According to the CDC, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) occurs in about 11% of U.S. children ages 4 to 17. That equals almost 7 million children! That means that millions of moms have a child with the disorder, which causes things like impulsivity, inattention, hyperactivity, disorganization, and more. Having ADHD is, of course, tough. But, parenting a child with it can sometimes seem impossible, as they’re often distracted, forgetful, restless, and even moody.
Moms love their kiddos no matter what. But, whenever a child is faced with some type of special need, like ADHD, parenting can become that much more difficult. ADHD can sometimes make parents feel helpless, as if there’s nothing they can do to help their child do better at school, focus more on what’s happening around him, or even remember how to complete a simple chore. It’s like a never-ending struggle to keep a child with ADHD on task.
With the growing number of ADHD diagnoses in the U.S., it’s becoming a much more common problem, but not one that becomes any easier for struggling moms. These Whisper confessions from moms of kids with ADHD show the real side and raw emotions. Try not to be judgmental, because becoming a mom to a child with ADHD can be in any woman’s future.
15 Stealin' For A Reason
ADHD is typically treated with medication. This is a touchy subject for a lot of parents – some swear that their children won’t function throughout the day without it, while others believe kids with ADHD get over-medicated. As with most medications, ADHD meds can have adverse side effects, like weight loss, weight gain, restlessness, fatigue, irritability, and more. Still, sometimes the benefits seem to outweigh the negatives.
ADHD meds can help lower impulsivity and hyperactivity while increasing focus and attention span. This mom obviously knows how much they help – because she admits to taking them herself just to get through the work day. It’s possible that she’s so worn out from caring for her ADHD son that she feels she needs a boost during the work day. If this mom does it, it may happen more than we think.
14 Trying To Understand
It’s fairly common for preschoolers not to have an ADHD diagnosis, even if his parents fully believe he has it. Most of the time, kids aren’t diagnosed until school age to rule out behaviors that may just be related to being a kid. Although this mom doesn’t have a concrete diagnosis for her four-year-old son yet, she’s quite convinced by his behaviors that he may have ADHD and possibly even autism. The two disorders sometimes run together and many of their symptoms may overlap, so it’s possible that he has one or both.
Regardless, this mom is desperately seeking some help. It’s common for any parent of a kid with special needs to feel helpless and scared, which is exactly what this mom is feeling. We hope she’s able to get some answers soon, both for her child’s sake and her own.
13 Multiple Diagnoses
Often, when a child has ADHD, other diagnoses may come with it, called coexisting conditions. With ADHD, it’s common to have anxiety, mood disorders, disruptive disorders, learning disorders, and more. This mom says her child has both ADHD and ODD, or oppositional defiant disorder, which causes disruptive behaviors at home or other environments. When the two conditions exist together, it can feel as though a parent has zero control over her child – which is evident with this mom.
And no, it’s not her fault. These neurological disorders make a child’s brain work in such a way that a child can’t control his emotions and behaviors like other children his age. Instead, the child might be aggressive, have severe mood swings, and face other struggles that make it difficult for him to cope with everyday situations. And, it can make mom feel like a failure, even though she’s trying.
12 No Judgment Here
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for parents of kids with different special needs to get judged for their children’s behaviors. Blame it on ignorance or just downright rudeness, but it definitely doesn’t help a mom’s confidence in herself and her parenting. ADHD is a disorder that often gets its share of judgment, and it usually gets directed toward the parents of the child.
As this mom said, she’s been told that her child’s behaviors from autism ADHD are because of her “bad parenting”. As much as we hope she understands that these comments likely come from people who aren’t educated about ADHD, we also know that it’s easier said than done. This is yet another reason why, instead of judging, parents should be there to support each other in difficult situations.
11 Not Enough Help To Go Around
This poor mom is going through what so many parents go through and don’t say anything about it because they feel helpless. It’s such a tough situation when you fall into the income bracket of making “too much” money for public assistance but not enough to keep from struggling paycheck to paycheck. Especially when you have a child with a special need like ADHD, you likely feel like no one has your back.
This mom’s confession is so heartfelt and really pulls on our heartstrings. Not only does her kiddo have the disorder and needs daily medications to thrive, but she also needs medications for undisclosed reasons, which means they’re both struggling without them every day. Unfortunately, the uncertainty of healthcare is a reality that many Americans face, and this just proves how many of the most vulnerable families aren’t getting the help they need.
10 Kindness Goes A Long Way
Due to impulsivity and hyperactivity that comes along with ADHD, kids with the disorder may have an extremely difficult time waiting for more than a couple of minutes. This can make it hard for parents to do anything that involves waiting, from getting gas in their car to waiting in checkout lines. This mama was obviously dreading the possibility of having to wait out a long line of Icee customers for her son to get one.
Fortunately, there are good people in this world who, when they see a mom struggling, they do what they can to help her out. Perhaps she sensed growing frustration and wiggles in the child or mom’s growing nervousness about what her son may do. Thankfully, she opened up a register for the mom to get in and out quickly. Perhaps the small gesture was one of the nicest ones this mom has seen in a long time.
9 White Lies
It’s one thing when your child with ADHD acts out at home with no strangers around watching and judging. But, it’s a whole different ball game when he acts out in public. Kids with ADHD often lack the social skills that their peers have. They have trouble waiting, sharing, and possibly even communicating in ways that create solid relationships. In public, the struggles of ADHD often come out in full force.
It's probably not as uncommon as you think for parents to want to stay home more often if their child struggles in public, like this mom admits to. And until you know what it’s like to deal with a child with ADHD in public, there’s no room for judgment. Hopefully, as this mom’s daughter grows and learns to cope more with ADHD, they can enjoy more outings together.
