December 21, 2012 by vlittle528
One of the main reasons I decided to change blogs and retire Frugal Mom knows Best is because I realized I have become a different mom. While being frugal is still important to me, my young babies aren’t so young anymore and they need much more time and energy than before. They also need an advocate, something that you don’t think about too much when you are still pregnant or when those big baby eyes are batting up at you.
The last post I wrote about my son was about his teacher’s conference in which she suggested getting him tested for the attention-deficit side of ADHD. I was pretty frustrated and angry. I was being told by many mom’s of bright children NOT to let them put my children on medication. I was hearing how EVERY child that is gifted and talented has gone through the ADHD fight. I started to feel that if I did give in and get him tested…much less put him on medicine, I wasn’t being a great advocate for my son. I started to feel that I would be letting him down.
My mindset became combative. I decided to get him tested to “get it over with” and to show his teacher that NOTHING was wrong with him other than that he was bored. So I got the paperwork to fill out. And then I was angry as all get out when his teacher handed me back his form for ADHD rather than the gifted school recommendation that I had given her. But that anger was nothing limited to the shock I was going to feel in a week.
When I checked caller ID, I assumed the pediatrician was calling to confirm my daughter’s regular well-care check. When I heard “follow up on his ADHD questionnaire” I was floored. I felt my stomach drop in to my shoes. This couldn’t really be happening. I didn’t want to put my son on medications. The word stimulant reverberated through my mind.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect anymore. I did find it interesting that as we sat in the waiting room another little boy and my son started talking and the other child asked him if he was there to get his “special vitamins that made him focus”. My mind was in such a clutter I was pretty numb. So in all honesty I wasn’t too shocked when our beloved pediatrician said that she would recommend at least trying some medication. The tears welled up in my eyes as I felt like I had let my son down somehow. Maybe my anxiety was passed down to him. Maybe during the postpartum depression I yelled one too many times or I was sad too much. Maybe maybe maybe. So many if’s. But there were also things I learned that those other mom’s didn’t tell me.
I learned that the medication goes in and out of my son fairly quickly, and if my son DIDN’T have ADHD, the medication would not affect him. Nothing would change. But if he DID have ADHD, I would notice it within a day (although in all honesty that first day was so scary that it really took a second or third). I learned that my son and I could make the decision to stop the medication each summer to see how he was each new school year. I learned that ADHD and gifted and talented often go hand in hand. And then I learned a new term, one I am pretty used to by now. Twice-Exceptional. Meaning a child that is faced with the challenges that come with being gifted and talented in addition to one of many other challenges, such as dyslexia, ADHD etc.
So I took the prescription pad and the instructions on how to get a coupon for the very expensive medication and headed home with a heavy heart. Did I start him the next day when he would be headed to school? Over the weekend so I could watch him? At all? I didn’t know. But I do know that I felt a bit like the outsider mom again. Because I knew in my heart I was going to start him on it but I was almost embarrassed to admit it to the “other moms”. The moms that told me NOT to put him on meds. The moms in the kindergarten line-up that I was afraid would judge my son.
In the two weeks since that day, things have definitely changed. More challenges have been presented to us, more triumphs and challenges. I will post soon about that first day and week on the new medication. Because that was certainly a roller coaster ride.
And that is what this blog is going to be partly about. But it is also going to be about my daughter and whatever challenges and triumphs she will face. And my marriage and the ups and downs that come with being husband and wife. And my family. And myself. And how learning is a lifelong process. We don’t become who we are overnight. Our little bundles of joy don’t have a manual attached to the placenta. Parenting takes mistakes. And families are bonded in such a magical way because of all we go through together. You don’t give up on family, and you don’t give in to life. You live in moments.