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how do you accept having out-of-the box kids


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I don't have any answers, but I didn't want to just read and move on. Hugs to you and perhaps some moms with better experience will pop in.

I will say this. I have a daughter with ........ It's hard. And sometimes you just muddle through one day at a time and try not to think too much about the bigger picture.

Edited by fairfarmhand
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I am sorry you are struggling. That sounds tough indeed.
I do not believe there is a "why". We are dealt some random (well, not totally, because genetics) hand. I do not believe there is an entity that assigns us our families because they think we are suitable. 
I am wishing for strength for you as you take it one day at a time.

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It might be better, more helpful, to consider that it's not God. I'm an atheist, so of course I don't believe that anyway, but even for people who do - it's just chance. Or a combo of genetics + chance. All these conditions are highly heritable and comorbid. If you have one kid with them, it's not surprising that you've got more with them.

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I’ve wrestled with this...and I came to the conclusion that a compassionate god who individually assigns strengths and weaknesses wouldn’t do this.

So, I am left with three things:

1. God isn’t a compassionate god (and the Old Testament god of requiring animal sacrifices to be made happy who then in the New Testament requires the sacrifice of his Only Begotten son to satisfy Him is enough to make me wonder)

or

2. God plays more of an intelligent design role—sets things up initially and then kinda lets it roll with little interventions here and there as answers to prayers—-and we just got the bad end of genetics

or

3. athiesm—which is surprisingly more compassionate than #1—we are just here, and genetics just are what they are. 
 

I didn’t end up in a happy place with any of those trains of thought so I have suspended judgment in the matter. Reality is that I chose to bring these kids into the world, and so now I must be a good mother to them. What a good mother looks like isn’t a black and white thing—sometimes good mothers send their kids to school, get takeout pizza occasionally and take mental health breaks for themselves. 🙂 

Fwiw, seeing my kids helped me understand my ancestors. It gave compassion and understanding to see how different parenting and a lack of resources led them to a different place than where my kids will end up. I don’t know that I would have understood this otherwise, but even still, I would not have chosen these same challenges for my children.

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14 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I’ve wrestled with this...and I came to the conclusion that a compassionate god who individually assigns strengths and weaknesses wouldn’t do this.

So, I am left with three things:

1. God isn’t a compassionate god (and the Old Testament god of requiring animal sacrifices to be made happy who then in the New Testament requires the sacrifice of his Only Begotten son to satisfy Him is enough to make me wonder)

or

2. God plays more of an intelligent design role—sets things up initially and then kinda lets it roll with little interventions here and there as answers to prayers—-and we just got the bad end of genetics

or

3. athiesm—which is surprisingly more compassionate than #1—we are just here, and genetics just are what they are. 
 

I didn’t end up in a happy place with any of those trains of thought so I have suspended judgment in the matter. Reality is that I chose to bring these kids into the world, and so now I must be a good mother to them. What a good mother looks like isn’t a black and white thing—sometimes good mothers send their kids to school, get takeout pizza occasionally and take mental health breaks for themselves. 🙂 

Fwiw, seeing my kids helped me understand my ancestors. It gave compassion and understanding to see how different parenting and a lack of resources led them to a different place than where my kids will end up. I don’t know that I would have understood this otherwise, but even still, I would not have chosen these same challenges for my children.

Or 4.  God is not omnipotent.  

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(Or 5.) God is loving and His ways are higher than our ways.  We don't always get the privilege of understanding the whys of life.

I'm sorry that your burden is hard.

I have had days that seem insurmountable.  I have six kids who are generally healthy.  But, I'm not.  I'm not facing anything devastating, but my days are hard.  I have RA and frequent (almost daily) migraines.  Parenting is hard.  Homeschooling is hard.  But somehow I always have enough strength for today.  I believe that strength comes from God.

I have told myself sometimes, "God must think that I'm stronger than I think I am."  But, really, the strength is God's.  I'm not doing the things I'm doing in my own strength.  Yes, some days are hard.  Yes, life is hard.  But it is also full of joy.

