I have a child diagnosed with ADHD. Life can be… well, challenging. Let me just walk you through a typical morning in our house.
“Bug, go get dressed. Your ride will be here in ten minutes.” This is probably already the 18th time I have told him to get dressed.
“Bug, go into your room and put on your clothes. Come on Buddy.”
I’m not going to yell today. I’m not going to yell.
“Bug, it’s time to be dressed. Come on.” I pull him up off the couch and lead him into his room. He flops down on his bed. One more time for good measure, “Get dressed please.”
I leave the room to make my coffee. “Bug, are you getting dressed?”
“I’m doing it,” he assures me.
I peak into his room and he’s flopping around like a fish out of water on his bed. And of course, he’s only in his undies.
“I am.” We’ll repeat this between five and fifteen times. I get a shirt and shorts out and hand them to him. He’ll play around for a little while. He starts making robot sounds.
“Bug, are you dressed?”
“I am a robot.” Of course, in robot speak.
“Well, get your robot clothes on!”
“I think I just farted. As a robot.”
“Put your shirt on.”
Finally, finally he is dressed. At least a shirt and shorts.
I hear him singing in the bathroom.
“Mom, is there any human being on earth that is cold blooded?”
“What about God?”
“No. Get your shoes on!”
Then we have a conversation about wedgies. And he starts singing a song about wedgie butts while swinging his shoes around.
Every. Day. We go round and round and round. It’s incredibly frustrating. This is life with a child with ADHD.
As with all children with a special medical need, it can feel incredibly overwhelming and isolating. Most days I feel like I’m going to absolutely lose my mind. It’s so difficult to know the difference between what is behavioral, and what is a consequence of the fact that his poor little mind is just pinging all over the place. It’s hard not to lose my cool.
But there is good news. There are local resources and help for parents who have a children with mental health issues. I’ve been eyeing up a local resource for parents of children with ADHD. I think it’s time to get outside support. And these are the things of motherhood that no one warned me about.
ADHD is only one of many mental health issues children may face. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 20% of children in the United States have mental health disorders.