What does it mean to be a mom with ADHD?
I was only diagnosed with ADHD this year, 2017. Whilst it was a bit of a surprise to me, apparently not so much to the people close to me who it came as no surprise to!
Why did I decide to tackle this now?
Primarily it was a matter of realizing that I needed to understand how can I help my children. In my opinion, as a mother, if I myself am everywhere how can I help them to cope with their own diagnosis with ADHD?
My mother is a very organised woman who does things in a methodical and structured way. I envy this quality and covet it as a mother because I do believe it helped me get through my school going years. When my girls were babies I was routine bound. As much for them as for me. It helped us all. I thrive on it.
My Diagnosis vs Mental Health
I wanted to keep my ADHD diagnosis a secret for obvious reasons, the foremost being negatively branded and labeled.
The unfortunate reality is that there is a negative stigma associated with mental illness, whether that manifests itself as depression, anxiety, or of course ADHD itself, the stigma is there! With this stigma comes opinions of the worst kind, opinions based on ignorance, not fact. These hurtful, judgemental opinions cause unnecessary self-explanation, and self-justification.
On the positive side, there is a lot of research on this specific aspect of mental health, but I fiercely believe that there is no one ‘correct remedy’ for ‘getting better’, because every diagnosis is unique, every person is an individual.
What is ADHD to me?
Whilst the prognosis of my children having it ADHD is a reality I need to face, I can only tell you how I feel and how I plan to conduct myself moving forward, whilst still trying to be the best mom I can be, without, hopefully, throwing my own anxieties and insecurities at my children.
ADHD is about being disorganised but in the same breath being organised for everyone else; it is having a few conversations in my head; it is wanting to do everything but it is the failure of not completing a task; it is the panic of not knowing where to start or end; it is being afraid to go to certain people’s houses as your kids are the Tasmanian devils to their calm and order. In each of these situations, my stress levels hit an all-time high.
Another mom described ADHD to me as “the bubbly, chatty side”; it is the creativity, and I believe the “find the fun” in most scenarios; it is the multi-tasking, go-getting attitude that, once a focus is found, great things can be achieved; it is being excited and passionate about pretty much EVERYTHING. That is ADHD.
Embracing ADHD and moving forward!
My intention is to use this platform as a way of organising my thoughts and feelings about being diagnosed with this mental health condition, ADHD, so “late in life” – FYI: I am 37 years old. I will focus on finding my way to move forward whilst also trying to understand the myths and stereotypes associated with ADHD. In addition to this, I need to focus on my journey of parenting my snot-flickers, and being the best mom I can be!
I am on medication to help me focus. Does it fix me? No! Does it help my productivity? Definitely!
In a society that both applauds and shirks not ‘fitting into the box’, it is here where I hope to also discuss the very real probability that children are being overdosed.
On a personal level, I did manage to get through my whole schooling career without needing medication, but in the same breath it was different. I think it helped that I was the child who listened intently and needed the teacher’s approval. I was a day-dreamer. I got by.
Let’s face it, in our modern world, the expectation and pressure on our children is massive! We do need our educational foundations, however, education and parenting really do need to evolve at the same speed with which society is currently moving if we are to help and support our children in this ever changing modern world!
What do I want?
I want my girls to be children as long as possible. It irks me when people say “When we were younger …”, or, “When you were younger …”! It is not the same. The world we currently live in is not the same as it was 10 years ago, certainly not the same as it was 30 years ago … a topic for a future blog post.
As Bob Dylan sang “Times, they are a changin.”
Going forward I hope to approach 2018 by being more organised and setting a good example for my girls. Miss K starts Grade One so ‘nobody got time for non-structure’.
As I get organised, I definitely won’t forget to schedule “spontaneity”!
Yup … I really said that!
I hope you follow me on my journey as a mom with ADHD, my perspective on living with ADHD and as I raise my girls. I will try not to be afraid to face these issues and deal with them head on!