Yes, you can handle them and their issues (you're already doing it!) and yes, you are the right mom for them.  Sending you hugs and praying for you.

 

 

 

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We all have a 'cross to bare' is about all I have. I work with adults who have traumatic brain injuries. Their lives have been changed in an instant, never to return to what it once was. They are parents, children, nieces, nephews in their families, and this trauma also happened to their family in learning to deal with the brain injury. Yet they carry on leading the best lives they can. They may not remember all the sh*t they had to deal with just yesterday because of their brain injury.

This is only one example not to minimize what you are going through, but that you are not alone struggling in this world. Sometimes life circumstances just suck. Then you have to try and figure out how to carry on rather than be stuck trying to explain how and why bad stuff happens. And trying to find someone or something to blame doesn't usually make it any easier to deal with the challenging situation.

Big hugs. Being a parents is very, very tough.

Edited by wintermom
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As far as the theology question, my take is more "we are supposed to have challenges here on earth, God intends that as a way for us to learn through our struggles and through helping carry the burdens of other people's struggles". While I don't claim that every person or every family faces objectively equal struggles, when you get to know a person or a family well you discover that they do all have struggles in life--serious and challenging ones.

My kids are a lot like yours--lots of ADHD, dyslexia, sensory issues, anxiety; many, many cumulative years of speech therapy. They are my crew and I love them to the moon and back but they are certainly not an easy bunch to parent.

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God never promised us an easy life. Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin came into the world we live in an imperfect world. No one has perfect kids. No one is a perfect parent. You are the right Mom for them because YOU are their Mom. 

But get help for their issues. Don't just accept it. There are things you can do to make life easier for them and for you. And don't accept that you have to do it all yourself. 

Susan in TX

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I have a daughter with a major mental illness too.  I have other extended relatives with major mental illnesses.  I have in-laws with mental health issues.  It's just genetics.  Can God supernaturally override the results of genetics?  Yes, but He doesn't usually.  We live in a world where genetics are a factor we have to deal with-some people have it easier than others in that department. There are other factors too.

I don't know anything specific about dyslexia, processing disorders, executive functioning issues, or ADHD types.  I assume there are specialists who can help with it and there might be things you can do to teach the kids to be more self-sufficient over time, so if there's help out there, get some if you can without apology or guilt.

My general advice to people is to religiously build margin into their lives so there's some give when things pile up.  Be absolutely ruthless about cutting out non-essentials that drain you in any way and don't let anyone guilt you about it.  

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The wonders of biology tell us that out of the billions (trillions?) of possible egg and sperm combinations in the world, only these particular 6 combinations could have created the unique and wonderful children you have. And only you and their father could have come together at just precisely the right time to help create those combinations. Those kind of odds don't seem random to me, and as a Christian I would argue that God knew you would not be a perfect mom - who is??? - but that He knew you would be uniquely suited to give these kids whatever it is they need with the help of His spirit and grace.

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Whenever anyone criticized my dad he would say, “Well, we live in an imperfect world.” 
 

I have imperfect children and an imperfect husband and he has an imperfect wife and they have an imperfect mother. That is just how it is. 
 

I really agree with the idea of building margins, but I call it “having slack” . Dh and I are down to only 2 minor children. Right now, I have 2 adult kids at home plus Dh working from home, so we literally have 2 adults for every child. I have slack. 
 

We are able to volunteer more now because we have slack. We are in our mid fifties, and sometimes my friends say that younger families need to step up to the plate, but I remind them that younger families often don’t have as much slack because they often still have toddlers and living parents that need attention too. 
 

I don’t want to minimize what you are going through. I have some special needs kids, but for me the exhaustion was only for a season. I’m past that season now, but I have friends who are in your situation now and I try to be the help that I really needed when I was their age. And if you lived by me, I’d be happy to be that person for you to give you a night each month of free babysitting or some extra tutoring or a friend to have coffee with or a person to talk on the phone with you in the middle of the night. 
 

We live in an imperfect world.  We can’t know why things happen as they do, but we can help each other and try to support each other when people are in the trenches of the hardest parenting years. 

