Parenting

Life seems to be hard lately. I’m emotional, irritable, and tired. It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get I still feel this way. I’m back to forcing myself to sleep, well forcing myself to do most things, but the good part is that I’m doing them.

I feel like so many moms, with or without mental health problems, feel as though they are failing because they have to push them selves to do things that seem to come naturally to others. We push ourselves out of bed, to make meals, to clean, to parent, to be a spouce, and all while trying to keep ourselves sane. But we do it. Yet here comes social media and society telling us we are horrible for having to push ourselves or make ourselves do these things. FUCK YOU! That’s what I have to say to them. Fuck you for making us feel bad, fuck you for trying to sabotage us! Don’t you think life is hard enough, don’t you think we are just as frustrated as you? We are trying, no wait, WE ARE DOING IT! It shouldn’t matter if we have to push our selves or make our selves, we are doing it period.

Parents seem to get the shit end of the stick. No matter what we do we are doing something wrong. Become a stay at home parent, you’re not financially supporting your child. Become a working parent, now you’re missing out on your child’s life. Nursing, that’s disgusting. Bottle feed, breast is best. Have a child naturally, that screws up your vag. Have a csection, you’re taking the easy way out.

So many things come down to what society thinks. Its shaping us and in turn shaping our children. It’s scary for me to think of my children as adults. I cringe at the thought of having teens.

At one point or another,as a parent, you’re going to think that you’re failing. You’re going to think that nothing you do is good enough. But let me ask you this….is your child happy? Are they healthy? Are they safe? If you answered yes to these questions, then you’re an awesome parent!

Let’s stop letting “society” make us feel bad, because guess what? We are a society of our own! Let’s make our society into the one who is understanding and patient. Let’s be kind and helpful. Let’s show the rest of the world that OUR society is the society the world needs.

A little story from a few weeks ago….so I’m in Walmart with all 4 of the kids. We had been out most of the day and were all tired and cranky. The kids weren’t listening, they were grabbing everything in site, and running off. Walmart was packed and my anxiety was in high gear.

So we are walking through Walmart and cain is riding on the side of the cart. At this point I have told him several times not to do this, and have finally come to the “fuck it, natural consequences” stage of my trip. So he, without saying anything, decides to step down as I’m pushing the cart. The cart hits the back of his foot and he falls down under the cart. Now I feel the cart hit his shoe and stop. There was a lady walking in the opposite direction who says stop the baby. First of all I’m already pissed so my first thought is ” hes almost 4 hes not a baby.” Then goes to “let’s pull him up out from under the cart and discipline him” so as I’m trying to help him get out from under the shopping cart, a little rougher than intended, this lady goes “omg! Ouch! Poor baby!” Oh man that set me off “hes not a baby!” I was irate. I took a deep breath told him to hold the cart and headed for the check out. Once at the check out I started to breath and calmed myself down a bit, which in turn calmed my children down a bit too. Well I have all my stuff on the counter and ella is in the cart, damien and scarlett are playing at the end of the cart, but where is cain? Next thing I know the lady behind me has a hold of him and is saying ” no you have to stay with your mom” through the whole process she was right behind me setting a road block so that the kids couldn’t run back through the isle. And as I’m getting ready to leave she says ” I know its rough going shopping with so many kids” I thanked her and left feeling so much better.

Moral of the story: be like the second lady. Be firm but kind. Don’t make a mother feel like she is being cruel or over reacting. You don’t know what her day was like. We all have bad days, kids, adults, everyone. Be the helper not the hurter!

CBD oil….does it work?

This year has been hard on me. Batteling with health insurance and keeping up with appointments seem harder than ever.

I’ve lost my health insurance, which means no meds. I don’t know about you but I cant afford the $1300 a month just for meds. On top of that its $150 just to be seen for 15 mins to get a prescription and another $150 to see my therapist once a week. That’s $2100 give or take a month. Not to mention what else I’ll be billed for. Oh yeah…and the blood test I’ll have to take every few months to make sure my meds are cooperating with my body.

