Parenting with a Side Order of Frustration
Hiya readers! In a previous post, I shared some ADHD Trivia about Bob's diagnosis and treatment. Today, I wanted to share how challenging it was to co-parent Bob with his father who was in even MORE denial than I was about Bob's diagnosis.
Parenting with the Ex
As I looked for pictures for this post, I thought about the many years I spent with Bob's father (on & off for 10 years). Many times we argued were about our different parenting styles. Where Bob's father was more laid-back in terms of everything (discipline, taking Bob to school, dealing with his ADHD), I was the take-charge mom who took care of everything. It didn't bode well for Bob that we disagreed so much on parenting him.
Signs of Trouble
When Bob's teachers began talking about his issues at school, I had already noticed symptoms at home. But, in Bob's 4th grade year when his teacher pushed for an assessment of his symptoms, Bob's father was in total disagreement of it. By this time in 2011, we had been broken up for a year. Bob's father had a denial so profound that he did not want to go through with the teacher's recommendations. (He's not a bad guy, but he didn't want to see that Bob needed help.)
Yet I kept going, with virtually no support from Bob's father (or my immediate family - a post for another time). Bob received his evaluation and I had located a place where he could receive therapy and medication treatment. However, Bob's father took Bob to the first medication consult (I couldn't go due to a scheduling conflict) Big mistake.
Frustration, I see you
Bob's father told the psychiatrist that he did not want medication for Bob. He didn't tell me this - I found out from Bob's therapist. I was upset. Very upset because I knew Bob needed some help with medication. I informed the therapist that Bob's father did not have the ability to make any decisions regarding Bob's education and health and scheduled a second medication consult. Needless to say, I was VERY frustrated with Bob's father. But, I learned something about myself during this very frustrating process.
Frustration - Hit the road
I learned that I loved Bob much more than I disliked his father. No matter how frustrated I became, the more I thought (and shared this sentiment) about this phrase, the easier it became to deal with Bob's father. I still have my moments where I'm frustrated to no end because really, who's perfect anyway? I know that, despite my issues with Bob's father, I give Bob the very best of me.
Zalamar, H. (2013, January 22). Parenting with a Side Order of Frustration, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, November 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/parentingchildwithmentalillness/2013/01/parenting-with-a-side-order-of-frustration
Author: Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA
Heiddi - even when the other parent is not an "ex," parenting with someone whose views on how to handle the advent of these illnesses in a child is a challenge. My husband and I divvied up duties when our son was diagnosed with bipolar so as not to be crashing in to each other as we worked our way through the mental health maze. I dealt with medical issues, he took on legal ones. Five years into this and our system is still in place.
I'm so glad to read about your system with your husband. I think it is a great one! It sounds like even though you both had different ways to handle the same situation, you both worked (and continue to work) for your son's best interest. And you both accepted your son's diagnosis. I think that's the big difference when looking at both our stories. My ex refused to accept that Bob had ADHD and in fact refused to accept it even when Bob went to therapy (and began medication treatment). It sounds like you and your husband made some great decisions. Thank you for sharing your story. Please visit again soon.