Archive for January, 2014

Let’s get real.

January 31, 2014

I read a blog the other day about real booking, first I laughed my butt off, second I found a lot of truth in the humor!

I am often thankful facebook wasn’t around when my kiddos were little.  Not because I don’t enjoy seeing all the cute pictures, and reading about the little ones of my friends, because I really do.  But because not everyone realizes that what you post is always the reality.  I still find myself comparing when I see a friend share their day, while I have sat in my jammies and just cleaned my house.  I can only imgaine how these can make a new mom feel inadeqate.

 

On the flip side, not every day sucks. 

I work hard ( I run a florist/coffee shop), I’m an early thirties mother of one high needs kid, one typical extremely busy one. But at times I feel like I should still have home baked goodies, a big gourmet supper, etc. Quite frankly they get a decent supper, sometimes roast, sometimes kraft dinner, and I hit the tub for 20 min of me time 🙂 I don’t really have time or care to compare myslf to what so and so did today.  I enjoy seeing their updates, but right now I’m busy.  I’m busy being a mom, yup some nights that means time together, some days that means sitting in my room watching tv, just trying to finsh the day. I’m busy trying to be the best mom I can be.  And for everyone that is different. It has taken me a few years to accept this, and realize all kids are different, which means we parent different.  Some of us work, some of us don’t.  Kudos to both!

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A good day for me, creating and cake !

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 There are so many good moments in my days, I share them.  Some days have a few rough moments, some days are full of them, I share them.  My kids crack me up all the time, I share it.  I am an open book, I don’t sugar coat much (I do refrain from sharing very specific examples of certain things).

My point here is be real, be you. Having a good day, awesome.  Having a shitty one, chin up, this to shall pass 🙂

 

Embrace the moments, the ages and stages. Accept that you are you and be happy with that.
If we were all the same, how fun would that be?
Don’t compare yourself to others, you’re not them, they’re not you.
Love that.
Say what you mean, mean what you say.
Life is to short to try and be anything other than you, and that is good enough!

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No apologies needed!

January 29, 2014

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In light of mental health awareness week, my news feed is full of insightful pictures and quotes.  This was one of my favorites so far.
Dude has had a really rough start to the week, after missing school sick last week, getting him back has been even tougher than I expected.
Pure anxiety and panic, resulting in hell for the family, but most of all him.
I’ve learned that there are things I can control as his mother (respect, tone of voice etc), and things I really have no control over (moods, etc). As a woman and especially a mother accepting I can’t control things has been tough. Tougher than I thought, but with accepting it I’ve found a bit of peace, and some more patience.
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about perseverance , and remembering it will be ok.
I have no control over the mood swings, none. And neither does he. Anyone that says we do, is wrong. After the mood leaves we talk at length, and he even has to accept the way he’s made others feel during the mood, though I am aware he can’t control them, we are working really hard on being respectful and appropriate tone even in the moment.
So we talk, we talk a lot.
We talk alone, we talk as a family, we talk with his little sister.
The one thing that is very apparent, even in the tough moments is he is sorry, he is devastated by his behavior when he’s in the throws, he’s aware that that’s not the true Dude.
The other obvious thing is he hates feeling this way. He wants to be well.
He will repeatedly say during a down sewing “I don’t want to feel like this”, “I’m so sorry”, “please make it stop!”, as the tears stream from his eyes, it’s extremely hard to console him while still trying to be successful in getting him through.
It sucks.
Its hard.
And we do it!
This journey is not about me, no I can quite honestly say that and that I’ve not once pitied myself. Yes I feel horrible and shed a lot of tears for the boy that hasn’t had a chance to just be a kid. Its a process, a grieving process. But acceptance brings peace.
Back to the photo attached. If you are battling, don’t be sorry.
It is more than ok to apologize for the behavior in the moment, but never ever apologize for your illness and what it does to you, how it makes you feel,it is NOT your fault.
I remind Dude every time we hit bottom, that I accept his apology for being rude in the moment, but theres no need for apologies for how he feels. Your feelings are real, feel them, work through them.
If you need therapy, medication,etc or even if you don’t to get through your battle, don’t apologize, don’t be ashamed.
Reach out, talk, there’s those of us willing to listen and hold you up in your darkest moments, and cheer you on in your best!

