'Less is more for us:' Christine McGuinness reveals heartbreak over 'devastating' Christmas last year... as she explains she won't be putting up a tree for the benefit of their autistic children
Both she and her husband Paddy McGuinness have openly spoken about their twins being diagnosed with autism and the battles they have had to face as a result.?
And sharing another candid post to social media as Christmas approaches, Christine McGuinness revealed she won't be putting up a tree to mark the festive holiday this year, as it leaves her children Leo and Penelope, four, 'anxious and unsettled'.?
The mother-of-three revealed that since learning of her twins' diagnosis, she is now 'fuelled with knowledge' on how to embrace their condition and is keen to make sure they have a 'happy' and 'magical' Christmas this year.
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Candid: Christine McGuinness revealed on Instagram that she won't be putting up a tree to mark the festive holiday this year, as it leaves her children Leo and Penelope, four, 'anxious and unsettled'
Sharing a photo of the family's stocking hanging on the fireplace, Christine explained that they will be the only decorations she will put up in her family home, as she instilled an encouraging message with her Instagram followers by insisting 'less is more'.?
The beauty shared her concerns at over-doing when it comes to the festive holiday and is conscious of upsetting her children, as she penned: 'Daddy, Mummy, Leo, Penelope, Felicity ?? I think this is enough for our Christmas decorations, I’m nervous about putting a tree up, I don’t think I’m going too.'
Reflecting on her 'devastating' Christmas last year, that followed her twins being diagnosed with autism, Christine candidly continued: 'Last year was the most upsetting Christmas we’ve had, we had just been told our twins had autism and we felt very out of our depth.??
'Christmas massively affects the twins behaviour. They were extremely anxious and unsettled. The Christmas lights, trees, decorations and music.. it was all too much. It was very over stimulating and with so much change everywhere it was quite frightening for our children who were pretty much non verbal, they had no understanding of what was going on.?
Heart-felt: The mother-of-three (above with husband Paddy) revealed that since learning of her twins' diagnosis, she is now 'fuelled with knowledge' on how to embrace their condition and is keen to make sure they have a 'happy' and 'magical' Christmas this year
'They both just walked passed their presents on Christmas Day. I was devastated that they didn’t get up and run down the stairs really excited “like other kids”. I knew nothing about autism then.'
'Now I’m fuelled with knowledge on their condition and I’m really looking forward to preparing them in advance to help them understand the magic of Christmas!' Christine positively shared.?
'I’m feeling confident we will have a happy Christmas this year... With a lot less decorations! Less is more for our children, they wouldn’t care if they got 1 present or 10 and that is a quality you can’t buy.'
Her post comes three months after Take Me Out host Paddy appeared on This Morning and discussed his eldest children, Leo and Penelope, as they started school. He also shares daughter Felicity, born last year, with wife Christine.
The TV presenter was overwhelmed with emotion during the live TV interview, as he explained: 'They started school last week, they just immersed myself in it. It’s more emotional for the kids, I’ve got my life back but I don’t want to lose them.'
Doting dad:?Paddy became overwhelmed with emotion as he discussed his eldest children, Leo and Penelope, both four on This Morning back in September
Milestone: The 44-year-old Take Me Out host revealed that he was in two minds that his twins - who were recently diagnosed with autism - have started school
Affectionately referring to his twins as his 'little sausages', the star continued: 'Leo and Penelope my eldest two are fantastic and they always do stuff like that, catch me off guard like that.?
'Being a parent, it’s a tough job, you do get emotional about things. And tiredness. I'm always tired!'?
Paddy's wife Christine first revealed the twins were starting school in a sweet Instagram post last week.?Sharing a cute snap of the youngsters holding hands, she wrote: 'I love that they will always have each other.
'#Twins #FirstDayOfSchool I'm so immensely proud.. and emotional.'
The milestone comes after Christine revealed her inner battle with their children's autism and claimed that?no matter how tough things can get, she will never let her children or husband Paddy see her cry.
Christine explained that she tries to remain strong for her family, as she told?The Mirror: 'I never let my husband or the children see me cry, that’s not going to help anyone.'
