By Lacey Craddock
“Did you know that I can never get comfortable on the inside and that is what I hate the most about ADHD?”
One evening, after a long day at work, as I stood in the kitchen preparing dinner, my 11‐year‐old son’s simple, but deeply meaningful statement shook me to my core. A sudden wave of sorrow and a desire to fix this for him came over me. As a parent, it is our job to fix our children’s problems. We can’t help that we feel this need and often times, especially with ADHD, I am unable to fix his feelings and behaviors. I practice positive reinforcements, encourage healthy choices with food, words, personal care and actions, but how am I am able to change something like his personal comfort levels? Something that I have taken for granted and never thought twice about, until that moment.
I have struggled with this for weeks, still unable to fix this for one of my most prized beings. Being the parent isn’t always easy; we don’t always have the right answer, we weren’t given a manual when our children were born, but still we put ridiculously high standards on ourselves. Subsequently, causing ourselves to feel incapable and filled with disappointment. Holding myself to high standards in the parenting role of an ADHD child, I set myself up for defeat and worry. I know this, yet, I do it to myself repeatedly.
…I remind myself that I might not have the answer he needs, but I find solace in knowing that I am his number 1 advocate and will never stop.
I don’t have the answers that he needs to change his ability to find his personal comfort and I hate that. I hate that for him and for my self‐inflicted parenting standards. As a non‐ADHD person, I don’t have the personal experiences with how it feels; I’m left with fully relying on what he tells me. I listen, offer advice and encouragements, with no proof that any of what I am offering will change anything for him.
Focusing on that brief moment in time, when he spoke those words to me; I remind myself that I might not have the answer he needs, but I find solace in knowing that I am his number 1 advocate and will never stop.
By being his mother, protector and advocate, I am able to give him what I have: support, stability and love. Moreover, that makes me feel worthy once again, without forgetting that this is my journey, too.
“If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear? “– Confucius