December 12, 2019 at 3:31 pm #136275
The world sees a competent, analytical, unflappable realist regarding issues with my son, but I’m starting to fall apart on the inside. I have lurked on chat groups and read and read and read and read about parenting an intelligent child with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and likely ADHD (being evaluated soon). My son is in therapy and I am thinking I should be, too…but there aren’t enough hours in the day to be professional, wife, and mom, even without another schedule addition. I feel so isolated. I am an older mom and my peers are either childless or empty nesters – not really people who can empathize. I work an hour away from home and have only acquaintances from my son’s activities in our bedroom community.
My son goes to a very small private school and he is definitely the outlying data point there. Perhaps he should be in a public school, but frankly, ours suck! They are in the bottom 10% of schools in our state and the one grade school that seemingly was doing well with at least the dyslexia program turned out to be falsifying records. I just got called in AGAIN by our principal to discuss some horrible transgression committed by my child. Really, they are things like impulsivity, talking too much, kissing a girl on the chin (with her permission), telling a lie about another kid’s behavior, etc. We deal with each one as best we can.
This crucial mom job is just so hard and unrelenting. The rewards are so sweet, but I am finding myself getting more and more frustrated and upset with my son’s crashing self esteem and negativity and a whole host of behaviors that are knotted up in that.
I think I am just looking for a little encouragement here. I’ll be the rock again by tomorrow, I’m sure.
December 12, 2019 at 11:30 pm #136296
I’m sorry, are we the same person??
December 17, 2019 at 11:05 am #136701
What?! There’s someone else like me??? 🙂
December 13, 2019 at 10:56 am #136313
The real key to this special brand of parenthood is self-care, including stress management, making time to breathe, and letting the small stuff go. There is no such thing as perfection. SuperMom does NOT EXIST. And, yet, we still feel this enormous, invisible pressure to be that mom.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” —Maya Angelou
I spent a lot of years trying to “fix it,” and it can’t be fixed. When I embraced what is, and adjusted my mindset, it was truly freeing, and made everyone else in my family much happier. It can’t be all about ADHD & LDs — too much negativity.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
January 1, 2020 at 2:32 pm #137481
How? How does one adjust her mindset? We are eleven years in to this bumpy ride with both of my sons and while I can try to be positive, calm, understanding and helpful towards them, and I can try to work with the teachers and school administrators to make the best out of “situations” for all involved, I am dissolving into nothing inside. The positive person I used to be has been swallowed up by all of the negativity, worry and exhausting fight that has become my life in my quest to help my children find success in this world of round holes when they are constantly being told that they are square pegs. Some of their “quirks” that cause problems at school for them are their best, most endearing qualities. I don’t want to squash who they are. I am trying to help them learn how to work with the qualities they have been blessed with instead of fighting against them. But in the constant battle to help them get along in this sometimes unforgiving world, I have lost myself. I don’t know how to be me, or who “me” is anymore. My children could probably recite that Maya Angelou quote verbatim because I am constantly using it to try to help them learn to be more self-compassionate, yet I cannot seem to offer myself the same understanding and forgiveness. I am in therapy. I am doing a DBT course with my therapist. I am working on things from several different approaches. I don’t feel like anything is helping though. I am feeling hopeless. Please, Penny, what was the magic that helped you change your mindset?
January 3, 2020 at 12:48 pm #137640
It’s not easy and it takes a lot of awareness and work. However, changing your mindset is the absolute most helpful thing for our kids. I talk a lot About this on my podcast.
Acceptance and letting go is a big part of it. Accepting the diagnosis, the challenges, that they may not achieve all your visions for them, that they can follow a different path and a different vision of “success.”
Letting go of the societal standards and all the little things that just aren’t important enough to stress about. One clear example is letting go of the idea that good grades and a 4-year college diploma are essential to life success. They are not. That is such a fallacy that we’ve bought into in this culture for far too long.
Parent your individual child to become their version of successful and happy.
This episode of the Life Coach School Podcast actually spurred my mindset shift and changing my perspective. I found it looking for a better way, tired of feeling like a victim of my circumstances and tired of being so stressed. https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/187/
From there I googled a lot on what makes people happy. Stumbled across the idea of the psychological victim vs. the psychological survivor (Dale Archer and others) and that really provided another big shift.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Penny Williams.
January 3, 2020 at 8:40 pm #137663
Thank you, Penny. I try to be accepting that the future I had hoped for my children my not come to fruition, and instead focus on what their success and happiness entails. Some days that is harder than others because they are both very intelligent kids, who without their diagnoses, could have traditional success in whatever they chose. Because they (especially my youngest, who is eight) get so frustrated with all of the restraints and expectations to be “normal” at school, I am constantly trying to lift them up. My youngest’s self-esteem, self-confidence and self-compassion are frighteningly low. At six years old he told me he would rather be dead than go to school. That was pre-meds. Since starting on meds, in some ways he has gotten worse because now he is much more aware of the negative attitudes about him that exist around him. He now notices the side-conversations about his behaviour and the eye rolls and frustrated attitudes and that they are directed at him/ his behaviour. I try fiercely to advocate for him at the school (to try to give him a fresh start, we changed schools this year because he was having such a hard time at the school he had been going to for the last four years; it has created a whole new set of difficulties for him), to our extended family, to friends, while at the same time trying to help him catch up with social skills and executive functions so he doesn’t feel so noticed. I guess when I look at what I have just written, I haven’t accepted things as much as I need to. I guess I’m still “grieving” the future that I had dreamt for for my kids. I see I have a lot more work to do to become more accepting for them.
