Three Ways You Put Things In Perspective When You’re a Mom Diagnosed With ADHD

Nov 22, 2014 by

I also love how I'm posting this in November.  [image via someecards]

I also love how I’m posting this in November.  (Image via Someecards.)

1. “Mommy Brain” becomes a nullity.

In my world, Mommy Brain is a thing, yet it is not. It was explained to me that I have been using intelligence my whole life to compensate for the organizational and other executive function deficits brought on by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD (the acronym “ADD” is still around, but it’s really the old name for this condition). The heightened and magnified stresses of raising children, on top of a demanding career and other numerous life challenges was what finally broke me. So I can still call my exacerbated struggle to keep it together, due to having kids now, “mommy brain” even though that name is really an allusion to an underlying brain-based disorder.

2. You worry (even more) about your kids.

Two Great Resources for Connecticut Parents of Children with Special Educational Needs

Nov 15, 2014 by

Yes, you can borrow from my extensive home education law library!  (Cat not included.)

Mingus guards my education law library.
Image by M. Dunn 

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything directly pertaining to the work I do with families of children with disabilities. I am a special education attorney who represents parents trying to obtain an appropriate educational program, known as an IEP which is short for Individualized Education Program, for their children with disabilities. This past week, I had the pleasure of speaking to parents of children with special needs, as well as other professionals who work with public school students with disabilities, about my work as well as some tips about special education advocacy.

Naming the Problem Puts Everything Into Focus

Nov 9, 2014 by

 

320px-Broken_glass

 

When my mother called, I wasn’t expecting her to tell me that the house had been rented out, and that she and my father were now in their respective, separate homes. Her diamond ring was still missing, her shelves still overflowing with religious pamphlets she had received in the mail, and she was still convinced that my father was spying on her using the blinking cursor that popped up on her monitor whenever she booted up her computer.

They got divorced right around the same time I was making plans to see the psychiatrist. I wanted my mother to diagnose her dementia, not so much to avoid the divorce, but for the clarity I was hoping it would bring to her world. My mother had always lied to me, exaggerated, and exercised selective memory. I was finally able to see my mother in a completely different light once I learned that all of her character flaws, her darker side, her emotional manipulation, might have a name. That it was mental illness, not who she just was. Everything felt a little lighter, and my view of my own life in the context of my family background came more sharply into focus at that moment.

Mom Blogger Confession: I Don’t Read Other Parenting Blogs

Oct 27, 2014 by

Featured: me, not reading your blog.

Featured:  me, not reading your blog.

I feel like I should, by virtue of the fact that I, myself, am a mom blogger. But I don’t read other mom blogs, or dad blogs. Really, I’m slowly losing interest in reading on the interwebs about random people’s parenting experiences, for reasons that, until now, I haven’t really thought that hard about. Contrasting the current me with me sans children, who was eager to read anyone and everyone’s story about all things pregnancy and baby (but NEVER anything related to life with a toddler and beyond, which I realized too late would have been extremely useful), it’s hard to believe that I’m just not into mommy blogs anymore.

Here are five reasons I can come up with for why this avid reader, and professed mommy blogger, who sincerely hopes that others read ME, rarely so much as sniffs at a parenting-related headline or blog title these days:

The Writer, the Third Child, and Some Things Left Unfinished.

Oct 11, 2014 by

Anime Sketch of Mackenzie and Aurelia 9-2014

My daughters, in manga form.  Copyright M. Dunn, 2014, although I get the sense that protecting my artwork should be the least of my worries.

 

I plagiarized a book when I was Kindergarten.

I re-drew the illustrations, inserted my own version of the narrative, and assembled the pages for my teacher to review. I was proud. I didn’t have any concept that this was wrong – and at the age of 5, why would I have had any such concept? No one expects a Kindergarten student to be able to compose a short story, let alone understand integrity in authorship as well as copyright issues.

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