So far I’m doing ok without the meds. In the past when I have gone off them it starts out well and then ends with almost being hospitalized or actually being hospitalized. I don’t want to even think about how much that will cost me. Inevitably I need to find something that works and doesn’t put me in debt at the same time. Good luck right!?

People are always asking why people with any sort of mental health issues dont seek help. Well there it is. The cost is ridiculous. Yet that is only one issue with not seeking help. There are many others, but I’ll save that for another time.

The latest “craze” is CBD oil. People are hopping on the band wagon with this one like crazy! It’s been said to help with all sorts of things. Everything from minor aches and pains, to serious health issues like cancer. How much of this is true? Does this really help with all of this? I’m about to find out.

I’ve done some research, not as much as I would like but some. It seems everyone agrees it works. I’ve talked with Michael and we both agree that it’s worth a try. It’s only a fraction of the cost, which is a huge selling point for me. I’ve come across a business that sells, from what I can see, top quality CBD oil.

Over the next month I’ll be posting, on my Facebook page, updates on how it’s going. They will be daily so keep an eye out for that. I’ll also be posting the business and dosage of what I’m taking. At this point it is all trial and error for me, and I know so many others who are in the same boat. I’m hoping this works and that others who are like me will get help with it as well.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Keeping-Up-With-The-Hellands-511325159385973/

A letter to a great man

Dad,

Life without you is hard. Everyday I pick up the phone to call you. It’s been 12 years and I still try to call. Some days I tell myself you just moved away.

I’m not a little girl anymore. I have a family now. I have an amazing husband who treats me like I’m high on a pedestal. I have 4 beautiful children that I would give anything for you to meet. We look through pictures and they ask about you. They hurt that they can’t meet you.

Everyday I think about you. It took me 10 years but I visit you sometimes. It’s hard to see that head stone. That makes it real. Knowing I will never see you again, talk to you, hug you, it kills me.

Mom moved back with grandma. Although I love her it’s not the same. Something about a father and his little girl.

I’m so sorry I made you play that game of basketball with me. I’m sorry that when you collapsed I froze. I’m sorry I thought you were playing around. Maybe if I hadn’t and I didn’t freeze you would still be here. If I could take it back I would.

Everyone said that in time it would get easier…it doesn’t. I feel like it was yesterday that we were sitting in the waiting area at the hospital and the doctor came in to tell us you were gone. I hates myself for a long time. I still do sometimes.

I’m having such a hard time right now. I find myself saying I want my dad, and then the reality that i can’t hits.

It hurts that you didn’t get to see me become an adult, or be there when I got married, or get to watch my kids grow up. I know you would be the one person to help me through my low points and understand what I’m going through. You always did. You always took every situation calmly and rationally.

I hope one day I will see you again. Hug you, hear your voice.

Until we meet again

Kirstibird

Stop telling people with depression to get over themselves…..you are killing us.

I wish I knew what it was like to not have depression. What it is like to wake up and not have to drag yourself out of bed. Is this even a real thing?

Are there people out there that just get up and take on the world without a single struggle? What is it like to not long for nap time because you’re not exhausted for no apparent reason?

I’m constantly struggling with my mind. It never seems to end. I really want to go out and be social but when the time comes I cancel because I just can’t handle it. Are there people out there that love going out and never cancel their plans just because they can’t seem to get out of their own minds?

What is it like for you to not have to try and explain your illness to your children. Over and over I say I’m not feeling well, and my kids ask the same line of questions. Does your tummy hurt? Do you have a fever? I give in most days and say yes because it’s easier to explain. It must be amazing to go out and not have your children tell people you take medicine because you are sick, and not have to try to explain this to people.

Depression has become such a significant role in my life I almost forget there are actually people out there that don’t have it.

These people will tell you it’s not real, it’s all in your head. They will tell you to just tell yourself you are going to be happy today. It never fails. Whenever someone finds out you have depression they act as if you are a hypochondriac. They think you are looking for attention.

