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Nov 03 2011

My 2e child ate my sanity

Do you have a twice-exceptional child, maybe with ADHD? Do you work full time? Have you retained your sanity? In all seriousness, if you or someone you know is in that situation, I could really use some guidance as to how in hell you’re pulling it off.

I’ve been working for a solid month now, and for the most part it’s ok. But OH MY FREAKING GOD A) I don’t know how I’m doing this and B) I don’t know how much longer I can keep on doing this. As I type, it’s 9:45 PM and A is just now heading to bed. We all walked in the door at 6, and it’s been fight about homework/unpack groceries/homework/dinner/fight about homework/clean the kitchen/pull the boys off each other/homework/put away laundry/fight about homework/make lunches/redirect redirect redirect for the entire evening. Tom and I are exhausted, and we’re still not done for the evening.

I just wanted to crash on the couch and watch some Hawaiian eye candy tonight. That’s all. Ain’t gonna happen.

It’s been like this every night since I started work. God help us on the days the boys have Scouts or Lego Robotics. If I thought I was on an out of control Life Treadmill before, well, now it has sped up even more and I’ve fallen on my ass.

I need my job, I like my job, I like going to and doing my job…I just hate with a wild passion what returning to work has done to our precariously balanced home life. That is the main reason why I was so hesitant to find gainful employment. I knew it would be like this. It will only get worse once I go from 30 to 40 hours this spring. And the deep desire and wild plans I have for supporting and connecting with other parents of 2e kids keeps getting pushed farther and farther away.

Oh, and I keep thinking homeschooling A for middle school may be the only way he will survive it.

I’m tired. The number of things I’ve pushed into mental closets is insane. All that flotsam and jetsam is prying the door open, little tendrils of dreams coiling around the doorjamb, threatening to flood me with hopes and plans and regret and sorrow.

So seriously, I’m open to ideas. Or work from home offers in the area of gifted advocacy. Or a visit from Mary Poppins.

Uncle.

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  1. Laura Wright @ The ODD Mom

    I really wish I could offer up some words of wisdom but I can’t. In fact, I know I couldn’t work outside the home in my situation. I have an 18mo (he’s no problem) and I also have a 6yo with ADHD, ODD, and anxiety. Phone calls from the school to come get him used to come just about daily, although we’re down to every few weeks now. But getting him to school on time is still a challenge, so I’d never make it to an office.

    If you figure it out, share your new-found wisdom, OK?

  2. tardis_blue

    You know, I don’t work–I homeschool my only, and I frequently feel the same way. The only reason (some days, anyway) I don’t run for the sanity of the grown-up world in a job is because I know it would only get worse. I can’t imagine living in that kind of stress and pressure.

  3. Debby

    Working or not, ADHD is exhausting and perhaps a 24/7 type job. Well, maybe not when they sleep. My A is currently homeschooled and in 9th. There are days when I want to rip my hair out. There are some vitamins/supplements which can help with focus and anger management. Diet can also play a significant roll. You might want to try an elimination diet to find out what foods/additives may be triggering you child and them eliminate them from your child’s diet. 2 books where you can find suggestions on how to do that are “Is This My Child?” by Doris A Rapp and “Is Your Child’s Brain Starving” by Dr. Michael R. Lyon, MD and Dr. G. Christine Laurell, PhD. It takes about 10 to 12 days to clear the system and then you add 1 possible allergen/irritant back each day and document. This will be difficult with yours in school all day. Cleaning the diet has worked everything from minimal to major changes for some of my friends. Fish oil can increase focus (need proper balance of omega 3 vs. omega 6.) L-Tyrosine can help balance moods/anger. (requires other amino acids to properly trigger it. I didn’t want to research and use an amino acid multi tablet to do the job) If you have really good medical insurance and a good pediatrician you might want to do blood work to test for major deficiencies in nutrients/amino acids/etc. in your child and supplement. Routine can also be helpful. Homeschooling, while it can be extremely rewarding, is very time consuming and can be extremely frustrating. Through coop experiences, working full time is a burden and counter-productive to a quality education for the child unless the child is extremely self disciplined and motivated. It does not seem as if this is the case although the freedom homeschooling offers might perhaps change your child’s attitude.
    I wish you peace and a quick solution to your difficulties. I will pray for your situation.

