Working Through ADHD From a Mom’s Perspective

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Hey there Frugal Friends. This post started out as our “Why We Homeschool” post, but the more I kept writing, the more it turned into this post. I hope you don’t mind a little something so personal and dear to my heart. This is about my precious little boy.

Liam Owen was born on March 7, 2012. Making him 4.5 years old as I write this. He was conceived one month into marriage, a bit of a surprise, but very much wanted none the less. I was your typical 21-year-old know it all. I had read all the parenting books, vowed I’d never be “that mom”, and knew I knew everything. I was so wrong. Did you see that coming, by chance?

Liam was a great baby. What does that really mean though? Aren’t all babies great? Anyways, he was a very happy, go lucky kid. He was never laid back, always into everything, very loud everywhere we went. He was the cutest baby ever. Just so fun and wonderful. Once he got mobile, things changed pretty drastically. He didn’t walk until about 15 months old, but once he did, there was no looking back.

Around one year of age, Liam was on the go. Almost as if he was driven by a motor. When he was a toddler, his room almost looked like a prison cell. No toys, no books, locks on his drawers, nothing could be plugged in, everything had to be up high. Our house looked very similar. No decorations on the tables, no coffee table at all, no books out, nothing we couldn’t not be broken, door locks on the outside and inside of doors. In fact, his door had a child proof lock on the inside. Most people who know that had a hissy fit about safety regulations. The thing was, if we hadn’t had that, we were concerned for his safety. If there was a fire, we could have put money on that he would have started it.

A lot might think, toddlers get into things. While this is true, he wouldn’t just get into them. He would destroy them. For a really long time, I would kill myself wondering why he was so disobedient. What was I doing wrong? He couldn’t be left alone even for a minute. Books would get ripped, toys would be broken into pieces, all if left unsupervised for even a moment. It got better with time, for the most part. We can now leave out toys and books, but still have to leave other things put up, just in case.

As he got older, Liam was growing and thriving, in almost all aspects, except one. He was ALWAYS hyper. Always. He couldn’t focus. He would get easily distracted. He just wouldn’t stop. Friends, family, and even our pediatrician chalked it up to his age and gender. I knew. I knew deep in my heart since he was a year old, that my son had ADHD.

The older Liam gets, the more obvious it is that is he different than his peers. He turns 5 in 2 months. He can now sit and read several books, he can sit and play toys most days independently, he can help with chores, he can dress independently, he can make his own lunch and snacks. He is definitely thriving. He is also definitely struggling. When he can’t even look me in the eyes, he is so distracted. When the smallest noise from his brother triggers an outrage. When he gets in trouble at church for a year straight because he can’t sit still in his classroom. When kids push, hit, or avoid him altogether because he doesn’t know boundaries. When he put a coin in his night light and caused the outlet to overheat.

They use ways to measure ADHD. There are 6/9 points, kids must hit, consistently for hyperactivity. Liam meets all 9. All the time, no matter where we go.  What we’re doing. Who we’re with. Since he was a year old, until now. He also meets 5-6 for attention deficient, so it is quite possible, he is a mix.

It’s hard to get a four year old diagnosed. It’s hard to treat ADHD naturally, but possible. It’s hard to hear people threaten him with violence because of their impatience. It’s even harder to feel rage because he JUST. WON’T. LISTEN. It’s hard. It’s just inexplicably, painstakingly hard.

I look forward to this year. I feel this will be Liam’s year. He will be 5. We will begin kindergarten. He will continue to go to homeschool field trips, library classes and trips, thrive at church with the help of his special needs buddy, and if we’re lucky, we will finally get a diagnosis and therapy to help our sweet boy.

I don’t really know the point of this post to be quite honest. Maybe to get out some frustrations. Not just that I have with Liam, but also that others have who don’t or can’t understand him or the way his brain works. Maybe I just want to encourage other mamas. One’s with kids who have ADHD or autism, or any other special need. I’m here. And I love you and your children. It’s okay to have hard days. I have to give myself grace more than I want. As I write this post, I am at the library. Escaping a really hard day. This day would probably be top ten for most, but for me, it was just another difficult day.

I love my son, with all of my being. I know God is using Liam in my life. Without him, I wouldn’t have the patience I do, because Lord knows I couldn’t survive without it. I wouldn’t have discovered baby-wearing, to keep him close and safe in public, which eventually led to attachment parenting. I wouldn’t have found out about gentle discipline and stopped the cycle of violent punishment. I wouldn’t have seriously considered homeschooling, so he can have the one-on-one attention he needs to grow and thrive. I wouldn’t have learned to give my control to God, although it is definitely a work in progress. Liam has taught me more in the past 5 years than I had learned in the 20 years before him. When no one else wants to “put up with him”, I will be there. When no one else sees his good qualities, I will compliment him. When he needs a hug because he is trying so hard, I will give him that. I will forever be his mama and number one fan.

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