If you have depression you know attention is the last thing you want. You just want to be left alone in your bed with the lights off.

If you don’t understand depression, look it up before you make comments to someone who does. Telling people to just get over themselves, or it’s not that bad, or just tell your self to be happy is killing us. We start to think there is something wrong with us. We think we are annoying and should just stay away from people, which actually makes the depression worse. We aren’t good enough, loved enough, or likeable so why go on. It’s a vicious cycle but it is real.

It’s not something we can control. It is literally a chemical imbalance in our brain. Depression is as real as cancer and sometimes as hard to treat.

When you have depression it’s not always sadness. I think that is the biggest misconception people have about depression. That is why so many people commit suicide and their friends and family had no idea that they had gotten to that point. It becomes easy to hide when you have felt with it for so long.

People also make it hard for us to get help. We don’t want to see a therapist or get put on meds for fear we will be ridiculed. So many people protest against body shaming, or shaming mom’s who breast feed in public, but no one ever stands up for people who have depression. STOP SHAMING US FOR SOMETHING WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER!

We sit at home and wither away because it’s more socially acceptable than to seek help. Then people wonder why we don’t do things or why life always seems harder for us.

For everyone who doesn’t know symptoms of depression here is how it feels for me, and I’m sure many others like me.

Pleading with yourself to get out of bed, and once you do pleading with yourself to stay out of bed. If it wasn’t for my kids this wouldn’t work.

Being overly emotional. Not just sadness. Crying over even the smallest thing, both good and bad. Crying out of nowhere and not knowing why.

Feeling like you are treading through mud just to get simple chores done.

Becoming frustrated extremely easily. The other day I got frustrated and started crying because I couldn’t find my kids shoes.

Not wanting to be touched. This one gets my husband. I’m sure he feels like I don’t love or want him when I get this way but in reality it’s just the depression. Some days being touched even in the simplest ways physically hurts.

Wanting to be left alone. Like I said earlier I Like to lay in my bed with the lights off by myself. This one is the hardest one for me to get through.

Wanting friends but not wanting to socialize. I long for someone to come over and just sit and talk with me but if it were to happen I would be struggling the whole time praying they go home soon. This happens especially if the conversation dies.

Irritability. Every last thing drives you crazy from how someone drives to someone not putting the dishes away right.

Helplessness. Feeling like you can’t do anything so why bother.

Hopelessness. Not feeling hopeful at all. Not getting your hopes up for anything because you just know you will be let down anyway.

Worthlessness. Never good enough. Sometimes this one sneaks up on you. One comment can bring this one straight down on top of you.

These are a few. Everyone is different and may feel differently than this. If someone you know is having a bad day just tell them they are doing great. Or, spend a little time with them. Something small goes a long way. You never know how people are feeling.

ADHD, is it real?

I never believed in ADHD. I thought it was just some made up diagnosis for kids who didn’t listen, for parents who couldn’t parent properly. An excuse.

Medicating a kid for a kid who has ADHD was rediculous. This was for people who wanted their kids to be zombies so that they didn’t have to discipline them. How could you put this medication in a child just to get you’re relief?

Damien was a great baby. He started sleeping through the night at a month old. Always took naps and never fussed. He was a happy baby and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

Around the time Damien was one and a half things got hard. He was so wild. He would climb anything and everything. He ran around the house and got into everything. He had so much energy. I took it as he was a toddler boy.

My sister would always tell me to get him checked out for ADHD, because her son had it and was medicated, and she saw the same signs in Damien. I didn’t believe in it and thought she just couldn’t handle her kids, so I said no.

As Damien got older we realized he had issues with his speech. He started talking late, but all of his physical milestones were hit early or on time. I figured he would grow out of the speech issues, since everything else was on track.

He started preschool at 4. A little late in the game but I couldn’t get him into preschool in our previous town. This was hard for him. He had a hard time sitting still and concentrating. When it came time to transition to another activity or take a nap he would throw a fit, many times ending with me picking him up early. Eventually he went to half days.

