Saturday, January 12, 2008

Meeting Needs

One of the reasons I haven't blogged much over the past several months is due to the fact that a lot of my time and energy has been consumed by just being a mom. When kids are smaller, you think that it will get easier as they grow older because you think that they will need you less. Well, they need you less in some areas, but they need you more in different and possibly even more challenging areas. When your son or daughter is a child, you are hypervigilant over physcial danger to your child, whether it's in the form of illness or injury. When they are a teenager/young adult, the focus seems to switch more emotional and spiritual consequences they suffer as as a result of their choices.

Being a mom of female teenagers can be exhausting. To top off the "normal" concerns of adolescence, my kids have each had their own issues to struggle through and come out the other side as young women with good heads on their shoulders. It's a very fine line I walk, at times, between wanting to hold on and protect them, or watching and waiting with winced eyes and my breath held in and not saying a word while they "discover" themselves. I've bitten my tounge, at times, until I've drawn blood. At other times, I swear I should win a medal for gentle diplomacy. And yet, most of the time, I fail and end up becoming upset or critical or controlling. And it's during those times, that I find myself on my knees, asking the good Lord for help.

Lately, I'm beginning to see where some of those prayers are starting to be answered. The oldest is really succeeding in college, after a very painful first year. The youngest is struggling in school, but is blossoming in other areas. The struggle that my youngest is going through is related to her ADD. Unfortunately, the ADD seems to be getting worse instead of better - so whoever said that you "outgrow" this condition was full of it! It's so challenging to stay on top of all of the homework and expectations for each of her classes, plus try to run my own business, and try to keep the household run smoothy. What's even more difficult is getting the teachers to understand this diagnosis, and asking them to follow certain guidelines in their teaching methods in order to ensure that DQ has some success academically. The part which is the most difficult to explain is the fact that DQ has such a high IQ, yet her performance doesn't match up with that IQ. She's very disorganized, fails to hand in assignments, forgets to write down some assignments, and then even tries to cover up her forgetfulness and disorganization by hiding the truth. Her motivation suffers, as does her self-esteem. Our relationship suffers because of being a "mean mom" for holding her accountable for her actions.

God gave me these girls for a reason, and I believe it's because He thought I was the "best fit" for each of them, somehow having the ability to help them through their illnesses - TP with her lupus, and DQ with the ADD. And yes, I do believe that ADD is an illness because the ADD brain processes information in different ways than a "normal" brain does, thus requiring meds and a process of re-wiring the way the brain processes information through repetetive and often frustrating instructions. How many times does one have to say "let me see your completed homework" before one is finally, finally able to see one assignment which is TOTALLY complete with nothing missing? To tell you the truth, probably about 100 times - so it's a huge cause for celebration when an assignment is completely done. But that's just half the battle - the other part of it is then to make sure that the assignment actually gets into the receiving hands of the instructor. I swear there is a black abyss somewhere between my house and school which is holding a ton of DQ's lost assignments, which thus necessitates her doing the assignment all over again (if she's lucky to have an understanding student) or getting an "F" for the assignment (because the teacher is tired of hearing this "excuse").

So, anyway, I'm coping - but I'm tired. I'd like to write more often, and I think of all that I want to say - but I just don't have the energy to do so because I'm fighting so many battles on this end. So, please be patient - this, too, shall pass. I'll be coming back in full swing at some point in time - but my kids need me, still. And even though those needs can exhaust me, it's still such a good feeling TO be needed.


At 12:52 AM, Blogger Nettie said...

I'm glad to know there are moms like you, who are consistent with their kids.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Gina Burgess said...

Val I can so appreciate what you are going through. It really DOES get better. But... then comes the day when you look around and ALL your friends and your siblings have grandchildren and you have NONE and there is really no good reason WHY!

I guess what I'm clumsily trying to say is that we all have our struggles and this makes us stronger... but, not happier to have to go through them. Sigh...

At 9:53 PM, Blogger JodiTucker said...

Val---would meds help with this?
My sister has ADD and ritalin really did help her in high school to stay focused and more organized.
This is not the cure-all for everyone, but I do think meds can help some....Also, please e-mail me at I have lost your address when we had our computer fixed and lots of stuff is gone, gone, gone.

At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

val, may God give you the strength you need to overcome trials. may God give you wisdom on how to deal with situations like yours God's way. thinking of you, val. (((HUGS)))

At 8:34 PM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Nettie - Thanks, sweetie. Your comment touched me very much.

Gina - It's definitely made me stronger!!! I just look forward to the day when it just kind of smooths out. . .

Jodi - Yup, she's on meds. The new Daytrana patch, which actually works very, very well. It helps with the concentration and focusing, but not the organization, unfortunately. I will email you soon, I promise - I have a new email address, anyway.

Pia - thank you for your loving prayers.

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

I do so know what you mean.. I have one of each as you know - both so different in their strengths and weaknesses, bot needing different things from me - but both still needing me..

One 18 - a man on paper - but still maturing.. and he, like DQ has a learning difficulty and sounds so similar to DQ with the assignments and lack of organisation..

The other, nearly 16 and an angel.. but still needing me in many ways.. a beautiful young woman in the making..

I know Val

I know.


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