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Well I do think you're the right mom for them. I just think sometimes it's hard to do what you know needs to be done with insufficient support and outright opposition. And based on your posts over the years, it seems like you've faced a lot of opposition, which is pretty wearying.

How would you feel if you only had two? I mean, I wanted 6 like you and I have 2. So there's always something to grieve. And sometimes I'm like oh I have got this down, I could just crank those kids out. And sometimes I'm like no, I'd lose my mind.

I think take care of yourself, rise up against opposition and assert your God given role of DESPOT OF THE HOUSE, and do what you think needs to be done. Act in the best interest of your kids and take care of yourself. They're going to grow up very quickly.

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1 minute ago, EKS said:

Genetics.  

I do agree with you but sometimes, we don’t connect the dots. 
 

I come from a family full of alcoholics. Because I thought that was the genetics I was passing down to my kids. That was more of my focus. My oldest is 26 and has never had alcohol and never wants to. My next is 24 and drinks very, very infrequently. My next is 22 and has had one sip of alcohol and hated it. Based on what I thought the issue was, I was successful. 
 

Except my family was drinking to self medicate for debilitating depression and anxiety. Whoops. I wasn’t on the lookout for that at all, and I let my children go way too long without treatment. I’ve apologized to them. I’ve explained that their glaring symptoms just looked normal to me. 
 

All of that is just to say that the same issue, genetically can manifest differently so that it might look like something unrelated and the parent might not make the connection between the generation before them and the generation after them. 

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I don't believe God ever willfully thinks difficult things like this are a good idea or causes them to happen.  Life just happens.  So much of it is genetics.

You might be interested in reading the book God of the Possible:  A Biblical Introduction to the Open view of God.

I'm really sorry for all your struggles...  Life can be so hard!

 

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27 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

I do agree with you but sometimes, we don’t connect the dots. 
 

I come from a family full of alcoholics. Because I thought that was the genetics I was passing down to my kids. That was more of my focus. My oldest is 26 and has never had alcohol and never wants to. My next is 24 and drinks very, very infrequently. My next is 22 and has had one sip of alcohol and hated it. Based on what I thought the issue was, I was successful. 
 

Except my family was drinking to self medicate for debilitating depression and anxiety. Whoops. I wasn’t on the lookout for that at all, and I let my children go way too long without treatment. I’ve apologized to them. I’ve explained that their glaring symptoms just looked normal to me. 
 

All of that is just to say that the same issue, genetically can manifest differently so that it might look like something unrelated and the parent might not make the connection between the generation before them and the generation after them. 

I agree, and of course it's always so much easier to see this in hind site.

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I don't know that it helps to ask why. It is what it is, sometimes, and I do believe a lot of it is genetics.

The job God gives us is to love. If your children know you love them unconditionally and are there and will always be there for them, and if you teach them that God loves them, too, you will have done your job well. 

image.png.5ea1cf3f6b82688b06029efb333c57b8.png

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I have kids with multiple issues as well. It's hard to understand. I think sometimes that it must be pretty easy to have a bunch of generally average kids who don't need a specialist for anything. Some of the issues in our family are clearly genetic and others are not- injuries ; randomness. What are the odds that we'd be hit with the genetic stick and the random stick? It's not just me. A lot of the people in my extended family have children with issues, the genetic ones, so my circle of why me/us expands. 

It's hard for all of us. I know our life and activities will not and have not been like a lot of people's. I can't try to keep up with the Jones. I can only keep up what I can keep up and I know it will be ok. We'll sort it out. Things are hard and it seems other people have it easier. I'm really pretty sure that a lot of other people really, honestly, do have it easier when it comes to kids. My parents and in laws had a cake walk! My brother and I, in retrospect, were amazingly easy kids! I have it easier than many in some other ways that are important as well. I try to focus on that. 

 

 

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Honestly, life can be just hard. I'm sorry it is so heavy now. That is a lot. There are times in my life when I couldn't handle one more thing but things did get better.

