Every person in my family has ADHD or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.
It feels so surreal to write that because I never imagined that my life would look the way it does now. Finding out my kids both have ADHD was not necessarily a shock to me – in fact, it confirmed what I’d been suspecting for years – but it still hurt my heart to find out that my kids were/are struggling with something that will be present for the rest of their lives. I am hopeful because this is something we can go through together as a family – I feel a kind of new bond with my kids now that I know we share this diagnosis.
I have known about my own diagnosis for about five years now, ever since my symptoms were interfering with my university coursework.
I was having trouble reading; I would read a paragraph over and over and my brain could not process the information on the page. That is just one example of how I was being affected by my ADHD. I feel fortunate to have started medication as soon as I was diagnosed, though there were some regrets as I learned I had been dealing with this my entire life and hadn’t known about it.
My ADHD hinders me as I am trying to be the best parent I can be.
I am doing all I can– reading books on the subject, searching online for resources, working with a PCIT counselor, and even browsing Pinterest for organization ideas. Things like schedules, routines, and good habits are so difficult for me to implement because I struggle in those areas myself. I’m so thankful for the resources that I have found so far that have helped us because this feels like an uphill battle in some respects. Some new things I try work out great and some things just don’t work for our family. I am learning as I go and following the guidance of people experienced in this field.
Speaking of those who are experts in this field – when my daughter’s doctor suggested she start taking medicine, I was immediately on board.
I benefit from medication myself, and it made sense that she would too. As we expected, she responded amazingly well to the medicine. For the first time ever, her head was clear of all the extra noise, and she was able to focus and do schoolwork (and even cleaned her room without me telling her to!). The downside to this medication is that it can’t be taken after 2 pm, so her coverage is limited to the daytime hours. Even so, my deepest hope is that medication will prevent some of the secondary ADHD effects that can happen, like depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues.
Our journey with ADHD as a family is a lot of things all at the same time.
It is a unique mix of chaotic, joyful, hilarious, and overwhelming. I never imagined the life I have now but I am so thankful that I do have it. Even though my kids need some extra help in some areas, they also excel in other areas too.
ADHD will present us with challenges along the way – yet I’m so relieved that we have a diagnosis and know what to work on now.
Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog post: sign up to receive Cedar Rapids Moms posts in your inbox. While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms events and promotions!!