Handling stress



Oh man, I’m already done with this year. It’s been one thing after another, mostly little things, and we’re only on day 7.

Last Friday I had several “disasters” happen. I use the term loosely, because most people would just brush them off, but for an ADHD brain, they cause lots of anxiety. Example, my son dumped a bag full of cheese crumbles all over his lap in the car. This meant I had to clean out the car floor, pull out his car seat, take it apart, wash the cover, put it back together, and reinstall it. Also, that same night one of my plants became too topheavy and fell off a high shelf onto the dining table, sending dirt everywhere in an already cluttered room. A couple other messes were made that day as well, total accidents, which I can’t even remember now. But I’m sure you can all relate to the horror of having a huge mess to clean up. It disrupts routine, and cleaning is already so hard, that adding to it only makes it worse!

This morning was a bad luck fest as well. My hair wouldn’t style correctly, sticking out all over the place. I dropped eggs on the floor, burned my son’s breakfast, and exploded a glass jar in my sink. Needless to say, I did NOT get out of the house on time for work.

Oh, and I had a meeting with my son’s teachers where they basically said he’s disruptive and struggling in class because of, wait for it, excessively impulsive and hyperactive behavior that keeps him from being able to fully take advantage of group lesson settings and draws teacher attention away from the other kids to deal with his needs. And sometimes he smells, and how often DO you bathe him, Mom? (To be clear, the teachers all love him and want him to succeed, but they are very concerned.) They implied that the Kindergarten program at their school might not be a great fit for him, and I should look into the public school district because they have more resources. So heartbreaking. (They were less than receptive when I suggested he might be ADHD. Big surprise.)

These are just some examples of the cascade of little mishaps and accidents, plus big disappointments, that have been happening just in the first 7 days of the year. In the past, this would be enough to send me into a spiral of anxiety and shame, and I’d probably just give up trying to do anything but the most basic tasks. I’m very pleased to relate that I’ve handled it pretty well. I’ve tried to clean up the messes as they happened instead of leaving them until I “have time”. I haven’t given in to emotional rages or crying jags. I’ve stayed calm and just handled things as they came, even though It feels a little like the world is out to get me this last week.

So, TL;DR, I’ve kept my cool through a very trying week.



All of that sounds like so much to deal with and it’s already been a week into the year. Keeping your cool during that is so so so so so tough. And it’s awesome that you were able to survive such a turbulent week! WAY TO GO!!! :heart: YOU ARE WONDERFUL AND STRONG AND AMAZING. And deserve some sort of reward (see also: self care relaxation where you don’t have to be concerned about too much while doing it). Pedicure? Reading time with tea or coffee? A movie of your choosing? :wink:


I have three little ones myself (7,5,2) and stress over the little mayhem I get exposed to in the short time I am home with them as I work 12-14 hrs day. Getting them in the car myself strapped in…enough to question my sanity and amazing how one can go from calm and collected to hysterical parent yelling about WHERE DID YOUR SHOE GO…STOP LICKING YOUR SISTER!!
I have much respect what Mom’s like you do and accomplish on a daily basis. It is amazing how Mom’s out there cope and succeed in those daily challenges of balancing work/school/raising kids.
Your story reminds me of my wife’s ordeal over the holidays recently. ABSOLUTELY treat yourself to a job well done-you deserve it!


Can relate to that kind of days. But what about that school…and your sons needs, are they compatible?


It is looking like probably no, not compatible. It’s an excellent early learning school. But it is small, and they don’t really have any staff that focuses on special needs, except in a generalized way. Usually when they get a kid with the needs of my son, they recommend the parent utilize the local public school district resources, and they work with the parent and the district. The problem for me is, unlike most parents, I don’t live in district, so I can’t take advantage of those services. And my public school district is unlikely to accept a special needs evaluation referral from an out of district private school.

@Chris_IL & @HarleyKyn -so nothing lasts forever I guess. Yesterday I forgot to take my booster and I ended up yelling at my son after he pooped in the bath and then looked me in the face and lied about it. (He’d already soiled his pants 3 times since we got home, after each of which I made him sit on the potty to get the rest out.)