  4. /ei

    Oh dear.

    Hugs.

    Breathe.

    Slow down and don’t try to plan middle school yet. I mean if you really need your job try middle school and see what happens. My experience is that MS teachers are a lot more flexible than elementary school teachers and get more excited about working with gifted students.

    I have a single mom friend with three gifted kiddos the eldest of which is a sophomore in HS and who has ADHD. He’s quite successful and she’s quite sane.

    She used to blog about twice excepionalities quite a bit but is extremely focused on social justice issues right now. But she might have some words of wisdom for you. http://curlykidz.wordpress.com/

  5. My Kids Mom

    Are you as much as list maker as I am? If I were you (which I understand I am not!) I would make a paper and pencil list of everything I do and need to do and think I need to do. And I would categorize them by degree they’re needed or days they need to be done or degree I enjoy them… and see where you can find spots to cut. Don’t leave out “9-10pm veg in front of TV” if it matters to you and makes the other things easier. I MUST get a good night’s sleep or the whole household loses it because I have no patience. Other things get put off so I can go to bed. Lower your standards a bit and try to get the MUST HAVES done. See if the SHOULDS

    1. My Kids Mom

      hmm-not sure what I did!

      … See if the SHOULDS can fit in and be sure to put in some WANTS. But don’t put it all back in now. You really will get used to things in time and more will begin to fit.

  6. Accidental Expert

    Sorry, no great ideas here, given that I have not graced the workforce in a very, very long time. I keep threatening, but everyone around here has long ago learned to just ignore me.

  7. The Casual Perfectionist

    I’m sorry you’re feeling overwhelmed, Jen. I have no idea what you’ve tried and what you haven’t, so I’m just throwing these ideas out here willy-nilly…but have you tried having Tom help with the homework? Is there someone else they respond to differently when it comes to that?

    Do you “meal plan” at your house? I didn’t use to do it, and now I do, and the change is AMAZING. We can chat offline about this if you need some ideas. Seriously, it was so simple and literally changed my world.

    Are the boys in charge of some major chores? Anything they can take off your plate would help. (For real…they are old enough to “help” and actually “help.”) They can dust, vacuum, put groceries away. Just because you CAN do everything doesn’t mean you should. (Maybe an incentive for doing homework without a struggle would be “earning” a “pass” on cleaning?)

    Just ideas. I hope things get better for you!!

  8. Missy | The Literal Mom

    Hang in there, Jen. Deep breaths.

  9. Allison G

    I have absolutely no experience, tricks or even great ideas to offer, just a whole lit of long distance sympathy, hugs and good vibes. But I do have a great deal of faith that you will get a handle on this sooner than you think, without anyone losing their sanity or limbs. You are truly one if the most remarkable women I have ever known (and I’ve known some real doozies!) and I admire all that you have accomplished. Hang in there! You will figure this one out and amaze us all once again with your capabilities!

  10. JenC

    I’m waiting to see the replies you get, because I’ll be in the same boat soon. Grad school started this month, and it looks like I’ll be switching to full-time work soon. It’ll be partly from home still, but it should be interesting to see just how much neglect my house can take before everything deteriorates to “Condemned by the Health Department” status takes over!

  11. Mumbrarian

    Oh I hear you. Our saving grace is that school starts so late now (almost 9:30) that homework is done in the mornings while I start cracking through my email & that greatly reduced that battle. I have to work until 5:30 each night (no lunch break) though, so groceries and all errands are weekend only. Scouts is a mad scramble to make on time, and I dunno what we’re going to do when baseball practice starts up again in the spring. Otherwise it’s ruthless routines and efficiency, and timers being set by 9yr at certain points to keep things rolling. You’ll notice my total inability to blog or have time for myself anymore…

  12. Kelly

    I know that it seems to take awhile for our family to settle into a routine whenever there’s a major change in the schedule, so give yourself a little more time to feel like you’ve “got it.” One suggestion I have is to try to think of things you can “outsource” wherever possible to ease up on your to-do list. Buy store bought cupcakes, frozen dinners, order pizza, etc. Consider a cleaning service, if possible.

    Good luck and hang in there!

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