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|Thread : What's a Mom to do?|
|7 Apr 2011 @ 5:08 PM|
Thu 7th Apr 2011
What's a Mom to do?
Hello to all, I'm new here and decided to enlist the help of my fellow ADHD moms to give me a little insight. Lengthy post here, just an FYI.
My son is 9, and he has been diagnosed as 2e - twice exceptional. He is gifted and has ADHD. I am the "contributing parent", meaning I'm the parent who also has ADHD. As a child, my mother's solution was to stick me in therapy because "something was wrong with me" - my ADHD was not diagnosed until my son was, and I went through full psychiatric testing to get my own diagnosis. While it was a relief and made me understand myself a little better, I feel that I am grossly ill-equipped to give my son the upbringing that would benefit him most. And I see so much of myself in him, and I think that is what frightens me. I was in gifted classes and blazed a trail through elementary school, just like he is doing - but I hit middle school and then I had 2 or 3 subjects that I excelled in, and the others I tanked. I was commonly described as "in my own little world", and depending on the class, I was described as either "withdrawn and shy" or "Chatty Cathy, won't shut up!". It made my social life awkward, I seemed to fit in nowhere, and was easy to pick on. My son is having the same issues, and it's breaking my heart.
I was a stay at home mom until his second grade year, when finances forced me to go back to work full time. Oddly enough, this is when his ADHD symptoms really began to show. It took 3 doctors - the last being the Chief of Behavioral Pediatrics to diagnose him. He has zero academic problems, and had no behavioral problems(by that I mean that we don't have the temper/aggression problems) until we began the tedious task of trying to find the right medication. We've had to deal with a few very negative side effects that turned him into a different child. He is now on med #7, and this one isn't going to work either. It seems to have thrown his impulse control into high gear - in the WRONG direction. To make matters worse, his 3rd grade teacher has been a flipping nightmare, she blames medication issues on HIM and punishes him for his behavior. We've tried to set up an IEP but in our state it's a long process and the school is just not cooperative - either with that OR with testing him for gifted classes, which his doctor recommended to the district office.
My biggest problem right now is that I'm hearing from my son almost every day that he feels he doesn't have enough time with me. I don't pick him up from after-school care until 6pm, and between basic household to-do's, dinner, and all the things we wife/mom/full time workers must try to squeeze in..well, my OWN ADHD is in overdrive. I forget to check his binder, I forget school events, because of my forgetting his binder and his own forgetfulness, he will have extra credit assignments go undone - or I'll be up until 1am the night before it's due trying to finish it for him. (Yes, I know..bad mommy!) I feel immense guilt that I can't pick him up from school, especially when medication issues have come up and it has caused him problems in after-school AND school. I've had to miss so much work from picking him up because the meds made him sick, he was crying all day, he can't focus to the point of being totally out of it..and then we have doctor appointments for him every 3 months that last 2-3 hours. My personal performance at work (and at home, I'm sure) are suffering. I can't concentrate because I'm so worried about him, and every time I get another call from the teacher, or another medication doesn't work, or I have to miss a program because I can't leave work because of taking so much time off the week before, it's all making me feel like a totally craptacular mom and like I'm disappointing my son.
If you took the time to read this entire post, THANK YOU! :)
|11 Apr 2011 @ 12:26 PM Reply # 1|
Thu 31st Mar 2011
I feel your pain
Hi there, first let me say, I totally understand where you are coming from!!!! I also have ADHD, only recently diagnosed through my 7 yr old daughter's diagnosis. I never had any sort of treatment growing up, so I suffered some unneccessary stumbling blocks. Nothing I can do about that now, so I don't dwell much on that anymore. However, it fuels me to be the champion of my daughter so that she doesn't suffer similar issues. That's my intention anyway, but I find it's really a fine line between being too hard on her to "straighten her up" and losing my cool trying to explain things that are still over her head. She's very emotional and immature for her age so, I have to take a deep breath and be patient with her, which is hard for me b/c of my adhd, the urgency to blurt it all out there for her is always there lol.
