I wish I could say we are breaking up because I no longer care about you. Sadly, that’s not the case. I care. I care way too much. I may have never even met you, but chances are, I care what you think.
I care random googler, facebook commenter, voice in the latest article about adhd.
I have to admit, it stings when I am trying to search for info about my son’s struggles and three of google’s first suggestions are all variations of “ADHD is fake.”
There is a thing that is making my kid’s school life hell and you, random person I’m breaking up with, think I’m making it all up, probably because I’m looking for excuses for my bad parenting.
I cringe when I read your advice, the articles you share, the offhand comments you make in the checkout line about someone else’s kid that have literally zero things to do with my son, but that make me bite my lip until it bleeds so I’m not *that* person who started ugly crying in the grocery store.
For some reason, it is SO important to me that you know whatever latest “cause” for ADHD, whatever fad opinion, whatever article you just read, doesn’t apply to me, to us. That we can’t be explained away so easily, and that if there was a simple solution, we would have found it.
“Let me tell you,” I want to yell, “that my son had no screen time before two years old. We didn’t even own a TV. Let me talk about our screen free summer and the zero improvement in symptoms. Let me tell you about protein, the no processed food, the fish oil supplements, the discipline in our house. Let me tell you.”
But the more I thought about it, this thing that is severely affecting the quality of my life, and in turn my family’s lives and happiness, the more I realized ADHD isn’t stressing me out. You are.
Which is great, actually.
Because ADHD I can’t get away from, but you, the kind of stress and anxiety that you bring, you are optional. I’m not saying it’s all in my head, it’s universal to be hurt when your experience is invalidated. But the part that is optional is the part where I spend a large amount of my already very taxed mental energies, feeling ganged up and anxious about people, many of whom I don’t know well or at all, and all of whom don’t know my brilliant, creative gift of a child like I do.
The truth is Ash and I are better than that. We are rocking this life, the best way we can maneuver, and between the two of us (mostly him) we outshine any diagnosis, any medical form, any IQ test, and we definitely outshine you, random googler/forum contributor/loud-talking-mouth-breathing-stranger, any day of the week.
As moms, we waste too much time worrying about the details. Did I post a photo of him with a slurpee? Are people going to assume I don’t care about red food dye? Did I give him my phone in the waiting room? Are people going to think he’s a screened out zombie? Did I use the proper tone correcting him in public? Will people assume his behavior is a direct result of me being too stern or too lax?
But no more.
I’m breaking up with you.
I’m saying bye felicia to your opinions.
I’m shake-shake-shaking it off.
I’m putting everything you own in a box to the left.
You can feel free to think I’m a bad parent (or not!). Your opinion lives with you and it’s not welcome here anymore.
We’re far too busy working towards our dreams to listen to the people who think we’re doing it the wrong way, but don’t worry, when we get there, we’ll be sure to wave.
Oh. and in case you were wondering.