If I could tell you to do one thing it would be do just one thing just for the sheer joy of it. No school! No worries of dust bunnies. A game or a hike or a joke competition.  If you are too tired for that make root beer floats and watch a comedy together. Give yourself a night to just enjoy them for who they are. 

Make a paper chain for when Grandma gets there. 😉 

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This is my understanding:  God does not do bad things.  He doesn't "give" ADHD to a child.  But in a  fallen world, it is a given that two types of evil are going to exist- physical evil (things like hurricanes and birth defects, that are not anyone's fault) and moral evil (those choices we are allowed to make, even though they are wrong).  Although God doesn't perform bad things, he allows them to occur for reasons that we may never understand in this lifetime.  I refuse to engage in the "God is testing you," "God doesn't give us more than we can handle," etc nonsense.  But I do believe God can work through bad things as well as good in a greater plan than we are not able to comprehend.

 

I don't have first-hand experience, but the family I know with ADHD-effected kids found medication to be incredibly helpful.  There is no shame or taboo in seeking out medical help for a medical condition  like ADHD.  

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I don’t really have advice, but I want you to know you’re heard.
I “only” (lol) had 5 kids over 12 years, not 6, but that in and of itself can be rough. I have one with ASD, one with ADHD, and another with ASD and ADHD traits. That can be rough, too.  My hardest period was right around when my youngest (who had health issues for the first year) was little.

I don’t want to make any promises, but it did get easier for me as my youngest got older.  Never EASY, lol, but easier.

Whys are difficult to struggle with. In our house, I often think that not only did our kids get the best and worst of us - not the in between - but they got both in super strength.   Which means I’m in awe of how incredible they are, and it’s seriously stressful to raise and live with them!

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8 hours ago, MercyA said:

I don't know that it helps to ask why. It is what it is, sometimes, and I do believe a lot of it is genetics.

The job God gives us is to love. If your children know you love them unconditionally and are there and will always be there for them, and if you teach them that God loves them, too, you will have done your job well. 

image.png.5ea1cf3f6b82688b06029efb333c57b8.png

This. 

(((caedmyn)))

No answers. You are an amazing mom and it's ok to be tired and frustrated. 

I have one super-challenging kid and I am often exhausted and discouraged and wonder why I couldn't have had an easier, more average kid. Mystery. But I trust that God knows more and better than I do. 

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I'm sorry you are struggling. I have two out-of-the-box children and it has been hard. I am not a patient, kind, nurturing mom; I'm not super-bright or creative. I expected but didn't get children with conventional brains - you know, like their father and I have!

I agree with those who say that God may very well have specifically given you those children to raise even though it is hard for you. I mean, I don't know. But I do believe that a lot of things come into our lives to make us more the way God wants us to be.  

My experiences have taught me to abandon my expectations of how life "should" look.  

I'm praying for you today. 

 

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16 minutes ago, marbel said:

My experiences have taught me to abandon my expectations of how life "should" look.  

 

 

 

Like Margaret, this idea has been a life saver for me.

I have two people in my life who have . . . stuff.

I wanted to share this book with you: The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. I'm a library-person for the most part, but I'm buying this one so that I can dip into it regularly. (It's slim and interesting. It doesn't yak on and on for 25 chapters before getting to it's main point.)

I also have a hunch that most of us have something that makes us out-of-the-box, but many are just better at hiding it. (Or, I had a friend who thought her idiosyncrasies were perfectly normal, yet she wouldn't extend the same grace to me re: my quirky stuff. I always thought that was weird.)

I love this line and say it to myself regularly: I can do hard things. (Even if it's not totally true, it's nice to hear myself say it.) 🙂

Wendy

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I have one biological son, one adopted son, and one adopted daughter. Each of them has a set of difficult circumstances (BDS: bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD, CPTSD, Gifted); (ADS: conduct disorder, low IQ, Reactive Attachment Disorder - adult and living in group home); (ADD: ADHD, Anxiety, PTSD, Profoundly Gifted) 

 

I'm not going to lie. It's hard. Every day is different, and some have been scary. I believe I was meant to be my son and daughter's mother, but I believe that my adopted son was not meant to be ours. He should have stayed in the group setting he was living in when the state convinced us he was ready to be adopted. Truthfully, he was never going to be ready to be adopted. We are all still living with the consequences of those years. 

