Yesterday was a hard day and for me I process through writing. My story may only apply to a few of you but that few is who matters. Maybe my words can make you feel less alone.
Yesterday was National Read Across America Day. In schools, kids dress up as their favorite book character and in the lowest grades it’s dress up as your favorite Dr. Suess character.
I didn’t know what day it was before I wrote this, but after a stressful homeschool day, I got on Facebook and saw all the pictures moms posted of their kids…and I immediately wanted to cry.
Why did I want to cry? Because it just took my 10 year old 20 minutes to read 2 pages of a 2nd grade level book. It took another 20 minutes to go through 8 questions of his Reading Workbook.
I have a struggling reader. And more importantly I have a very complex kid.
I am not a doctor or parent who likes labels. I think labels can kill us as a matter of fact, they can lead to an excuse filled, victim persona life because I have “fill in the blank.”
Why am I against lifelong labels? I have watched too many diagnosed kids and adults beat the odds with many different therapies and overcome or cure their diagnosis. From the Autistic kid to the terminally ill. I have watched a man with no legs and feet climb a mountain, so I am not going to put labels on my son, especially after teaching him “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
But I also realize knowing what you are dealing with is important. So since he was 5, we have been gathering pieces of his puzzle, but when you are the mom and their teacher, you can’t help but feel like you need to be giving them so much more.
Since he was young, we have been seeking help and putting pieces of the puzzle together. Maybe I should have done more, maybe I still have guilt about not doing enough earlier.
At 7, we started investing more heavily in therapies. We did what seemed like all the things reading teachers, occupational therapy, speech, more socialization occupational therapy (you know learning what is appropriate to say and what isn’t). Some of it helped, but what it created in me was a mom who was running all over the place and didn’t have any peace.
I was frazzled, overwhelmed, and losing a lot of one-on-one school time with my kids. Honestly, some of the best therapies we got were being in our two half-day homeschool groups where normal kids were. But guess what–about 50% of them were COMPLEX kids too.
Having other moms to share your heart, struggles, and even gather ideas from is helpful…but be wary of too much input, from other moms, online groups, and the internet. You can become overwhelmed easily.
In June of 2019, my Father in Heaven had a heart to heart with me. He wanted me to let go of the extras. He wanted me to be with my son in a peaceful and calm state–not a frazzled disheartened mom.
I thought I obeyed, but I really didn’t fully. See He wanted me to have that season to learn about me and my son. He wanted me to learn that my son would perform better when I was more relaxed and less stressed.
It was like a miracle! My son started to learn and develop faster, he would have days where he could go through a workbook page and even days when he could read–like really read. But ironically I started to notice that a lot of his learning and growing was directly related to me. Not what I taught, but how I was when I was teaching. Stressed out Suzie or Relaxed Rebekah.
So after a STRESSED OUT DAY of what seems like little productivity and then having to see all the perfectly cute kids dressed up in their favorite author outfits I just wanted to cry. Not because of them–it’s Me.
See I know my son may never be seen or labeled as NORMAL, because who wants that. He is unique and awesome and comes with more complex challenges. I can’t necessarily change who God made him to be, but I can work on the person I am and how I act.
So I am going to SANITY SCHOOL. That’s right! I need to get back some of my sanity and deal with my own triggers, weaknesses, and stuff. This is what it is
Explanation: “Training program for parents of children with ADHD and related challenges offers reality-based strategies for parents (Behavior Therapy). Online classes are affordable, accessible and effective, reinforced with a workbook, weekly emails, an online forum, and group Q & A calls with a coach.”
I recognized in business a long time ago that getting coaching was going to be the key to my success. And it was, so now as a parent I want good coaches. I have been blessed with these coaches free content already and I am looking forward to taking this course over the next 6 weeks and implementing it over the next year.
Maybe you need some sanity too. It starts live this week, but there are recordings. Check it out. Maybe you can stop being so stressed, start to feel empowered as a parent even when you have a Complex kid.
God Bless all the parents out there, especially those with complex kids. I feel your pain, heartaches, and stress, but realize we can get help and we can live life better,
Love you friend,
PS. Don’t think I am against therapies, but going through so many I realize a lot of parents may be in the wrong therapies. We recently learned that a big piece of my son’s issues is because his brain and eyes aren’t talking well.
So our recent in-home daily therapies are working on that and getting good results. This cost us about $100 a week and 3 hours out of the house once a week with 1 hr driving and 1 hr hanging out with Dad for lunch. So this is once integrated into our days and once a week schedule is not a stress on mom or kids.