Got a kid with ADD/ADHD? How about a spouse? If you do, you understand there are some unique stresses in dealing with it in the home.
The other day, I received an email from another mom. I could hear echoes of my struggles not so long ago. “I’m overwhelmed,” she said. “How can we improve how we’re handling things in the home?”
I started to reply with what I usually ask: What specifically are you trying to deal with? Impulsivity? Academic struggles? Relationships? When a parent’s overwhelmed with their hyper-drive kid, it’s easy for all of the issues to meld into a huge, tangled….and hopeless looking, ball of yarn. Trying to target one or two behaviors, I’ve found is a good starting point.
And then I stopped myself. “I’m overwhelmed,” she had said. And judging from her use of words in the rest of the email, this was an understatement.
And I remembered the most important tool I’ve found for coping with ADD related stress.
I told her to go for a walk. Buy a cup of coffee. (My personal favorite.) Paint a picture. Call a friend. (A supportive, UPLIFTING one!) Read a book.
My counselor friends call this “SELF CARE” in their native psycho-babble tongue. And I have found it to be the single most important tool I have to cope with ADD related stress. I simply must.take.care.of.myself.
The idea is like how on an airplane the flight attendant will tell you to always put on your own oxygen mask before assisting someone else.
Moms who home school are especially neglectful when it comes to taking time to nurture their own souls. Many of the women I know who home school a child with learning differences or special needs struggle with stress related health issues like fibromyalgia or migraines.
Let go of the spotless house. One more day of allowing your kid to bounce off the walls isn’t going to kill him. And school? I’m going to talk about how homeschooling your ADDer may not be such a good idea tomorrow.
There is nothing noble about wearing yourself down to a nub in the name of “taking care of your family.”
Filed under: ADD/ADHD, education, family life, parenting, PDD-NOS, Special Needs' Kids, Stress and worry, The Mother Lode Project Tagged: | coping with stress from ADHD, dealing with ADD/ADHD in the home