This one’s for you

2 weeks down, 4 to go.

I decided over the last week out and about with Reilly that I would take note of which groups were most judgey.

I’ve been upto our local shops a couple of times this week at Manor Walks in Cramlington, Reilly’s choice bus, back seat right corner, Sainsbury’s Cafe (great staff ), CEX  (great staff don’t mind him one bit) for a look at the DVD covers, park,  back on the bus.  No its not the family packed adventure day like many others are having but it’s a start.

Most of the judgey tuts and glares come from  70 + year old women.  This makes me really sad it’s my Mam’s age and most will be mothers and grandmother’s, you would expect a little patience.  I had a few run ins just yesterday.  Reilly absolutely loves bank machines and card readers.  Doesn’t matter where I am if I am paying by card he wants to put the card in the slot and press the buttons.  Yes it’s a pain in the arse if you are behind me in the queue while I try and lift him, sort out my shopping, chase him if he wrangles loose & I have to give chase and come back for my card and the one they hate the most god forbid he pulls the card out a second too soon and we have to do it again.  I hear the ‘for gods sakes’ and the tutting behind.  Can you not see by my face that i’m stressed enough? but you know what Reilly loves it so for now you can wait.

Heading back on the bus yesterday after the usual nightmare wait as the wrong buses glide past and Reilly screams to be on them.  We eventually got on  and I actually heard 2 old bags sat at the front say ‘she didn’t even tell him shut it’. Sigh. What do you do?.  I shouldn’t have to explain myself constantly and its soul destroying and exhausting being perceived as the world’s shittest mother on a daily basis.  If he wasn’t autistic does it still give you the right to judge me?

The second group of people are  new to age 2 parents (that’s a guess just what I see).  The ones who haven’t met the terrible two’s or fournado’s yet, they’ll be stressed to bits at the first tantrum never mind a full blown meltdown.  The ones who WILL experience the starfishing in the toy aisle, the WILL get the flinging of the celery sticks out the tupperware – they just have a little way to go yet.

Usually a look of distaste from this group, the females sometimes travel in pairs with latest designer pushchairs that in a years time will be covered in  Greggs pasty just like the rest of us who said we would never do but did it for an easy life anyway and a quick glance around New Look uninterrupted.  I often catch a quick glance between them that scream’s ‘I’d never let mine do that’.

Luckily Judge Judy’s are in the minority but it’a a pretty large minority.  I’m so thankful to the people who give me that acknowledging smile or watch my shopping while I leg it after him (Helen Beadling, Sainsburys yesterday).  You all make a big difference to us.  As for the rest …..





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Christine Stephenson

Really busy mam who runs her own charity, has 3 sons and learning about autism every day. Contact me at

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