The other day, as I was watching all the kids get on the school bus outside our front door, I dreamed about having a "normal" kid... a kid who gets themselves ready in the morning without 100 reminders or redirections... a kid who does their homework without complaining and completes it in a normal amount of time... a kid who doesn't have a meltdown every time he doesn't get his way... and the list goes on and on.
Then I wondered... Do they know?
Do the other parents know what we go through on a daily basis, just to get ready for school?
Do the other parents know what we go through every night when we have to do homework?
Do they realize how good they really have it? Do they appreciate their kids?
I love my kids with all my heart and I wouldn't trade them for the world... but some days I just wish for some semblance of normalcy. What is our "normal" you may ask - here are just a few glimpses of what it is like to be a parent of a kid with ADHD:
- Simple tasks like getting dressed, making a bed, or brushing their teeth require numerous reminders and redirections and it takes 10 times longer than it should.
- Sometimes I just help them get dressed, eventhough they can do it by themselves, just so that it won't take so long.
- Decisions like what to eat for breakfast become a long drawn out discussion and are a cause for frustration and meltdowns because they can't decide what they want to eat.
- While eating any meal, keeping them seated in their chair is next to impossible... they get up to look at something or get involved in other activities going on around them. There is always at least one trip to the bathroom during each meal. When they are seated, it is not on their bottom, there is a knee above the table or they are sitting on their knees.
- Homework requires chewing gum, an exercise ball, a timer, and at least one parent.
- The mention of the work homework causes pain for both kid and parent.
- Every time the phone rings while the kids are at school, I pray it is not the school calling and if it is the school calling, my heart falls into my stomach.
- I know all the special ed teachers, counselor, psychologist, school administrators on a first name basis.
- A simple email communication between parent & teacher normally has the principal & vice principal cc'd on the email.
There are so many more - but it is making me tired just thinking about it all!
Then on the flip side, there are all the benefits of having a kid with ADHD...
- Endless amounts of energy!
- Empathy beyond understanding
- Caring and loving unconditionally
- Endless amounts of energy!
- Love of nature and animals
- oh and can't forget... Endless amounts of energy!
Today when your kids get home from school... give them a big hug and tell them how much you appreciate them!
Feel free to share some of your family's "normal" ADHD routines.