MEET THE FAMILY
Jo. I am a life coach and the mother of 8 children ranging in age from 21 to 1. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mum I was a midwife. Although I enjoyed my job, I think I was just passing the time until I could start my own family. I planned to be the perfect parent and my children would be perfectly happy and cooperative as a result. Oh, was I in for a shock! When I am not being a mum or writing I enjoy sitting in the steam room at the local gym listening to Smooth FM. Occasionally I run or swim.
Bill My wonderful, hardworking husband. He is a Music Teacher at a secondary school and when he isn’t doing that, or playing tuba or watching his favourite football team, he is helping me organise the home and family. He and I are very different but complement each other very well. I especially appreciate Bill’s loyalty and sense of fun. You will hear more about him throughout the book.
Rachel AKA The Guinea Pig. My darling daughter bore the brunt of my steep learning curve. I am pleased to say that, at the age of 21, she is a delightful and happy person. She is studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Salford University and makes the trip home to visit every few weeks which pleases her parents and siblings immensely. Rachel is quick witted, sensitive, kind and creative.
Emily is my 18 year old wild child. When she was a toddler a relative remarked that she would be trouble. I am happy to report that she hasn’t been any trouble but she is unconcerned about what others think of her and this has meant we have had little impact on her choices. Thankfully, we approve of the important choices she has made. The nose piercing will heal and the tattoo can be covered up if necessary. She is about to complete a BTEC Level 3 course in Art and Design with the highest grade possible and is now considering University.
Alice is my very capable 15 year-old. She is very organised which is a bonus for me as, amongst other things, she writes the holiday packing list and helps the little ones to pack, she makes the holiday menu plan and shopping list. She also likes to organise Christmas! Alice is a wise soul and very sensitive to people. Whatever she chooses to do in life I am sure she will succeed.
Elizabeth is a very popular 13 year old girl. This isn’t surprising as she is kind, funny, intelligent and inclusive of others which makes her a great friend. She is currently home-educated and not sure yet where her interests will take her. Baby William is very fond of her and he is happy with her as he is with me. She is very generous and loves to buy presents for her friends (especially with my money). She is very creative and spends hours drawing or sewing.
John is my loveable 11 year-old. He had meningitis as a new-born baby and this has left him with Autism and learning delay but he is as happy as a boy could be. He makes us laugh with the funny way he sees the world and although he isn’t very sociable in groups, he is very comfortable laughing and joking with his siblings. It is a joy to see him become more capable every day.
Grace is my adorable 8 year-old. She is a bundle of energy and prefers cartwheeling to walking. Grace is a natural athlete and enjoys sports activities and playing with her friends. She is good natured and cooperative and easily pleased. She and her sister Elizabeth have the odd squabble as they spend the most time together but all is forgotten as they giggle themselves to sleep each night.
Charlotte is my confident 5 year old. From time to time she will need extra help with something and tells me she is still 4. I believe that having so many older siblings has made her fearless. She is definitely her own person. She tries to be bossy but is too cute to be taken seriously. When she is in the mood she can be very affectionate.
William is last but not least. I refer to him as my bonus baby as I thought our family was complete after Charlotte as it was taking longer than usual to become pregnant. As my first neuro-typical boy and I have found him to be more physically active and curious than his siblings at a similar age. He walked at 12 months old whereas his siblings walked at around 18 months. William is delightful, as babies often are, and his smile lights up a room. Although at times I have felt frustrated at the lack of time to write because of his presence I recognise that he is a source of great joy.