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Hugs to you. It's really hard when your kid is out of the box, or off the path. My oldest has been chronically ill for 4 years and at this point is essentially bedridden. It's horrible, you feel sad, guilty, angry, frustrated, exhausted, and despairing much of the time. And judged. You really feel judged. Some of that is self-imposed, some of it is real. One thing I can say is that it's essential to avoid comparing your life, your situation, to other people's lives. Especially the highly curated FB/Instagram versions of their lives. It can be crushing and keep you focused on what you have lost or are missing out on, rather than the life you can create with the situation that you have. Seek out support from people who are gong through things similar to what you are - support groups, friends in similar situations, etc. And consider therapy for yourself, or something else that provides support just for you. One of the pitfalls of parenting or partnering people who are suffering is that you can feel like your own pain, being "less" than theirs, is not worthy of empathy and respect. Try and resist this idea. Yes, it sucks for them. But it sucks for you too. It's ok to feel what you feel. It's valid. 

I hope you find some relief. Hugs.

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12 hours ago, Amy Gen said:

self medicate for debilitating depression and anxiety.

Ironically, even that can be genetic. TPH2, VDR, some other genes are directly connected. 

But yeah, it's hard that *we* are learning at the same time as raising our kids. We wish we just *knew* and sometimes we only learn later. 

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56 minutes ago, marbel said:

My experiences have taught me to abandon my expectations of how life "should" look.  

I'm another one who has done this. I became a single mom overnight a couple years ago and I have very bright  kids with extreme anxiety, PTSD, and ASD. 

In a lot of ways, the pandemic has helped me with dropping expectations. Everyone is going through it right now.

I realized that if my kids (in PS) log on to their classes every day, they're probably doing better than half the kids in their classes. I learned that if we're not all running around every weekend "enriching" our lives, we actually have time to recharge. I lose my temper sometimes. I just did with my youngest because she left her online class crying because she couldn't find some paper she needed. (Meanwhile during her meltdown, the teacher was explaining what to do if they didn't have the paper). But when I'm done working for the day and they're done with school, I chat with them, explain more calmly how to handle those kinds of situations, apologize for losing my temper, and I tell them I love them. 

Can I ask you something? You say your kid "would" qualify for an ADHD diagnosis. Why haven't you pursued the diagnosis? You might find some really helpful resources and/or medication if you did. And even if you didn't find the resources helpful, it's not like you are committed to using them. My kid with ASD-we were originally having him tested for ADHD. His form of autism does have an attention deficit component. He did various therapies for about a year but we didn't find them extremely helpful so now I just have the knowledge of his diagnosis and how it can affect him. That alone is very helpful in understanding him and being more patient. 

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17 minutes ago, OH_Homeschooler said:

<snip> 

Can I ask you something? You say your kid "would" qualify for an ADHD diagnosis. Why haven't you pursued the diagnosis? You might find some really helpful resources and/or medication if you did. And even if you didn't find the resources helpful, it's not like you are committed to using them. My kid with ASD-we were originally having him tested for ADHD. His form of autism does have an attention deficit component. He did various therapies for about a year but we didn't find them extremely helpful so now I just have the knowledge of his diagnosis and how it can affect him. That alone is very helpful in understanding him and being more patient. 

Just tagging along with this... we had our kid tested at age 8 for various issues that we saw. Almost as important as the diagnosis was the feeling of relief my kid felt at knowing they were not stupid. Because that's what the kid believed - that they were just stupid. No, you have this disability and that disability and ADD (inattentive) and that's why you aren't great at these things, and can't concentrate.  Priceless information. 

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I think the stage you're in right now is one of the stages people pass through that moves them on to a more settled mindset, acceptance, and a way forward. 

This:  

18 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Well I do think you're the right mom for them. I just think sometimes it's hard to do what you know needs to be done with insufficient support and outright opposition. And based on your posts over the years, it seems like you've faced a lot of opposition, which is pretty wearying.