8 No Apologies
As we mentioned earlier, ADHD medication is such a hot-button issue, even between parents of kiddos with the disorder. There’s no definitive answer for whether or not medication is necessary for everyone with ADHD because it depends more on the individual. Some cases are more extreme than others.
Many experts believe that ADHD symptoms – although they can last a lifetime – usually get better as a child ages. That’s because brain scans have shown that kids with ADHD have the same sequence of brain development as neurotypical kids, but the brain just develops about three years slower. Eventually, most brains “catch up”.
It’s possible that medications can alter the natural progression of the brain, causing symptoms to stick around longer or the brain to crave that medication, which is part of the controversy. But for some kids who can’t even focus on schoolwork, some parents and doctors believe that helping them now, in their early years of development, is the best option.
7 Single Mama Struggles
Imagine being the single mom of a kiddo with ADHD who requires extra time and attention, but you’re only one person. Add in the fact that you have anxiety and your work hours that are supporting you and your son continue to get cut down to unliveable amounts. It’s not easy being a single parent of any child, but when you’re faced with a bunch of things that are totally out of control and wondering how you and your child are going to survive, it can push a single mom to her breaking point.
It seems that this confession is a sheer cry for help, and we hope that this mom finds some. If you’re a parent, having a good support system is important. If you’re a single parent with a child with special needs, it’s absolutely essential.
6 Missing Meds
With the tough financial times a huge portion of the world is currently facing, it’s not surprising that parents have to live with roommates to help share the costs that they may not be able to afford on their own. From housing to utilities to food, the cost of life alone can be daunting. When you have a child with ADHD, you may have to tack on therapies, extra doctor visits, and medications, whose costs add up quickly.
This shocking confession, though, shows how bad things can turn if you don’t have a trustworthy roommate. We don’t understand how anyone could be so desperate as to steal much-needed medications from a child, but it seems that it happened. Whether the roommate took them to use or to sell, it’s equally as wrong.
5 All In Her Head
This confession is the perfect example of how controversial the issue of medicating a child with ADHD is. Having a child with ADHD may lead to broken relationships and marriages. According to Rodale’s Organic Life, parents of kids with ADHD may be about twice as likely to divorce by the time the child turns 8 than parents of kids without ADHD. The exact reasons may differ between families, but it seems that increased stress and different ideas about how to parent the child often lead to massive arguments between couples.
In this case, the mom and dad of this child obviously disagree about his son’s medication – and even that he has ADHD at all. The dad seems to be playing the blame game instead of helping his son. Perhaps he’s in denial and doesn’t know how to deal with the diagnosis. But, one thing is for sure: his actions and words aren’t at all helping his son’s situation.
4 Success Is The Only Option
This confession is one of our absolute favorites. Why? Because it shows just how strong mamas can be, even when they’re faced with the crappiest of circumstances. Mom’s bipolar and her son has several diagnoses, including ADHD. What does she do? Takes the reigns of life and rolls with them.
That’s not to say that everyone should have this attitude. In a perfect world, all parents would. But, we get it. Life is tough and it’s not always easy to see the bright side of things like this mom does. Still, we applaud her for her ability and desire to prove that her and her son’s diagnoses don’t rule them. Instead, they have control over their diagnoses and will make the best of them in whatever way they can.
3 The Difference With Meds
In case you aren’t a believer in ADHD medications, this mom’s confession may possibly convince you that they do work well for many children – and in ways that thoroughly impact their education and everyday lives. It can be such a difficult choice for parents of kids with ADHD to put them on medication. Many of them fear that their child’s personality will change. Others are afraid of the side effects. Whatever the reason, it’s not an easy choice to make, but they make the choice they feel is best for their child.
This mom sees such a difference in her son with and without his ADHD meds. Without them, he has little attention span and no desire to do his school work. With his medication, he’s on task at school, able to complete his testing and even wants to do educational things for fun. We’d say that’s a huge improvement that Mom has a right to be proud of.
2 Dreaming Of A Different Life
Many moms, at one point or another, can likely relate to this mom, whether they’d admit it to anyone else or not. Motherhood isn’t easy. Throw in several diagnoses, like this little girl who has ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and autism, and suddenly, Mom probably feels completely helpless. Of course, she loves her daughter. But, wondering how life would be without her is a normal part of the grieving and coping process. It’s even a normal part of motherhood.
Think about how lonely, frustrated, and helpless you feel on the days you feel like you failed as a mother. You wonder, maybe, if life would have been easier without kids, or perhaps they’d be better off without you. It doesn’t make you a bad mom – just a normal mom. This is a brave confession that shows the real side of parenting a child with ADHD.
1 Headed For Disaster?
According to ADDitude, one of the most important things couples can do to prevent strain on their relationship when they’re parenting a child with ADHD is to stop blaming each other. No one caused ADHD (it develops in the brain) and no one makes it any worse (it runs its own course and isn’t caused by failed parenting).
Dr. J. Matthew Orr told ADDitudeMag.com, “Accept the fact that your child has this condition and that this is the way things are, regardless of how they got that way.” Even more importantly, understand that you’re both supposed to be on the same team, not the opposite ones, and you’re both fighting for the same thing: helping your child. This mom’s confession is all-too-common in the world of ADHD, but hopefully, this sound advice can help bring couples together to fight for the best interests of their children.
Sources: ADDitudeMag.com, CDC.gov, CHADD.org, RodalesOrganicLife.com, WebMD.com