Everyone told me Damien was not mentally mature enough to go to kindergarten. I couldn’t believe them! Do you even know this child? Maybe he doesn’t act the same way in school as he does at home. He is the most loving kid I have ever know. He is also super independent.

I eventually got physiological testing done on Damien. It was hard to come to this decision but with mental health being hereditary I felt he had some anxiety and maybe something else. I see myself in him in so many ways it scares me.

The test came back. He was diagnosed with severe ADHD, speech disorter, anxiety, and ODD.

While the psychiatrist explained what it all was, things started to fall into place.

Careless mistakes/lack of attention to detail —check

Lack of sustained attention—unless it’s video games check

Poor listening—check

Not following through on tasks—-check

Poor orginization—check

Avoids tasks that require sustained mental effort—check

Losing things—-check

Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli or unrelated thoughts—check

Forgetful in everyday tasks—check

This is only a few of the things he fell under. My mind went crazy. Why didn’t I see this before now? Still ADHD, really? I know how to discipline my kid this can’t be right.

After knowing the results I slowly started noticing little things. He can never stop moving. Whether it was his leg bouncing or just wiggling in his chair. He even kept moving in his sleep. That was horrible to watch. He looked so pained by it in his sleep. He’s very emotional, and gets very frustrated very easily.

The more I watched him the more I believed this ADHD thing was real. He struggles with so many thing, it was heart breaking to watch.

Finally I gave in. I hated the thought of putting my kid on meds but felt that I had no other choice. I was scared that he would be a zombie and not himself.

We started with a low dose. That didn’t really do anything. We then up the dose. Slowly I could see the change in him. He wasn’t a zombie he was himself! He was more calm and less emotional. He started listening better and doing better in school. Maybe meds aren’t such a bad thing. Some people just need them.

Damien loves himself on the meds. He says they make him calm and think straight.

I know people think I’m a horrible mother to put my kid on meds, but that’s ok. What other people think of me is none of my business. It works for Damien and gives him more confidence. And that is what I love to see.

We still have bad days. Like today. He was screaming and crying because I told him he couldn’t play games. That is his calm place, gaming. I put him in a time out and just let him scream and cry. Sometimes I even do this, scream and cry. I think everyone does from time to time. You just build it up until one day you have no choice to let it out. After all he is a human being.

Once he had calmed down, about 15 mins, he asked to play games. I told him to change his attitude and then we could talk about playing games. Within 5 mins his attitude did a 180. He was calm, helpful, and even helped make lunch.

It’s amazing how his attitude can change so fast, but then again mine goes all over the charts too.

A.D.H.D

Take my hand and come with me,
I want to teach you about ADHD.
I need you to know, I want to explain,
I have a very different brain.
Sights, sounds, and thoughts collide.
What to do first? I can’t decide.
Please understand I’m not to blame,
I just can’t process things the same.
Take my hand and walk with me,
Let me show you about ADHD.

I try to behave, I want to be good,
But I sometimes forget to do as I should.
Walk with me and wear my shoes,
You’ll see its not the way I’d choose.
I do know what I’m supposed to do,
But my brain is slow getting the message through.
Take my hand and talk with me,
I want to tell you about ADHD.

I rarely think before I talk,
I often run when I should walk.
It’s hard to get my school work done,
My thoughts are outside having fun.
I never know just where to start,
I think with my feelings and see with my heart.
Take my hand and stand by me,
I need you to know about ADHD.

It’s hard to explain but I want you to know,
I can’t help letting my feelings show.
Sometimes I’m angry, jealous, or sad.
I feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and mad.
I can’t concentrate and I lose all my stuff.
I try really hard but it’s never enough.
Take my hand and learn with me,
We need to know more about ADHD.

I worry a lot about getting things wrong,
Everything I do takes twice as long.
Everyday is exhausting for me…
Looking through the fog of ADHD.

