Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kind Words

Today someone did something nice for me. It may not seem like much, but today a total stranger with whom I've had a 3-message exchange on Twitter (although on Twitter that just about makes you best friends) told me she likes me, that I have a good sense of humour...and that I'm special. Her words hold particular meaning for me because she is an ADHD coach, so she "gets it."

Why am I so special, you might ask. Apparently it's because I've managed to keep my sense of humour through everything we've been through and continue to go through with Bear. Apart from being extremely flattered at such a lovely, and unsolicited, compliment, what hit me is that the ability to retain my sense of humour struck her, a professional who deals with parents like me on a daily basis, as something that stood out. As I said to her, if I don't laugh, I'll cry.

Thankfully, I don't cry as much as I used to, but I've had my bad days, trust me. I’ve had days when I’ve locked myself in the bathroom and called my parents to come get my precious little boy. I’ve had days when I’ve gone out on the deck and told him to stay in the house and leave me alone (my way of putting some space between us so I don't do/say something I'll regret). I’ve had days when I’ve crawled into my bed crying after finally settling him for the night. I’ve had days when I’ve lay on his bed with silent tears running down my face, holding him as he falls asleep, finally worn out physically and emotionally from a 2-hour tantrum that involved him hitting, kicking, pinching, biting, spitting, and throwing things, and culminated in me or my husband having to physically restrain him. I’ve even had days when I’ve fallen to my knees in tears, praying to God for the strength to get through this and to be the mother he needs. And trust me, I’ve had days when he has gotten the better of me and I have found myself slapping that little bum of his (oh shut up...let's see what you do when your son is throwing toys at your head and laughing when his aim is true) or yelling back at him. For the record, finding yourself yelling "No, you shut up!" at your five-year-old is not a good feeling.

So to my new-found friend...thank you. Thank you for taking the time to "get it." Thank you for taking the time to tell me I'm doing a good job. Thank you for encouraging me to keep laughing.

And to the moms and dads who haven't yet found a way to laugh, hold on. Our children are challenging in ways that others can't even begin to understand. It's a rough road we travel, but the hugs and kisses and giggles, even though they're sometimes rare, make it worth the trip.


  1. Amen, Laura, Amen. As you know, I do the ADHD, OCD Anxiety version. Right now, the OCD is causing renditions of Hannah Montana songbook from morning to night, non-stop. All the Barbies have to be naked before they are put away at night. Bunny has to be in a specific place at a specific time. Sure, they all sound amusing until you're crouched on the floor at 10pm stripping Barbies because the kid won't go to bed until it's done. And yep, on the tears, the locking in the bathroom and the hits, punches, scratches and thrown stuff...and the fits. But I love my kid. She's a bright, funny loving little thing and she's the one I was supposed to have, even if I've said to God a couple of times lately "Now I know what Jesus meant about being forsaken..."

  2. You're the best mama bear I know, :). Thanks for sharing the journey with me and your wisdom.

  3. Laura, I had no idea that you were dealing with these parenting challenges and I laud you for your efforts, for your sense of humour, and for your willingness to share your stories. As a fellow writer, I do find that expressing myself is a great way to unlock that inner turmoil. You've written some beautifully heartfelt words and I look forward to reading more of them. Hugs!

  4. Lisa and Allison...I know the challenges you each face with your own "Bears," and I appreciate all the support you've given me and continue to give me. You are both special women and spectacular mothers, and I am honoured to know you. the few days since I've launched my blog you've become one of my most ardent supporters, and I thank you for reaching out with your encouragement and kind words. Thanks for caring about your friend's little sis.

  5. I love your blog... I know so well where you're coming from. How many times did I call my husband at work, "asking permission" to take the the kids and hang them on a nail on the wall? Especially when they were younger. At the time we did not know that 3 of the 4 had ADHD. I've lost it at times. I've crossed that line I never wanted to cross. My Bear is now a 16 yo girl who as just recently had her diagnosis. Is it easier? Yes. No. We have our good days and our bad days. No one ever said that parenting would be easy. ;)

  6. Hi Johane...welcome to my blog, and thanks so much for sharing a bit of your story. I take it from your comment that 3 of your 4 kids have ADHD and one has ODD. Wow. That's rough. I completely understand what you're saying about your daughter's diagnosis. Our son's diagnosis didn't make him behave any better, but it certainly increased our patience infinitely. Good luck, and please continue to comment. I'd love your feedback and your ideas.

  7. Hello Laura,

    I have stumbled across your blog accidentally. After reading your blog titled "Kind Words" I do not believe it was by accident. Some other force much greater wanted me to visit your blog. I have a son and three daughters. My son was diagnosed with anxiety over a year ago. We have struggled for three years with him, and continue to stuggle. We have been involved with various agencies and doctors,and courses. Little bits here and there have helped at times. Every day is a challenge with our son. My three young daughters try to understand that he has challenges but it is difficult to deal with when he is being "nasty" and hurtful. I too have had those moments when after a rage I just have had to sit and hold my son while he is calling me names, and fighting at my attempts to love him. And to feel the guilt because I too lost my temper and said some mean words back. There have been many days where I have felt so alone, on the verge of losing my mind dealing with my family that feels like it is falling apart. I have read only a few of the entries on your blog, and will continue to read more. For the first time, I do not feel like I am "out there". That there are others that have gone through the same things as myself, and made the same mistakes which means I am not a bad mother. Thank you for sharing everything, and being truthful. I wish there was more support groups for moms and dads with special children. I do not need any more classes, but would just like to share experiences and a tear or two. Thank you, and please continue your good work.....

    1. Dear Anonymous -- Your words broke my heart, because I know so well what you're going through. Please know that you are not alone. There are a lot of parents out there like us, who deal with these types of challenges. If you haven't already done so, I would encourage you to read Ross Greene's The Explosive Child. I found it really helped me with how I deal with my son. I would also encourage you to join our Facebook page. You can get there from the link on the right side of your screen. There are lots of fabulous blogs and Facebook pages where you can find supportive communities. One of my favourites is Easy to Love, Hard to Raise. Keep reaching's critical for survival. :-)

  8. I stumbled across your blog today - oh how I needed this. I needed to read about a mom who loves her son and reaches the end of her rope sometimes. I needed to read about a mom who has lived it. Thank you for sharing your journey.