I will check out the Life Coach school podcast and yours and will look into the Dale Archer work as well.
Thank you again.
January 6, 2020 at 11:03 am #137738
You’re definitely still grieving. It also sounds like you still expect to get him up to neurotypical levels with his peers. That is a sign that you’re still pushing for normalcy, rather than accepting that he’s behind. I know it’s tough to accept when it makes him stand out socially and struggle more. They key is not to focus on changing him and his delays, but to focus on helping him find his people and have more social success and connection. While that can be a challenge, it’s much easier than trying to push to neurotypical development — he will be behind in some aspects until mid to late 20s.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
December 17, 2019 at 11:07 am #136703
Thank you, Penny.
January 13, 2020 at 10:08 am #138206
Just want you to know you are so not alone!! I am a widowed ADHD mother of 4 kids all with some form of ADHD. I have been fighting with schools for so long, it’s getting harder to stay calm more and more. And now with my last 2 being in middle School and high school I am starting to wonder who I am. And I’m not doing so well with my own identity and emotions these days. So I sometimes just make sure I am putting one foot in front of the other so I am at least moving forward. And I pray a lot!
January 13, 2020 at 11:15 am #138228
Same here but you MUST MUST MUST take time for yourself with self-maintenance…do not feel guilty….its a necessity for your own emotional and mentsl state to stay sharp, strong capable…its the job of anyone caring for anyone with ADHD…literally its the only way for us to get thru all that comes with it..regular weekly or biweekly masssages, 30 minutes of walking or anything to move your body and go on youtube for meditational music or guides meditstiin and at bedtine listen to ot to wake up refreshed…and the good ole fasgion glass of wine at the end of the day is always a winner that never gets old ;D
January 13, 2020 at 11:43 am #138237
Hang in there friend! I too have been fighting this battle for years, my daughter is 17 now and is finding her legs this year. I walked into a therapists office 12 years ago and said, “You need to help me find me again. I used to be funny and fun.” One of the things that helped me was spending time with girlfriends that new me before all the life changes. It grounded me to who I was and still am. I consider this “self-care”. Also, our education system needs some serious adjustments. One of my daughters teachers tutored a niece that had LD’s. She was amazed at the struggle some kids have with homework. Changed her attitude forever. Somehow convincing the Principal ’s and others that our children are pretty darn “normal” and just need to have some acceptable options available to these kids makes a world of difference to them. Stick with therapy for your children and self. We all need a bigger toolbox to deal with these situations. Another thought is, don’t forget to have fun with your kids! Blow off a day just for the heck of it and take them out hiking or play soccer at a park, anything that gets them exercise and makes them feel good about who they are as our wonderful children….warts and all! Best of life to you friend!
- This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by GoDux@me.com.
January 13, 2020 at 8:41 pm #138344
I know how you feel. My husband and are both professionals with one child with ADD and dyslexia and a neurotypical child as well. My husband thinks I do too much, that my son needs to learn the consequences of his decisions. By the end of the day, I feel like I am going to explode, and I do, feeling badly later. I recently read a book by Dr. Charles Fay, who stated “Time and time again, I see children blossom form the inside-out when the adults in their lives help them feel better from the inside out.” As I read your note, I thought of this statement. It applies to us parents as well. You cannot help him unless you help yourself-listen to book in car, spend one day a month going to get something done at the salon, go to park. Start with little things for yourself (even if it is hiding in bathroom) and this will help you with your child. Love your child for who he is and he will have the freedom to become who is really is. You cannot change your son, but help him focus on his effort and strengths, not his brains and weaknesses. These kiddos hear criticism over and over again from peers, coaches etc, and do not need it from home. Tell him you love him, that you know it’ s hard, but you love him no matter what.
January 14, 2020 at 1:47 pm #138425
I appreciate everyone on this thread – I am learning every day.
I am thankful I’m an older mom. I’ve lived through my silly, selfish years and do have lots more of myself to give now – my life is one big give! Thanks to suggestions from my son’s therapist, I am learning to ignore some of his self-hating comments (Bonus – ignoring it seems to minimize it) and not react to any hyperactivity that doesn’t directly impact others or his own ability to function. Even those small acceptances have reduced my stress and anxiety. I am finding my time to exercise (while my son is at Taekwondo, gymnastics, at therapy, etc.). My wine consumption has increased a little (watching sunsets and horses from our porch is very calming). This forum helps! We are doing better at celebrating the small victories – I am aiming my sights at smaller chunks of success and my son is acknowledging some of his own successes. He is complaining less of stomach aches, headaches, and other emotion-based hurts. Just having him feel a teeny bit more in control is helping. There’s lots of good happening. I am back to my rock-like self, but perhaps some of the sharp edges are wearing down and allowing me to roll more easily.
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