall apart. We can only save them from it in some areas.

No we can not put our tree up yet – it’s November

No we can’t play xmas songs yet – it’s November

Unfortunately, no. You can not open your presents yet -IT’S NOVEMBER!!!

However, no matter the siZe of the mini Xmas tree, the smaller amount of presents and the minimal decorations around the home, due to the nature of schools, they begin rehearsals in October. Card printing companies need the wonderful and unique designs our children produce, by the 3rd of November!!

So every year they become exposed to these lovely ideas earlier and earlier which is too tough for my adoptykids. Anger, tears, illness and tantrums are a regular weekly occurrence now and will continue right the way up till we after the big day. Then the back to school stress will start!

Don’t want to be a grinch but – can we forgo Xmas this year? I’m exhausted already!!

Bonfire night – an evening of bangs, fright, upset and noise – and we didn’t even have fireworks

There I was, happily cooking Biggies favourite meal, singing and dancing along to Alexa who had chosen to play me The Best of The Sixties. Calm was all around. Littlie was training the dogs in the garden and Biggie was doing homework on the computer. Or so I thought.

He asked me a question about his game, I answered before realising that he wasn’t doing homework. We had a squabble before I asked him to come off of the computer until I could supervise him closely – logical consequence.

He stormed off annoyed but whatever! I then saw Littlie was no longer training dogs, she was setting up surprises far bigger than her own body in the garden. It seems she was planning a bonfire this evening, underneath a parasol, surround by solar lights, inside our wooden garden furniture.

I broke her heart (her words) by explaining that this surprise was a little big. I showed her how the bonfire in that situation could be dangerous, and the parasol would stop us seeing fireworks. She began to sob because that was what she was most proud of. I then spotted she had tied my expensive and much loved solar globes, on to the solar lights which hang from said parasol. These lights were broken as Littlie had snapped the wires off by tying knots too tightly to ensure the gloves safety.

I sadly then explained I wished she’d told me they were broken and through her sobbing she apologised while berating herself for ruining things. I assured her it was ok and asked her to rehang one of my globes so we could still use it as a light but from it’s usual home.

But yes – you guessed it. Her little mittened hands couldn’t hold it well enough so she dropped it and it smashed into thousands of tiny shards, in the pitch black, on the patio, around on and beneath the furniture where I was unable to find it all.

The sobs increased to wailing.

Then the cherry on the top – she spotted lots of shards had gone all over a mr wriggly worm, possibly slicing him in to multiple pieces as he slinked away from the disaster zone.

Sigh. We’ve not even lit a sparkler, seen a firework, eaten our food or Dad come home yet. Might just do a mr wriggly worm and slink off to the safety of my bed!!


Weekends are the best part of the week. I lie in, I watch tv, I catch up with friends, we go shopping for stuff and we relax ready for the week ahead.

This was me 6 years ago. These days my lie in is minimal but it does exist and it’s length depends on how well my children are getting along downstairs.

I don’t watch anything I want on tv – just annoying kids films and tv shows generally where they teach my Kids to use the phrase ‘what the…’ Since when is that ok? We all know what the word at the end of the sentence is!!

I do not see friends, they have blurred in to happy memories which I simply do not have time to recall in mind or flesh!

We only shop for food now and our relaxing usually consists of both of us falling asleep on the sofa shortly after bedtime!!

But today, as I look at my girl, choosing to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (because she knows mama loves it) and my son who is happily helping Daddy with the dishwasher, I realise I wouldn’t swap it.

We are happy. Dysfunctional, fiery, silly, untidy, emotional and over eaters. But we are happy. And our kids are loved. And that’s got to be one of the most important things in life surely?!


I don’t know what it is about transitions that are so difficult because, simply, I don’t find them hard! But in my house we have 3 people who can not cope with changes. Adoptydad won’t wear new clothes for ages as they don’t feel as nice and gets a right mardy on if plans change. It just annoys him and it takes a couple hours for him to right himself.

Littlie can not put clothes on. Getting dressed or undressed, either end of the day causes mental breakdowns, tears, anger and destruction. She’d prefer to spend the day in the same old thing or naked and we still can’t get to the root of the issue!

And Biggie – well everything upsets him. School, school holidays, weekends, bedtime – even a tv ending can cause his brain to get chaotic! I dream for the day when we can spontaneously surprise the kids with an activity with out major planning, maps, diagrams and countdowns!

Sigh! Off to begin the end of Xbox transition in to eating tea with your family transition!!