Just wanted to introduce myself. I am feeling so frustrated and overwhelmed . . . and dare I admit it, depressed sometimes. I am grateful I found this forum. Reading it is very validating.
My husband has ADD, diagnosed when he was a teen. He is an amazing person. He never did very well in school because he was bored and unmotivated. He is very intelligent, though never tested. He dropped out after his first year of highschool, then after taking a year he went back and was able to work hard and finish up high school to graduate "on time." He is a very ambitious and driven person, and I have watched his ADD frustrate him but he has overcome so much. For a while we both thought that ADD was something that wouldn't really affect him much in his life. We didn't take into account it afecting our family life at all. How very naive of us . . .
I have all of the symptoms of ADD-- definitely, very much so-- but am not diagnosed. I actually think I probably have Asperger's, because I also have many of the Aspie symtpoms, and Asperger's is supposed to be inclusive of all ADD symptoms, at least that is my understanding from my research-- like, you can't have both. My mom and older brother are the picture perfect definition of Asperger's, and another brother has full-blown autism, too. My dad, I'm pretty sure has ADD. None of these people are diagnosed-- not even the obviously autistic brother-- because my mom and dad eschew "labels" and think that ADD or Asperger's would be shameful. I myself find no shame in such things whatsoever. What I see is a family of geniuses (my dad's IQ is 180, my mom untested but super-smart herself) who have none of them been successful in life. I don't define success as have money or prestife, but just simply as being able to have the kind of life you had hoped for-- a happy family, meaningful work, some degree of financial security-- my parents do not have this, my older brother does not have this, my yopunger brother is unlikely to achieve this. I myself am still struggling to be successful. So I will take my labels, thank you very much, if they help me guide my children into a better future. That is what I am striving for and why I am here.
My oldest son has Asperger's, definitely. Our family doctor, although not able to make an offical diagnosis, agrees with me, and I am going to take both my sons to be evaluated in a local early childhood intervention program. We have three kids, ages 5, 2.5, and an infant. The infant is teething, the 5-year-old is the Aspie, the 2-year-old appears to have ADD although it's too early to tell yet. He is extremely intense to raise. I am exhausted. Oh, I am homeschooling the boys, too. I am letting myself have a bit of "summer break" right now so I can focus in the new baby, but we will start again in the fall. My oldest son is learning to read. :)
My ambitious husband is going to school while working at his job that he loves. He finally found a job that is perfectly suited to him-- doesn't require much organization, he is on the phone with various clients who mostly call him, and it is very competitive. He really excels at his job which I am grateful for. He is also taking college classes half time, for his accounting degree. I get to be a SAHM, for now. Because he really struggles with time management, he has been here very little to help me out. So I am often "stuck at home" with the kids all day. Sure, I could go out with them, but it is HARD and stressful to do by myself and I did lose the two-year-old one time, which was traumatic for me. Oh, and money is tight, and this is mainly because our finances are so completely jumbled. So disorganized. It is really embarassing. He mostly takes care of this, which frustrates me, because I think I could be more organized about it than he is (but could I really? I don't know . . . lol.) besides, I refuse to take over completely because I do SO much around here already. It is kind of depressing. I clean up after everyone, which is saying a LOT. sure, I don't keep it perfect, but I do my best and iot's not too bad. The little boys are so incredibly messy it is depressing. I stay up late with my baby and wake up early with the little boys. Sleep is always an issue. I am burnt out.
Life is hard. OUR marriage has been hard. DH and I love each other very much, and we are such good friends. But I can see in so many ways how ADD and/or Asperger's or whatever has shaped our family and made our lives harder. For instance, we have made major life decisions impulsively. Got married impulsively, which wasn't a mistake at all. But the timing of having our children was impulsive, and that has been . . . a challenge. Probably a mistake. We had our first son immediately and then each subsequent child is two years apart. We've learned a lot. We are not going to have any more children. I am scared of making another impulsive decision and having more, but I just won't do it. I have to remember that I absolutely can't handle it. The doctors won't let us get fixed yet, because we are "too young" (26.)
Well, I'm not sure where I am going with this. I guess I just feel like I made a mistake, which is depressing. I thought I would be a better mom than this. I wanted to be more patient, more organized, more tuned-in, more available. My own childhood was horrible; I vowed to make my kids lives different. Well, it is better, definitely, but not as good as I had hoped for, yet. There are days my kids just never get dressed (I need to dress them but I just don't.) I yell at the kids sometimes, which makes me so sad. :( My baby is NOT on a schedule, lol. I feel jealous of cute, organized moms who seem to have their lives together.
That said, I am trying not to wallow in self-pity. I am on a supplement program which I often forget to take, but when I remember, it helps a lot. I made a big effort to reach out to other women at my church, even though it's embarassing. Another nice mom is coming over this Friday to help me declutter and organize my house some, God bless her. I just need to get the apartment cleaned up by then. I am trying.
It would mean a lot to me to get some advice or even just support here. Thank you for reading all of this!