Do you ever see your child going berserk and want to join in? All that emotional freedom does look enticing? Oh, you just see it as out of control? Most days I would agree, but some days I wish I could be cured from the emotional constipation that is adulthood (with my best Eeyore impression). The need to always be in control. The need to give a damn what others think, even in a person like me who rarely cares. Somehow, when it comes to my kids I care. I care others see my fun loving, wonderful children as just that. Not, some out of control heathens who are not parented. I care that they meet and make friends.
I am frustrated that there is a need at all on my part for my kids to conform to the norm. The norm is boring. I am not normal. If I were, I would not write this blog. I am me. I am weird, introverted, insightful and intuitive to the point of it being creepy, I hate a lot of noise, with a dark sense of humor. I like me. Those that choose to be my friends like me, but I know it took a long time to learn to do that. I know being normal and not on the outskirts of normal appears to be easier. Then I stop and think. No one is normal. If you think you are normal then you must be the most boring person on God’s beautiful green earth. We all have quirks and differences. I have found just about everyone I meet has some sensory problem, they just don’t know there is a name for it. Weird is normal. The reason we don’t know it is simple. We hide our weird to conform to this false sense of normality.
Now, what does this have to do with our kids? Well this blog is probably more about me than them. How I deal with all the fun that is parenting my different kids. Frankly, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I put the little one down for a nap tell the other two to stay off of the same floor and shut the door to my room until the little one wakes up. There are days I feel all of my energy stores are used up and I just have to take a day to replenish. So I make sure the older ones have food they can prepare for themselves and their little brother, and I sit down. I don’t attempt to clean or work or anything. I just sit, mediate any conflict that may arise, and now I write this blog.
So before the mental health professionals start diagnosing me let me explain why I do this. I am an extreme introvert. I draw ALL of my energy from being alone. So as you can imagine that does not happen often. I had to find a way to re-energize myself and somehow be present for my kids. So that is where my alone time came from. Sitting in my room door open or closed when the kids are occupied works well. My oldest is a strong extrovert. I started doing this when she was about 5 or 6 and my middle child was about 4. My middle child, who is in many ways my clone, understood instantly. My little extrovert instantly thought something was wrong. I explained to her mommy was fine, but just needed a few minutes. Then the alone time was shorter. As they grow older it can stretch to a few hours.
The crazy thing is with all I have figured out about myself, SOME PART OF ME JUST WANTS MY KIDS TO FIT THE NORM. I want them to appropriately interact with other children. I want them to learn as fast as or faster than other kids. I want them to get the awards, to be put in the gifted programs, and to feel included not excluded. I want life to be smooth. Then I look around at people I consider successful. Not just financially, but also self-aware comfortable with who they are people, and I realize you don’t become that type of person with a smooth life. Those people have pits falls, challenges, and sometimes devastating mistakes. They have to back track, take detours, and run into dead end after dead end to become the people they needed to be to achieve the success God intended for them. Not because God wants your road to be hard, but many of the most creative, productive, inspiring people I know are hard headed. The first path most of us take is the known path, not the divinely inspired. The road well- travelled appears to have fewer obstacles. We then realize that previous people only eliminated the obstacles that hindered them. Many times those are the same problems others may have, but there are always some that will stop you dead in your tracks, but do not effect anyone else. We must learn to be comfortable blazing our own trail so our kids realize it is possible.
When my kids look at me, I want them to see a person who did that. Who took adversity and created success. I am working on it. I tell my kids ADHD is a blessing. The first time I did this my son, mini me, looked at me skeptically and said why? I had to think a minute, because the why answer was not fully formed in my mind. My response was, because you think fast, and when you learn to harness and control that you will always be ahead of the game. Since then I have come up with many other responses to why for them. However, I truly believe the best response is showing them, I can turn a hindrance into help when I face problems. Children do and believe as we do, not as we say.
Black ADHD Mom.