I think take care of yourself, rise up against opposition and assert your God given role of DESPOT OF THE HOUSE, and do what you think needs to be done. Act in the best interest of your kids and take care of yourself. They're going to grow up very quickly.

I am only one of the parents that God gave the kids to. The other needed to get in the game in a meaningful way and stop just throwing up hands, saying no, etc., and I had to put my foot down and basically say, "My way or the highway." And my way was to get evals, meds, and therapies. My kids are so, so different than they were (in good ways). They are MORE themselves, not less, but they are less hampered by those qualities that made life harder for them. Not every problem has a solution or has a solution yet. Was/is it fun to get their needs met through therapies and such? Not really, but it lightened the load in meaningful ways, and it helped them greatly. One of the biggest benefits is the relationships my kids have made with the people who tutor them and provide therapy. It's been a blessing to have caring adults pouring into them. It feels less lonely.

14 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

Looking for reason seems like an energy waster and a path to perpetual dissatisfaction  to me. I just play the hand I was dealt the best I can. 

This too.

I also think it helps if you can find people who are willing to be honest IRL about their struggles with learning issues and ADHD. People do way too much pretending. It's more common that people are willing to admit.

You are doing a good job! 

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Ah OP, you last sentence of "why is this is my family" resonated so hard with me.

I come from a country of a billion people, so having a small family is literally drilled into you from posters by the government to the cost of things and so most everyone has two kids. When I came to the US, one of the things I wanted was a "large" family which to me was four, double the kids in my family of origin. The idea of mother of many mentioned in the bible appealed so much to me.

So I prayed and prayed for four, had my first without difficulty and then ran into a period where we lost so many. We came so close to three on this earth, but it was not meant to be. I am the grateful mother of 2 children on this earth but a mother of many in heaven. One of the hardest verses I have struggled with is "the fruit of the womb is His reward" and why that reward was denied to me or given so little when I wanted more.

For years I have wondered especially when I had an only for a long time "why is this my family". I have a knot of sadness I carry within me always for the children I will never have on this earth and I put my all into parenting the ones I am given. I wish I knew the answers to why. 

Nothing has driven me on my knees like my children, both here and in heaven. So I parent and pray the most in my life. I have faith that with God's help DH and I will raise our children to the best of our ability. Their future is in His hands.

Whenever I have seen your posts while glancing at the board, they are all about your children. That shows you are a loving, caring mother. That is the best thing any child could hope for and that makes you a very good mom in my opinion.

((Hugs))

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I am not religious, and my struggles with my own kids (adhd and anxiety) are much easier now...   

I will say that things do get easier as they get older but it takes SO long.  It's very normal to feel resentful and frustrated and you are not alone in that feeling.  There were years that I just wished my daughter was NOT my daughter.  She's an incredible young woman now with huge empathy and a huge drive to achieve, but in those years of undiagnosed and unmedicated adhd I thought many times our relationship was over. I was convinced she was going to run away and cut us out of her life.  We had so few good moments and I was constantly living on edge with the chaos and the fighting.  And that was one kid. And she was not homeschooled. 

If you are homeschooling you might need to prioritize YOUR mental health right now a little more.  Are you able to have time away, even just for a couple of hours?

And don't worry so much about the caring and nurturing myth.  I always measured myself against what I thought was the GOOD mom, full of patience, never angry, always organized.  I lost my temper A LOT.  I am not a very warm person. But when they get old enough they can see the things that you do for them and realize they are still be cared for and you will always have their back, even if they drive you to saying things you regret.  And they will eventually, with time, learn how to do their own executive functioning. 

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On 10/20/2020 at 6:58 PM, prairiewindmomma said:

I’ve wrestled with this...and I came to the conclusion that a compassionate god who individually assigns strengths and weaknesses wouldn’t do this.