Anyway, I'm on meds now and trying to find my right dose so that's helping, but also hindering b/c of added stress of trying to get it figured out. I also work full time (self employed with the hubby), and have 2 other children. Their ages are 7, 4, and 3. I don't get home until six, then it's homework, supper, and the very strict bedtime routine(my 4 yr old doesn't sleep through the night so added stress between little sleep and strict bedtime routine) ughhhh! Anyway, my point is I understand on both of your points in that you don't know how to "parent" him b/c of your late diagnosis and no good role model, AND working full time feeling overwhelmed/guilty etc. My advice to you is breathe, make some quiet time and go over your options. I try to go home early one or two nights a week to spend more time with my kids, make the time we DO have together special (meaning, very little tv-if any- and more interactive, quality time), remember in my frenzy to calm down, I don't want my kids to remember a "crazy" mom, I want them to remember a loving, fun mom, and I guess above all else, practice the art of PRIORITIZING, which does NOT come natural to an ADHDer. I am starting to print out a monthly calendar off of the computer, fill in obligations and then figure out how much "free time" we have for the week, and make sure we use it to the fullest. If it's not enough, change/cut out whatever you need to. Be reasonable. It helps to see it on paper, b/c we tend to make excuses or think we have more time with family than we actually do. Being an overwhelmed mom and wife is no good for anyone, including you. I'm learning that too. I am learning by trial and error. Learn to trust your own instincts, you know best what works for you and your family. Take suggestions and tips from others that you think will help, read up on any info you can and only take advice you feel comfortable with.
You talked about cutting your expenses, that's exactly what we did too. We disconnected our home phone (we have cell phones so don't need both) and also put our satellite tv on hold for 6 months (to see if we could "live without it" lol before totally disconnecting it and surprise! we are still living!!-I actually have learned to LOVE it w/o tv "on demand") I don't miss either of those bills-which saves us almost $100/month! It also makes it easier to spend quality time together and be intentional as to what we watch since we buy used movies.
I am a christian, and my faith is important to me. I have to take time(typically it's only 15 min with a cup of coffee) for me to spend some time talking to God, reading the bible, or listening to praise music and find that very soothing and relaxing. If I start my days that way, I find my peace at the beginning of my day and it also helps me to focus on the important things. I'm less likely to get caught up in the craziness. It does wonders for me, and that in turn does wonders for my family. Without my relationship with God, I wouldn't be able to handle this-honestly lol. I get my strength from His peace and acceptance and unconditional love. He is my role model to be a good parent, and spouse. I know that sounds cheesy, but I can say I truely mean every word of that. I suffer from anxiety too so couple that with ADHD, and it's impossible for me to have peace without God's help. That's what works for me, along with reviewing/changing my over-scheduled life. I don't like living that way, even if it weren't an issue with my family, yet I still find myself overcommiting. My solution is charting a monthly calendar to keep that in "check". Your time is important, and like it or not, HOW you spend your time speaks loudly to the ppl around you. Hope this helps and best wishes in finding what works for you :-)
|11 Apr 2011 @ 2:19 PM Reply # 2|
Thu 7th Apr 2011
Wow! It's great to hear from another mom who understands what I mean! I feel totally overwhelmed most of the time, and lately it is worse than it's ever been, I don't even know if I remember how to relax anymore. And you're right, no one needs to remember "crazy mom"..and I feel I'm well on my way to having my being a total spazz burned in my son's brain permanently.
Yes, I am TERRIBLE about prioritizing! I'm really making an effort to improve on that one in particular. My husband is the total opposite of me - he can go into a room and have it organized and tidy in minutes, while I stand there unable to wrap my brain around where to even begin. I take hours to do what he does in minutes. When I clean, I'm thorough - but picking up after myself and keeping things organized just seems to be impossible for me and I hate that about myself. I work in accounting, so I've learned to hold myself together at work, but I still have those days when instead of taking me an hour to reconcile everything, it will take me 4 hours..part of that sitting there staring into space. Ugh. I've been on 20 mg Adderall since September, and I noticed an improvement at work. Unfortunately I have to change either the dose or the med because it has began wearing off in about 2-3 hours. I couldn't get in to see the doctor right away, so I've been over a week med-free...wow, has my week been chaos!
