Dear ADHD Mom,
Raising kids is hard. As you know raising ADHD kids is even harder! I use to think that maybe I was just a wimpy mom. All the other moms seemed to think I just wasn’t coping as well. They seemed to imply they had it more together than I did because their child was better behaved. Their child could sit in circle time. They could sit, color and they knew the alphabet and numbers all before kindergarten.
Over the years I’ve come to realize something that I want to share with you. YOU ARE NOT A WIMPY MOM. You are a mom who was given a challenge that most people do not understand. They think our lives are similar but I am here to remind you that THEY ARE NOT. An ADHD child brings much love but many challenges.
Research shows that divorce rates for parents with ADHD kids is higher. There are higher stress levels and a lower feeling of competence. Having an ADHD child requires a constant vigilance and a high level of energy. (Candice Odgers, Psychologist) I also feel we have to fight and advocate a little (sometimes a lot) harder than other parents.
There are the dreaded parent/teacher interviews where we are unsure what bomb will be dropped next. Agonizing over whether to medicate or not. Wishing others saw in our child what we see in them. Watching as your child is left out of birthday parties. There is self doubt and guilt after understanding the ADHD brain. Reading book after book trying to understand our child. Also the immense relief when you meet someone who truly understands.
A FOREIGN COUNTRY
ADHD mom you are NOT a failure or a poor mom. You are on a road less traveled. Because of that there is a lot of learning and understanding to be had. We do not move to a foreign country and suddenly fit in and know the language! Rather we read about it, study it and it can take years to speak and understand the language. ADHD is the same. Your child is a unique ADHD kid with special gifts and talents. It takes time to understand what ADHD is and how it works in general and then how it works in your child specifically!
You know the needs of your family best. Don’t give in to the pressure to be like others, or to raise your child like others. There may be times you need to stand firm in order to do what is best for your ADHD child. They need that! They need you to be their cheerleader in a world that can be a difficult place.
Now, I wish I could say that I was patient, understanding and did the right things for my ADHD child. But I didn’t. I didn’t know that it was normal for him to have immense and intense emotions. I didn’t know that he wouldn’t learn social skills the same way others his age did. Nor did I know that rewards and punishment meant nothing to him. I tried my best with the knowledge I had but I wish I had more knowledge earlier in his life.
YOU’VE GOT THIS
ADHD mom, you will make mistakes. You will have moments you regret. There will be times you know you need to be patient but that child has stretched you to your outermost limits and you explode! Or the stress from home or work piled on top of an emotional child gets the best of you. IT’S OK! Apologize and ask for forgiveness. Show your child that you can make mistakes but your love for them is real.
There is no one else they want. They want you… their mom. They know that you will be there, that you’ve got their back. Lines will be pushed, limits will be tested but they will know that you are always there for them. These kids often have the biggest hearts and are quick to forgive and move on. They are a gift. Given to you because you are the best mom that they could have. AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT!
Like a butterfly emerges
And unfolds its graceful wings,
A child grows and develops
With the love a mother brings.
I'm thankful for the times
When you encouraged me to try,
For God gave me wings,
But, MOM, you taught me how to fly.
Happy Mothers day!
From our Family to yours,
Family ADHD Coach Laureen