Looking back and ahead.

January 27, 2014

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Bear with me on this one folks, a little ranting, raving, but worth it in the end 🙂

So I constantly see other blogs, cartoons,etc telling us how we are parenting wrong. How the world we knew has gone to hell in a hand basket because we spoil our kids.
Quite frankly I’m sick of reading them.
Just because something was acceptable and good years ago does not make it acceptable today.
Let’s look back for a minute…. Years ago there were no seat belts, pregnant mothers were told to drink beer while pregnant, smoking was the norm in hospitals, fathers went to work then out for a drink, not spending much time with their kids, kids left school in grade 8, bullying was only considered a problem if a child was beat.
Do you see where I’m going?
Do I think some things were better then? Of course I do. But I’m also well aware that as with anything, the more you learn, things change. Life evolves.

For starters I remember my grandparents telling heart breaking stories of torture at the hands of their peers, was anything done? Nope, in fact had an older boy not happened across my grandmother tied to a post with the grass burning at her feet, who knows what the outcome would have been. (I’m only using this example because its one I can really speak on and is close to my heart:-)  )
So yes the definition of bullying has changed, as it damn well should. It is a proven fact that verbal, mental, emotional scars from bullying are worse than the physical.
It is often assumed bullies are bullied at home, so take it out on others,another myth, more often than not they have to much self confidence, self righteous, and entitlement issues. That can come from yes you guessed it the society we live in today, and yes sometimes even the way we parent. Because yes if you give them an inch,they’ll take an inch.
Your probably wondering where this is even coming from? I’ve read few things recently that we as parents of victims make a big old pity party out of it. Are you kidding me?! Do you think for one second I wanted that for my child? Do you think I just loved having him hospitalized due to it? Ya that was awesome.  My one piece of advice is if you are going to write/post about such things, possibly wait until you’ve had to deal with the situation, or at least until you have children or your children are out of diapers. Not saying you don’t get an opinion on it, but reserve that until your toddler is actually in school.
The word bully is in fact over used, thrown around far to easily, lessing the meaning for those affected. It’s a bit of a double edged sword. But I can tell you for those of us who have battled that battle, it is real,its horrible, its terrifying and there’s no pity party about it!

Once again I say, if you are a parent, and doing the best you can, trying hard to raise a hard working, caring,and kind little human,that’s what matters.  I am so so very tired of the parent judging, that’s what I’m tired of, not that maybe Suzy coddles her child to much, or Jenny is to hard on her child. Guess what I’m not those kids parent, so I don’t know what works, or doesn’t. As long as you are a present parent, your not abusing your child, you won’t get judgment on your parenting from me. Cause god knows I wish people wouldn’t judge me. Don’t like the way “society” is making our kids? Society isn’t their parent, we are so it is up to us, in so many areas (the above was just one example) to create the children we want for the world we want. Weather it be fresh water, clear blue skies, acceptance, lessen poverty, abolish homelessness, keeping our farms alive, keeping our cultures viable, that is up to us to instill in our children.
Good jobs parents, good job for being the shoulder for your childs tears, the ears that hear their laughter, the eyes that see them grow,the hands that nourish them, the feet that get them to where they need to go. You are hard working,loving, kind and compassionate, you ARE good enough. You are unique, you are individual, you are the perfect parent for your children. You have the incredible gift of being your kids parent.
Now give your kids a hug 🙂

Today I’m an Oilers fan!