HOWEVER, I didn’t want to keep yelling at him, so I walked away to calm down, called a friend, got a little advice. When I came back he apologized so sweetly, and the rest of bedtime was all smiles and fun. Still. It broke my “keeping it cool” streak into little pieces.


Actually, “nothing last forever” is a great thing to remember, even if the context isn’t necessarily the greatest, it is a reminder that all things won’t last forever. A bad streak of stress won’t last forever, and sure keeping your cool won’t last forever either, but neither will any meltdowns. :heart:

We’re always going to have a point where our cool breaks for a moment, and honestly that’s part of having ADHD, yes, but it is also a huge part of being human, as well. Of course you didn’t want to yell, but you were able to pull yourself away, in hopes of finding a calmer approach and that’s still a pretty big win if you ask me. It’s hard work keeping our sanity, and I can only imagine it’s even harder when you have a child that you’re trying to be patient with while guiding them with a firm but calm hand. :heart: And you know what? Just because you yelled yesterday doesn’t make the rest of the week any less of a success and rave. :heart:


There are good days and great days, right? I love that you recognized you losing your cool, stepped away to collect yourself, and revisited the situation with a renewed demeanor. THAT was parenting done right-you displayed a moment of thing being too much at the time maybe and did some healthy venting to get centered. You were showing your son how to handle anger before anger handles the situation, great job! Just look at the result-smiles and fun!


Sorry about that. Unfamiliar system for me. Should think it was in interrest of the district, the community where the family lives, to secure proper help for the child. Whatever present school. But, systems are different. I hope you will sort it out and wish you both all the best


boy, tough start to the year, and well done for getting through it!

I also love @HarleyKyn’s cheerleading in this thread!

My mantra/what got me through my kids’ early years was realising that kids have short memories and that we could always press the reset button together. Some days that wasn’t possible (the kind of days you’ve just had) but eventually it would be bedtime and the day wold be over and the next day was always a new day.

In fact, realising this was one of the most useful things I learned by becoming a parent!

Be kind to yourself. You are doing fine, and it won’t be this hard forever.

Also, if this helps: not sure it applies to spilled earth but every time one of us tips some liquid my first reaction is to jump up in panic for a cloth, closely followed by a positive feeling that at least this bit of floor is clean now :joy: This feeling is so ingrained that I had it the other day when I tipped something, even though since last spring we have a cleaner and the floor was actually pretty clean before the spillage :grin:


thanks everyone for the encouragement and kind words.

@HarleyKyn Very wise words, lady! I always have a hard time reminding myself of successes instead of focusing on my perceived “failures”.

@Chris_IL There are indeed good and bad days. I try to make a point of showing my son that even adults sometimes get overwhelmed by emotion, but there are techniques to handling in, like walking away. We call it “taking a peace break” with him. I do feel a little guilty because he was crying and said something to me and I literally said, “I don’t want to talk to you right now, because you lied to me. I need to calm down,” before I walked away. I feel like this was the wrong thing to say, but maybe it wasn’t? I don’t know. He told me later in bed that he doesn’t want me to get mad or cry, and I agreed with him and we hugged it out.

@DidrikM As it happens I was apparently getting myself worried prematurely. The district has been very responsive so far and encouraged me to give them the documentation from his current school and even offered to have a teacher go and observe him in the classroom, even though his current school is private and out of district. So that’s encouraging.

@Lustforlife Yeah, Harley’s cheerleading always cheers me up! Lol. It’s funny, because I’ve always had that daily reset button mentality as well. Tomorrow’s a new day, and anything can happen, and it will probably be good. Yesterday went great, and so far this morning has as well. I won’t let the first week of the year define it for me, but it was certainly trying at the time! And I can totally relate to the feeling of “at least one thing is clean”. LOL. When my son was a baby, I wiped messed up so quickly that he thought that’s just the way it should be done, and started wanting to do it himself when he was around 2. Of course, now he doesn’t want to because it will “take too much time” away from playing. :laughing: Boy, does THAT sound familiar.


That is Great!