So, I am left with three things:

1. God isn’t a compassionate god (and the Old Testament god of requiring animal sacrifices to be made happy who then in the New Testament requires the sacrifice of his Only Begotten son to satisfy Him is enough to make me wonder)

 

Or sin is really bad, but just because it causes heartbreak. Committing adultery causes serious heartbreak. Gossiping about people causes heartbreak. Sin isn’t sin just because God wanted to make us follow some arbitrary rules. Sin is sin because it hurts us.  

God wanted us to know that he was serious about how bad sin was, so that we wouldn’t do it, and therefore, we’d save ourselves a world of heartbreak.

The way to show just how awful sin is, is to link it to death.  Animal deaths.  And eventually, he knew he wanted to really drive the point home, so he decided he would let us see him die himself.  Sin is so bad, and hurts us so much, that it’s the same as a horrible death. But it was never his intention that we would suffer that death. It was always his intention to suffer that death for us, as a demonstration of just how awful sin is and the costs of it.

And so God himself came to earth and died for us. 

It was never about sending his son who would be unsuspecting about what was to come.  It was never God up in heaven with a frowny face deciding, “I guess I’ll have to go out and kill someone today to make myself happy.” It was always about him seeing us hurting and suffering from our sin, and how he showed us how awful sin is by paying the “price” of it in order to save us from the heartbreak of sin.

Edited by Garga
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You have to accept who they are, accept that they have strengths, and let go of your own vision. I am no theologian and am a bit of a lapsed Christian, but my take would be that the challenge you're presented with is to love and support them unconditionally, and cut yourself out of the picture. I understand that your struggle is inherently self-centered (and I don't mean that in a judgmental way - we all have struggles that are about ourselves) but that their struggles are about themselves and your job is not to fix them, just to love and support them in that struggle. You have to take your own ego out of it. Which is super hard, I know.

Practically, getting a diagnosis should help you cope and do this. So much. Do I remember that your spouse is resistant to getting a diagnosis or altering expectations? I feel like that's probably key here too. 

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4 hours ago, Garga said:

Or sin is really bad, but just because it causes heartbreak. Committing adultery causes serious heartbreak. Gossiping about people causes heartbreak. Sin isn’t sin just because God wanted to make us follow some arbitrary rules. Sin is sin because it hurts us.  

God wanted us to know that he was serious about how bad sin was, so that we wouldn’t do it, and therefore, we’d save ourselves a world of heartbreak.

The way to show just how awful sin is, is to link it to death.  Animal deaths.  And eventually, he knew he wanted to really drive the point home, so he decided he would let us see him die himself.  Sin is so bad, and hurts us so much, that it’s the same as a horrible death. But it was never his intention that we would suffer that death. It was always his intention to suffer that death for us, as a demonstration of just how awful sin is and the costs of it.

And so God himself came to earth and died for us. 

It was never about sending his son who would be unsuspecting about what was to come.  It was never God up in heaven with a frowny face deciding, “I guess I’ll have to go out and kill someone today to make myself happy.” It was always about him seeing us hurting and suffering from our sin, and how he showed us how awful sin is by paying the “price” of it in order to save us from the heartbreak of sin.

I perhaps oversimplified my example, and I understand your effort to evangelize to me was well-intentioned, but I have been reading the Bible for 40+ years now and am actually fairly well acquainted with it. Please respect that my experiences and interpretations may be different than yours, and that what I am writing doesn’t mean that I am ignorant of theologic orthodoxy/orthopraxy. I do think that there are some gaping chasms of questions that traditional Christianity does not address well....and that being asked to trust in His divine will or in His unknowable ways as an act of faith can be legitimately unsatisfactory at times. 

 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I perhaps oversimplified my example, and I understand your effort to evangelize to me was well-intentioned, but I have been reading the Bible for 40+ years now and am actually fairly well acquainted with it. Please respect that my experiences and interpretations may be different than yours, and that what I am writing doesn’t mean that I am ignorant of theologic orthodoxy/orthopraxy. I do think that there are some gaping chasms of questions that traditional Christianity does not address well....and that being asked to trust in His divine will or in His unknowable ways as an act of faith can be legitimately unsatisfactory at times. 