January 20, 2014

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I’m not much for hockey, unless it’s kids hockey, I don’t have a favorite team, don’t care about stats, and couldn’t tell you who won the cup last year!
I do know the Edmonton Oilers aren’t doing so well, haven’t in quite while, but I’m a fan.
They have a big campaign going to win signed pucks (again something I’m not all that worried about), the campaign? Bring awareness and break down stigma surrounding mental illness!
Now I love this on a few different levels, but the biggest one for me is they are hitting a target audience that is the most judged, most stero typed, MEN, and BOYS!
It is hard for anyone to ask for help, admit they are suffering, but our society has created such a tough guy stereotype, boys and men find it shameful to do so.
Girls and ladies are somewhat expected to be emotional, cry, etc.
Boys and men, not so much. We here “man up”, “big boys don’t cry”, “tough it out” far to often. Guess what folks? People in the trenches can’t just tough it out,being tough has nothing to do with it! In fact I’d say those that speak up are a hell of a lot tougher then most of us.
I’ll admit I’ve screwed its hard for those of us not suffering to do so,but not using the above I will say to Dude “push through bud, just try really hard”, the more I learn the more I realize saying things like this are not helpful, even used positively. In that moment, they can not help their feelings, they are stuck until such time comes they’re not.
I’ve known young men, and grown men lost to suicide, men you would have never thought, why? Because they were tough, not a care in the world. But it’s obvious to me now, they were hurting and in that place of no return, I’ve seen that look of such pain on Dude’s face, and I’d someone at that point told him to tough it out, I would have probably ended up with a 3 game suspension!
So though the oiler’s won’t be bringing home a cup in the near future,this to me is
worth so much more!
Way to break down the barriers, talk the talk, using a sport full of “tough guys” that so many boys, young men and men alike look up to for leadership, an aspirations.
GO OILERS GO!!

I hate morning’s

January 16, 2014

I actually don’t, I’m very much a morning person,  you know one of those people that considers 6am sleeping in,  yup I’m them.
During the week though I have come to loathe them.  I still get up at 5 and cross my fingers and hope for a calm morning.  See I have to have a cup of coffee before the storm hits.  And by storm I mean Dude and the doom of getting him out the door.
Our morning’s follow the same routine every day,  with tweaks if something isn’t working or could work.
Dude doesn’t hate school,    infact most days he’ll tell you it was good (even if it wasn’t ,  he also struggles with short term memory problems).  It’s the thought of going,  leaving his comfort place,  maybe having to try something new that sends him into full battle mode!  He does good through most of the getting up and ready part.  By good mean not having a total melt down.  It’s as soon  as you say “boots and coat”  the switch is flipped.  While before he may be complaining of  a tummy ache,  now we are in full blown shaky,  weak,  pain mode.  We are in fight mode.  Mom and dad put on the gloves!  You start with a calm soothing voice,  into bargaining,  consequences (who cares),  into frustration.  Every. Single. Morning.  From get ready to the car can take up to a half hour of battle. Does he physically feel this way? Yes.  Does he still have to push through? Yes.  Mind you there are days he stays home because it’s just to much,  but for the most part we win these battles.  Once I’ve closed the door I either feel like a 1000 pound weight has been lifted or sit down and cry.  Sometimes by the time he gets to school things are fine, other times not so much.  Those are the days I have guilt. Not for me or even him but those who carry on the battle at school.  One thing I’ve learned is to pick your battles.  This is a big one!  But one I must win, it’s called perseverance,  something I hope he sees at the end of the day when he’s made it through!
Now where is my coffee?

journey interuppted

January 15, 2014

It has been 2 years since I sat and blogged. Life got in the way, many new paths were traveled, and time seemed to march on with out chances to share. A quick summary to bring everyone up to date, and then hopefully to carry forward to bring a glimpse into the life of…
Dude and little punky (not so little anymore) are both going to school a 30 min drive south of us. For our children this was the best possible move, dude (And us as his parents) have found support, understanding and comfort we didn’t know existed, and punky is excelling in all she does!
This mom now not only runs a coffee ship, but has had florist thrown into into the mix, and I love it more than anything I have done previous! I find it an outlet for not only my creativity, but it brings a calm,and a proud ness I’ve struggled to find my whole life. When I can create something and look at it in awe that that I achieved I can’t help but be a bit proud!
We lost big D a year and a bit ago,which was a tremendous loss to not just dude, but all of us. We lost our security blanket,and now finally after a long while without a therapist we are starting the journey of connecting withe Dude’s new one. There are many a day I just ask questions out loud to big D in hopes he can help us from a plane other than this one. Losing him was devastating to Dude (not many tears were shed but every time he is in a place crying for help the first person he wants is big D).
Dude had a major set back this fall where a situation at a school they visit for options was handled extremely poorly by the staff there, it has set us back so many steps I can’t even count. I get and can understand to some degree kids picking on kids (more often than not if they are told to stop, they in fact will), but what makes me sick is adults using children for their own personal power trip, which is what happened in this situation. Needless to say Dude hasn’t returned, the week following we had a mad dash to emergency for a suicide assessment. Meds were tweeked and it’s been an extremely hard hill to climb, and we continue to climb.
So here’s where we are starting from please continue on our journey with us!

