I am confessing. I am the mom of an ADHD boy, an ADHD girl, and a 3 year old boy which I don’t know yet. Managing these three is a full time job, between med management, extra-curricular activities, and school. God I hate school. Don’t get me wrong. My kids go to a great school. The teacher, administration, and staff do their best to assist in getting them through, but seeing the number to the school pop-up on my phone creates mini panic attacks.
First some background. My daughter is the oldest and your typical chatty Cathy space cadet ADHD girl. She is bright but disorganized and forgetful. She has not quite figured out how to organize her world yet and frankly I am having a hard time teaching her.
My oldest son is your typical combination hyperactivity/inattentive kid. He is also bright but struggles with self-regulation and structure.
My little guy right now is just 3.
So why am I writing this. For now it is just for a few moms I know who are going through this too. We can’t always talk about what we feel and how we feel, but I am hoping reading how I feel will help them when some of those feelings rear their ugly heads. So let’s get some things out of the way. I am a Black woman, and do not feel my kids are just bad, or lazy, or undisciplined. I do not make excuses for my kids, because of the ADHD. What I am trying to master is balancing managing a mental health disorder and raising a reasonable human being. Oh you think that should be easy? The two should go together right? Wrong, you see when working with your kids you have to realize there are some things they do not do naturally. They must be taught, think before you speak and/or before doing something that may kill you. Now for a normal person the first few times you lose a friend, because you were not so sensitive or you damn near break your neck, you process maybe I should not do that again. This does not happen with an ADHD kid. They really think that their reaction or behavior is generally normal. You must teach them otherwise. I know, you’re saying “ I do that anyway with kids.” No you don’t. A lot of lessons of childhood are self-taught. Social interactions, physical limits, self-regulation, and so on are skills you teach yourself through appropriate social interaction. For example a seven year old who lays down on the floor having a temper tantrum, will probably be more deterred by his/her classmates laughing at them than a parent or other adult disciplining. Peer pressure can be positive or negative. However, an ADHD kid who has difficulty with self-regulation could care less what classmates say while the meltdown is occurring . It is all about the impulse and the moment.
Now to the emotions. The following is a list of things I feel at times during this journey. It is not to be depressing, but some of the emotions are bad and some are good.
- Love – needs no explanation
- Helpless – I had to acknowledge I cannot fix this. This is not fixed by a pill or through some treatment. Medication helps to manage it, but this is something that must be managed just like their allergies and asthma. There is no cure.
- Joy – every time my children overcome a challenge, surpass a mile stone, or master something that was difficult I am elated.
- Fear – I wonder what will happen when they are not under my close supervision. How will they fair?
- Amusement – ADHD kids do and say the craziest things.
- Exhaustion – caring for a child/children with ADHD takes motherhood to a whole other level.
- Frustration – there is so much to try and so much to do and more often than not what you try and do either does not work or the solution causes bigger problems.
- Protective – these are my babies and I will be their best advocate and staunch supporter.
- Alone – we don’t always have the emotional support you need through this journey.
- Hope – they are getting better.
- Impatience – it is hard to always react appropriately.
- Patience – sometimes you just have to let it ride.
- Anger – there are many reasons I become angry. The big one is when people do not attempt to understand you are not dealing with typical kids. However, if I am confessing I do get angry and with the kids too, because I am human and that is part of dealing with this.
By: Black ADHD Mom