Thursday, November 11, 2004


You know, it's been a ... challenging ... year at our house. Well, you don't know, but trust me, it has been. Long story short:
July 2003: Married nearly 10 years. Bad things happen. Went through the usual routine of desperate attempts at keeping it together. (Maybe fodder for another time, but most likely not. To paraphrase [the now frighteningly realistic] "Handmaid's Tale", this was the part in which I acted badly. You wouldn't like it.)
October 2003: Separated.
May 2004: Divorced--amicably, amazingly.
September 2004: 5-year old son "provisionally" diagnosed ADHD (provisional because I refuse to accept a definite and final diagnosis of a child whose world has, excuse my french, gone to shit over the past few years).


I've read a hell of a lot of parenting books over the past year. Done the parenting classes with the family therapist. Gone to the pediatric psychologist. Had consultations with the pediatrician. It starts when you're pregnant, and it doesn't end--no matter what the issue, everyone tells you something different. And in the end, you've got to go with your gut.

One of my biggest challenges in being a mom (and, more recently, in just being a person) has been learning to trust my instincts and intuition, especially when they meet with contradiction from the current expert opinion. A lot of the books and theories (regarding ADHD and just childrearing in general) I've read have just struck me as right, and some--even the ones I've gotten from doctors I trust and respect--just haven't. I happen to be a praying person, and believe me when I say that "guidance" is number one on the Want List. (Shoes are a close second, but I digress.) And I feel as though that prayer is constantly being answered, in ways both subtle and incredibly blatant. Starting with the book I happened upon while browsing the bookstore (for a completely different book) just before the world fell apart, to the very moving "Scattered", to my lifeline "Spiritual Divorce", up to (most recently) the book I'm reading now, "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline", it's been as though each bit of information has led to an insight that's led to a new source of information. "Easy to Love..." seems as though it's a collection of all the right stuff from every other book/article/Web site I've found. All the little bits and pieces that just made sense. And lately, whether the day went smoothly or not, I don't lie in bed wondering whether I could have been a better mom today. Tonight I was thinking, "I just wish I'd found this book 5 years ago. I wish I knew then what I know now."

And I just wanted to share that. Because maybe doing so will help somebody else find something when they really need it--just like I did.


Krupskaya said...

That's exactly how it is to be a mom, isn't it? No matter what you do, someone thinks you're wrong, so you've just got to go with what YOU know is right and screw the rest of 'em. That's the only way to put it together.

Psycho Kitty said...

Yup. The problem is that we seem to be trained nowadays to think we *need* someone else's advice because god forbid we should do something that goes against the latest "expert" opinion. I've noticed that the women I know seem to have a particularly difficult time disagreeing with their pediatricians.