Raising a child with ADHD felt like walking on a tightrope and falling off repeatedly. I felt so completely stressed by my perceived inadequacy at parenting a child I did not fully understand. I tried to micromanage my daughter’s life thinking that would make the situation better, but that only made things worse.
The more I did for my daughter, the less I did for the rest of my family and myself. I wondered how I could make things better. Coaching was something I thought about often. I had been out of the work world for many years while raising my family. When I felt like I was at the end of my rope trying to maintain my balancing act, I finally heard my inner voice saying, “Go for it!”
Studying to become a Certified Coach meant working on my own life first. I got in my daughter’s way and in my own way. I had trouble letting go. My intention to protect and help my daughter held me back from happiness and held her back from the very element she needed for success – resiliency.
Instilling resiliency in children with ADHD turns out to be the most important tool we can help them develop, according to one of the CHADD convention 2013 keynote speakers, Dr Robert Brooks. It felt scary to let my daughter become independent, but at the same time, it felt liberating. She told me that just listening is the best support that I can offer her these days. Feeling new freedom as I loosened the reins, I gave myself permission to care for me. I set time to exercise, to relax and to spend time with my hubby and my puppy.
The self-care makes me feel energized and empowered! When things happen that sap my energy, I create a conscious pause and remind myself to access my inner wisdom. A conscious pause can be a breath, a thought, a vision or something that makes me feel calm in the moment.
This past year was full of those moments. My Dad was on home hospice. Because of the fine care and attention, he graduated from hospice. That meant that many care decisions became mine to make. I had no choice but to trust that I could do my best to help my aging parents. Together with my brother, we gave Dad the best quality of life he could have until a fall ended his journey.
As I pass through life, I am aware of the challenges that I must learn to let go of and those that I can transform into opportunity. I trust that I will find the answers no matter what comes along. Trusting my intuition in the moment feels like being immersed in a bath of warm water, supported, relaxed and fully present. Years of yoga and meditation are my soul food. Learning to maintain calm and trust yourself is a process.
- Start by acknowledging where you are in your life. What are the challenges? Is ADHD present or some other special circumstance?
- Look for the resources to support you such as a Physician, Therapist, Coach and Literature.
- What can you do to take care of yourself? How can you make time to exercise, rest, pay attention to your health and make time for hobbies?
- What thoughts may be holding you back from actualizing your dreams?
- Are you hearing the “should’s” and unable to hear your “wants”? Take a breath-what is your gut telling you to do?
When you find what works to help you feel present, you will find energy you did not think you had. The answers will flow like water tricking down a mountain path and into the rivulets of your life.
Parenting ADHD and special needs children takes an abundance of energy. Give yourself the gift of caring for yourself so you can open up to welcome your inner wisdom.