Double trouble:?Paddy's wife Christine first revealed the twins were starting school in a sweet Instagram post of the youngsters holding hands, she wrote: 'I love that they will always have each other'
She then added that herself and Paddy won't?be further adding to their brood as they are 'stretched' as it is.
'We had three children in three-and-a-half years. We were happy to keep going. As soon as I got pregnant I knew that was my life and that was what I wanted, I wanted to be a mum and have a really big family,' she explained.
'We’ve had to reconsider plans because the twins need us and we are stretched as it is. We don’t have any help and Felicity is still not sleeping. Sometimes we are exhausted. It wouldn’t be fair to have more.'
Christine - who said that she and Paddy have spoken about counselling to help them adjust to their new life - made her twins' autism diagnosis public at the start of July, when she posted a heartfelt message to Instagram on their fourth birthday.
She said: 'Today you both turn four, and I celebrate so much more. In the last 12 months you have learnt to talk, and you are using flat feet to walk.
Staying strong: Christine said she'll never let husband Paddy or their children see her cry after the couple's four-year-old twins, Leo and Penelope, were diagnosed with autism
'You are conquering your daily challenges, and I'm here to hold your hand, when your dealing with sensory overload, the quietest room sounds like a big brass band. You excel in mathematics and amateur dramatics and you amaze me every day, because you are beautiful inside and out in an extra special way.
'The meltdowns, the routines and all the planning ahead. The groundhog days, the beige food and the temperamental 'time for bed'. I love you unconditionally and will encourage you both to embrace your autism.'
She finished her post with the emotional statement: 'Because you are totally unique and fantastically awesome. All my love always, mummy.'
Since then, the star has spoken publicly about life with the couple's twins and the daily struggles she can face.
On a recent episode of ITV's Loose Women, she said:?'We had absolutely no idea they had autism even though the signs were there.?
'They were non-verbal until they were three, they both walked on their tip toes, they didn’t socialise very well, they still do struggle with socialising with other children.
'That’s probably one of the most heartbreaking parts of it because that’s just something you expect your children to do, go and make lots of friends.'
She continued: 'I still only see it as part of their personality.
'I think there is a sense of loss when your child is diagnosed with autism. The things you plan out, what you think you’re going to do, go to Butlins for the weekend, go to Blackpool or holidays, you realise actually those things might not happen as it would normally.
'But that was when we first found out. But now I’ve done my research, and I know a lot more about it, I’m really confident that I’m the right mum for these two. I know I can give them a really good life. I know with lots of planning, lots of research into everything and preparing the twins, I know they can do anything.'
Christine said daily life can be "hard, challenging and difficult", recounting how she once broke down in tears at a supermarket after being unable to find the only brand of butter son Leo will eat.?
Proud parents: Christine has admitted daily life can be "hard, challenging and difficult" and recounted how she ended up in tears at a supermarket once after being unable to find the only brand of butter that Leo will eat
'Leo’s got more problems with food. He’s had a lot of food therapy and we try and help him as much as he can. He likes everything beige, he likes everything dry, he doesn’t like any smell or texture. So he’s crackers, crisps, toast if it’s a particular butter, which I can’t always get…
'I did [go from supermarket to supermarket]. I went to four supermarkets. At the last one when this butter wasn’t on the shelves I just burst into tears in the fridge aisle and I could see the staff like going, there she is the crazy butter lady is here again because I’ve usually got six blocks of butter when it’s there.?
'It’s a tiny little thing but to him it’s so important.'
Christine admitted she's keeping an eye on youngest daughter, Felicity, to monitor for early signs that she may have autism as well.
'I'm keeping my eyes open and looking out for little things. Early intervention is key and it's totally fine if she has autism but we will get her the help if she needs it,' she said.
Christine added: 'I genuinely believe me, Paddy and the kids are a unit. Our children don’t need to be fixed. They are stunning. They just need understanding because so many children get told off for being naughty.'?
'We're a unit': Christine has praised husband Paddy's skills as a father and described their family as a close unit. She has said their twins 'don't need to be fixed' and instead believes they 'just need understanding'
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