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Proud mom 🙂

Everyone’s an expert, who to trust?

January 15, 2014

So here’s one of the biggest struggles many parents of children with mental illness struggle with, heck adults struggle with it as well! And that’s treatment. I will start by saying in no way shape or form am I an expert, but I am a mom, and a mom who has been on this voyage for quite some time. I will also highly stress that every single person and situation is unique, mental health is not a cold or a virus that the treatment works on the majority all the same. Some things work for some, some for others, and yes some not at all!

If you are on this journey I am sure you have been made to feel guilty if your child is on medication, STOP! Don’t ever feel guilty for treating your child’s illness the way you see best. Think of it as, if they were diagnosed with cancer, would you refuse chemo? If they were diagnosed diabetic would you refuse insulin? Didn’t think so, and before anyone questions me that they’re nothing alike, you have much to learn. Mental Health is a battle daily, it is life altering and it can be life or death, and you do not know which way the road will turn. I’m sure you’ve also been inundated with miracle cures, of well meaning friends and family. You know this diet, this vitamin, etc. Fair enough some of these things MAY help in some cases, in ours it did not. We must remember that children react differently than adults, and quite often fads can cause more harm than food, especially when taken orally, and with prescription meds.

So here’s a few things I have learned, and a few things I strongly advises

First off gp’s are wonderful and great but when it comes to mental health (some minor mental health issues can be treated fine by a gp or pediatrician) find a good psychiatrist. They are the specialist in the field, and medication and treatment can be extremely complex, especially if it involves interactions, dosages etc.
I strongly recommend a good therapist as well, medication with out therapists can be like Oreos without milk. Medications can only do so much, they can’t teach you to cope, overcomes hurdles etc. Quite often therapists and psychiatrists work closely together with parents as well. It’s truly a team.
Last but not least pharmacist! When it comes to interactions amongst prescription and over the counter (sometimes as simple as Tylenol or a throat lozenge) they are truly a god send! It is crucial when medication is being used you double check before giving anything!
We have found a few essential oils help Dude, we have tried a few different diets, vitamins etc, to no avail and we ALWAYS have the input of our team. Dudes psychiatrist may not agree, but if its not going to hurt him we try, and he is gracious in not saying I told you so 😉
It is important for those of us in the battlefield to not judge the treatment choices others make, if it works and keeps our kids heads (or ours) above water do it, without jidgement.I am always extremely cautious and would ask you be the same though when it involves children, we must remember that they are not like adults when receiving treatment. Quite often they react the opposite of adults. Its like walking a type rope, always wondering when the next slip will be.
Find a good team, one you can be open, honest and build a strong partnership with. These people are your life line. They are who ultimately know chemicals, hormones, and the complexity of the brain and its workings in mental health.
Follow your gut, like everything there are good and bad, ask the tough questions, and I’d you don’t feel it, move on.
You are your children’s voice. There is no shame in walking this path, this is no fault of your (or anyone else’s). These children fight every single day, and we need to have gratitude for those that help us, listen to us, and prop us up during the war we rage through. We need support, and tough! Any may not be able to understand, we need patience and compassion and empathy. We don’t need glares, stares, whispers.
Grab a good team, trust in them, and utilize them. We can’t do it alone!