Garga wasn't trying to evangelise. She was trying to share heartfelt empathy. 

((hugs Mamma))

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I think you’ve already had a lot of good input so I’m not going to add anything except some good thoughts and the hope that somehow things get easier.  I see families in similar situations and am in kind of awe at how hard it can all be and how strong they are (even though I know they’re not feeling it).  Hope you get some extra support from somewhere soon.

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13 hours ago, Farrar said:

 I understand that your struggle is inherently self-centered (and I don't mean that in a judgmental way - we all have struggles that are about ourselves) but that their struggles are about themselves and your job is not to fix them, just to love and support them in that struggle. You have to take your own ego out of it. Which is super hard, I know.

 

This really meshes with my own experience with my kid -- which granted she is  older now and I didn't have the tools when she was younger to even know what to do. But all of these diagnoses are things that they have to live with and account for, so approaching it with the mindset that they will be taking on the burden of the adhd, etc and your job is just to provide them the tools that you have or know of and seeing what they can use (and understanding that they might dismiss something at one age and embrace it later on) and then just let it go.  

Which is hard in the moment when you are surrounded by a zoo at home and you are supposed to be the ringleader!

You haven't mentioned, but is anyone on medication?  My daughter has a LOT of tools in her toolbox, but as she says, she cannot remember to use them when she's not on medication, which renders them useless.  

Hugs, and I hope today is a better day!

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Without reading the whole thread (I know, I know,...), I have had very difficult days with each of my children. The kind of difficult that's more than just "oh, he threw a tantrum because I said he couldn't have a soda at bedtime" and that won't be grown out of; the kind of difficult that is lifelong and probably inherited, etc. The kind of difficult you're talking about. 

How I have made it through each of these days all these many years (these difficult kids of mine are now 23, 19-soon-to-be-20, and 15, nearing 16; all 3 living at home at the moment, the oldest two muddling through college) -- every.single.day. I find something good about each of them.

Some days, quite literally, the "good thing" about one was that he didn't scratch/kick/bite me that day. Or that his "make him stay in his room while he screams" meltdown lasted only 15 minutes, not 30. With another, it was that he played with his brother without fighting, even if only for one game. Or, he didn't get upset when his favorite color cup was dirty right then. Or I heard him/them laugh that day, even if it was only once, even if it lasted but for a few moments, even if the next hour after was full of bickering or pouting because I took away whatever activity was causing the bickering. 

Now it's things like he wrote an essay for his college class w/o me having to sit there and prod him along for hours on end. Or, he's working ahead on his math homework for college so that he can be done in time to have friends over. Or, he got comfortable enough at co-op to go eat lunch with his friends instead of eating in my room. 

Point is......despite the hard, despite the ugly, despite the "holy crap, how on earth do I parent these children and have we ruined them forever and will they ever be independent and....?".....despite all of that, every single day, there are moments to cherish, as long as I actually look for them and note them and focus on them. And THAT helps me be okay being their mom. 

And then when I screw up, and yell, and fuss, and whatever else (because I do), I suck it up and go apologize to them after. Because I am the grown-up and supposed to know better. So, when I yell at my college kid because holy cow, kid, write the stupid paper already......later when he's done and dejected and I realize what a jerk I was.....I go and sheepishly, but honestly, admit to him that I was wrong, and ask him to forgive me, and tell him how great I think he really is, and give him a hug (or a fist bump, or whatever works for that kid), bring him a snack, etc. And usually, so far, they've all always forgiven me, thank goodness.  And then I hope I'm giving them the "one single thing" that day to be okay with that they got stuck with me for a mom, because I'm sure sometimes it's hard for them, too. 

It's hard work, at first, to shift your focus like this. It really is. But that part gets easier, and you start noticing more and more good things, without having to look so hard. The hard stuff is still there. My kids will always have the stuff they have that makes them hard; but as long as I don't manage to snuff it out, they'll always have the good stuff, too, and if I look for it, I'll find it. And when I find it, I let them know (so that it doesn't get snuffed out). 

(((Hugs)))) to you, though; it's hard. 

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