I’m often so misunderstood,
I would change in a heartbeat if I could.
Take my hand and listen to me,
I want to share a secret about ADHD.

I want you to know there is more to me.
I’m not defined by it, you see.
I’m sensitive, kind and lots of fun.
I’m blamed for things I haven’t done.
I’m the loyalist friend you’ll ever know,
I just need a chance to let it show.
Take my hand and look at me,
Just forget about the ADHD.

I have real feelings just like you.
The love in my heart is just as true.
I may have a brain that can never rest,
But please understand I’m trying my best.
I want you to know, I need you to see,
I’m more than the label, I am still me!!!!

Author Unknown

Making a new friend doesn’t always end in a way you want

Meeting someone new always seems to be great. You become friends with one person but down the road that person turns into something completely different.

Maybe, if you’re like me, you don’t have a lot of friends so when you make a new friend you only see the good. It makes you feel like you can’t choose friends because they always seem to turn out to be someone you don’t want to be associated with.

When we became friends everything seemed great. We got a long so well, and hanging out was fun. We started hanging out more and more. Like I said before, for me, I didn’t really have any friends so making a new one was amazing. And maybe this is why my eyes were really never completely open to the kind of person this new friend really was.

I find myself making new friends only to get annoyed and pulling away from them. I always thought it was me, my mental health throwing curve balls. I blame my mental health on a lot of things, it’s amazing that I even figure out what is me and what is someone or something else.

Our kids made a connection right away. They loved playing with each other and became really close. I became really close to them, as if they were my own. And I thought my new friend had developed a connection with mine.

We did everything together. It felt like I had finally had a good friend.

I look back now and can see how I was slowly changing. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was becoming a mother and wife I didn’t want to be. Funny how you can never see the change until it’s to late.

I hear so many things that are going on with my new friend but push them aside, after all I know how it feels when people start rumors about you. Turns out it wasn’t rumors.

It makes me want to cry knowing what those kids are going through and no one will stand up for them. Then again how do you stand up for someone else’s kids against their own parents?

I feel helpless. What can I do to help these kids who are in my heart? I wish I could just steal them away. Show them how parents are suppose to treat their kids. How does one just stand by and let horrible things happen to their kids?

What do you do when you want to throat punch your “friend” but don’t want to cause bad blood in fear of them never letting their kids play with yours? Do you suck it up and “play nice” So your own kids don’t suffer?

I wish I knew the answer. I wish I knew how this would all end.

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.-Maya Angelou

3 weeks, 21 days, 504 hours…

Three weeks doesn’t seem like a long time for most people, but for me it seems like a life time.

I guess you could say I’m dependent on my husband. That seems like the easiest way to explain it.

He’s my rock. When he comes home from work at night it’s like the weight of the world lifts.

We have been together 12 years. High school sweethearts. I don’t know anything but him. I don’t want to know anything but him.

I feel like I’m a pretty good mom, but 3 weeks, alone with 4 kids is tough. I feel it would be tough for anyone.

I have a plan to start walking at night with my sister which I think will help, but what I really need is a schedule. I’m not very good at following a schedule so it will be hard for me.

I’m definitely not a morning person. I guess you could say that it’s just me but I find myself blaming the depression.

I remember all to well how my mental illness slammed into me last time he was gone. It scares the shit out of me. All I can think is “will it happen again? Will I be able to handle everything at home by myself?”

Constantly worried. Constantly reminding myself of how horrible things got before. Having panic attacks for things I have no control over. The rational part of my brain telling me it will be fine, but the irrational part, the main part of my brain now adays, worrying about everything all at once.

Do I have him call me every day, or do I have him only call me on a certain day so I don’t depend on his call? What do I do while he is gone? Should I get out of the house as much as I can? Do I stay home as much as I can?

I hear my counselor in my head “take it one day at a time.” Do people actually do this? Somehow I will have to figure out how to stop thinking about what is ahead of me and start thinking about what is happening now.

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. 2 chronicals 15:7