Our "March of Inspiring Mums" interview series celebrates women who are doing some amazing things, whether through business, a campaign or just being fabulous! - hope you enjoy the "March of Inspiring Mums" series!
Our latest interviewee is Jade Page. Alongside being a full time mum to two boys (5 and 3 years old), she runs The Autism Page – a blog about autism in young children, which she started when her son was diagnosed at the age of 2. It includes lots of advice for parents on how to support autistic children at home. Jade also runs Bristol Autism Network, a Facebook support group for parents in Bristol with over 1.4k members.
Today Jade shares her story of overcoming a difficult time when her son was diagnosed with autism at the time of having a very new baby and how generally advice from others is well-meant, it can just sometimes come across as criticism because we set such high standards for ourselves as mums.
Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into the job you’re now doing?
When my eldest was 18 months old it became apparent that he was different to other children. When he was 2 and a half he was diagnosed with autism. This was a really difficult time for me (along with having a new baby), I didn’t really know what autism was or how to help my son.
Once I got my head around life again I decided I needed to share the information I had desperately needed when my son was diagnosed. Before kids I used to work for a government agency in strategy and information, so I have a good background in bureaucracy, research and sharing information. I set up The Autism Page to help other parents with paperwork (there is lots for children with additional needs), communication as my son is non-verbal and uses the Picture Exchange Communication System, resources and therapy related to autism.
Tell me one interesting fact about you?
I have been shark diving – anyone that knows me will know this is very out of character and I wouldn’t do it again.
Please can you share 3 tips for managing the juggle of motherhood, life and business?
My first tip is - family comes first, you need to build in the time for your family and have set times that the phone is off and you are focused on life.
Next you need to be organised, I have all my work planned out for the next six months.
My last tip is something I still need to master – accepting that most things will not be perfect but they will be good enough.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a new mum?
When people are advising you how to raise your child and telling you what you should be doing, in general they are trying to be helpful.
As a new mum you have such high expectations for yourself and will feel constantly criticised – remember this is you criticising yourself. Try to be kind to yourself and don’t dwell on comments from other people.
Colour can make a real difference to our mood - what’s your favourite colour? And how does it make you feel when you wear it?
I like green to wear, it makes me feel calm. Must be down to my name as I do like shades of Jade.
What’s your favourite activity to do with your children?
The boys love to be outside so walks in a muddy forest are brilliant. I love reading with the boys, having a cuddle on the sofa with their favourite stories.
What do you like to do for some me-time?
To be honest if I get any time to myself I like to curl up in front of the TV and just relax.
Thanks Jade for sharing your inspiring story with us. Children are the forefront of our world and when we receive unexpected news, it can sometimes shake us. Turning your experience and journey into helping support other parents is truly inspiring.
Your tips of juggling motherhood, especially recognising that not everything will be perfect are useful for us all to remember!
If you're local to Bristol, then check out her support group, Bristol Autism Network
If you've enjoyed this interview, make sure you check out our other "March of Inspiring Mums" series here
Jade also recently reviewed one of our Hex bracelets with her son - after biting the head off Sophie the Giraffe and having tried other brands of chewable accessories, she was keen to find something safe and durable for her son.
This is what she she said...
"I regularly find that when I need a sensory chew for my son there isn’t one to hand. Having the [Halia Rose] Hex bracelet means I can just have it on my wrist so it’s always there. This is particularly useful when out and about...he is very happy to chew it when he needs to...
We have been using it for a couple of weeks now and it is still in the same condition as the day we received it...they do seem to be a great fit for mums with sensory seeking kids. I really like the idea that I can get some new hard wearing jewellery which doubles as a sensory chew aid for my son...
I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of the Hex Bracelet from Halia Rose. Personally I think it is excellent value for money."