The thing that has really made it difficult on our family this year is my son's teacher. She's very passive-aggressive in my opinion, almost to the point of narcissistic. She blames him for his behavior when she knows full well that we're going through another medication change. She got in trouble with the Director of Pupil Services because she called me for 3 days straight, twice wanting me to come pick him up from school because he was "so easily distracted that he has to be reminded to stay on task", and she goes on to tell me that she DOESN'T HAVE TIME to "deal with him". Then she called me to tell me she had sent him to the office for slamming the door to the boy's bathroom, and that she intended to have him paddled or expelled!!! I was absolutely beside myself. I called the principal just because I was upset that a child that has NO behavior problems was being threatened with corporal punishment or expulsion for nothing more than impulsive/boy behavior. The principle was unavailable, so I called the district office and after tearfully explaining the situation, I was connected to pupil services. Once he heard what she had been doing, he apologized on her behalf, said that he was embarassed for her behavior, and that she obviously needed further instruction on how to teach an ADHD child that was going through the medication process. I asked my son if he wanted to be removed from her class, but he was insistent that he did not. (He's got the biggest heart of anyone I know, he doesn't really "see" her behavior for what it is.) She was so mad at me that she didn't speak to me for weeks, until we changed a med again - then I got a phone call with her near screaming into the phone at me about "he will NOT pay attention, he will NOT remember to bring sharpened pencils everyday, he CHANGED his creative writing story mid-way, he WRITES it upside down on the paper...." So, as a mom, let me ask you - do any of those things sound even remotely important? To me, I'm thinking those are minor infractions, and the very epitome of an ADHD/Gifted child - they are creative chaos personified! But to her, because he can't fit into that square hole, he's a problem. She makes me so angry!
We're DEFINITELY changing to the new school in our district next year, and I'm DEFINITELY getting this IEP set up. And I won't stand by until the end of the year if we get another crazy teacher. But this is a lot of my guilt - I want to be there and more involved next year. On the rare occasions that I can leave work early and pick him up from school instead of him going to after-school care, he is so happy..and always so disappointed that it can't be an everyday thing. I really would love to find a part-time job, or find an opportunity to do accounts receivable type work from home. Jobs are important, but you can find another one...with your child(ren) you only get one opportunity to raise them.
|12 Apr 2011 @ 4:37 PM Reply # 3|
Thu 31st Mar 2011
Well, don't worry about your son forever remembering you as a spazz lol. Kids are extremely forgiving-thank God!! I don't know how many times I've gone to my own children, and apologized for over reacting when I'm stressed out. It's very humbling to not be able to at the very least "appear" like an adult who's got it together, but instead of dwelling on how embarrassed it makes me, I decide to look at it as I'm teaching them that age has nothing to do with "knowing it all" or never messing up. I try to be open and honest about my parenting mistakes (I make them often) and mirror how I SHOULD have handled things, apologize, and move on. Eh, at the very least, they are learning to be forgiving and that it's ok to not be perfect lol. I have to say that's one blessing of having ADHD. I have no choice in owning up to the fact that I'm not perfect lol. I have learned early on to accept my weaknesses and make the best of it. It's still tough when I'm faced with "perfect" mothers who can do it all and do it well, but I shake it off and keep on doing the best that I can. I'm ok with that. It's not always easy, but it sure keeps my ego in check.
I had to laugh when you said it takes you hours to do what your husband can accomplish in minutes!! HAH! That's the story of my life! That's been a thorn in my side for our entire marriage lol. He's always saying that I should be able to get more done than I do, but thank the good Lord that I now have a diagnosis and he's a little more understanding about it and sees that it's not intentional. Oh my, the struggles that we endure with having ADHD. Because it can be seen more as an excuse to a "motivational" problem, people tend to not take adult or even childhood ADHD seriously. It's tough, but I try not to let that bother me. They can't understand what they don't feel, it's as simple as that. I get it. I sure don't understand how my husband can be a workaholic!!!! lol. I don't have that problem, so I don't understand it. The same can be said for those who don't deal with ADHD on a personal level. I have to make the choice not to take it as a personal offense, which isn't always easy. That's why it's so important to connect with others who KNOW what you are going through. It's vital.
I'm glad to hear that you are getting an IEP for your son. You desperately need one, considering what you are going through with his teacher. That's just awful. I hope you have better success with the school soon. There are rules they have to follow. Well, it's time for me to get going (that darn time manangement lol). Have a great day :)
|16 Apr 2011 @ 12:15 PM Reply # 4|
Sat 16th Apr 2011
Hang in there!
You are not alone. Take a breath, and take a look at what you said was your priority-your son. Our kids are a lot of work-parenting, advocating, trying to be an expert in medication, diet, school-it's a very, very full plate. You need to help him learn how to live with his challenge and how to make it work for him-and that takes time. Your heart has told you what the right thing is to do-so just go and do it. You will feel at peace and you will have the energy to help him become all he can be. It will all work out-just believe that!
Local Time : 19 May 2013 10:22 PM
(Mon, 20 May 2013 02:22:41 GMT)