On Raising 2 Kids on Opposite Ends of the Spectrum

For what it’s worth, I’m just a mom raising 2 kids on opposite ends of the spectrum and the struggle is real. Every day life poses challenges that only other moms on this rollercoaster can understand!

For what it's worth, I'm just a mom raising 2 kids on opposite ends of the spectrum and the struggle is real. Every day life poses challenges that only other moms on this rollercoaster can understand!

I’m raising two kids on opposite ends of the spectrum and it’s weird, y’all. So weird and challenging. By spectrum, I’m not talking the autistic spectrum that some of my friends (man, those mommas are superheroes in my book!) have to deal with; I’m talking spectrum as it’s defined in Webster, just in general.

Spectrum: 

Used to classify something, or suggest that it can be classified, in terms of its position on a scale between two extreme or opposite points.

Two extreme or opposite points? Yes, that’s my Kylee (Bug) and Zachary (Bubby) to the millionth power. They are at opposite points in everything…eating habits, vocabulary, scholastic skills, social skills, clothing preferences, futuristic goals…you name it, one is red, the other is violet…just like the opposite ends of the rainbow spectrum.

As a mom, the daily struggle is so real, it’s exhausting. How do you address their differences without hurting the other? How do you teach them academically without confusing one or losing the other’s interest? How do you cut up with one’s friends, while realizing the other doesn’t really have any? How do you celebrate one’s grades without making the other feel less? How can you tell one to finish the food on their plate while you tell the the other (the picky one) that you’ll get them something else because you completely understand?

How do you balance it all, knowing you love them both equally, but knowing that, although they share the same DNA, their makeup is so completely, utterly different on so many levels?

HOW?

I know you’re going to tell me that every child/person is different, and you’re completely right. I have six children of my own, and although they are all unique in their own way, no two people/children in my life have ever been more dissimilar than the two I’m raising right now. And yet, thankfully, they love each other, as they should. But they’re so different.

Kylee loves all food except for shrimp, bananas, ribs, and American cheese. Zach eats no food other than peanut butter and honey sandwiches, chicken patties (no nuggets), cereal, pizza (not homemade, and the gooey cheese of good pizza grosses him out), and spaghetti (only mine).

Zach has the vocabulary of an intelligent 40 year old; Kylee struggles to understand what he’s talking about on a daily basis.

Kylee struggles with school, standardized testing (don’t get me started), getting along with teachers and authority figures in general, and homework. Zach is a straight A student who is off the chart on standardized tests (like he brings additional funds into the school with a handful of others), is a teachers’ pet, and comes home and willingly does his homework daily, even before playing his beloved video games…all on his own.

Kylee has a more active social life than I did at the age of 21, while Zach struggles socially because no one his age seems to understand him, nor share his interests (that one really breaks my heart!).

Kylee loves wild, bright clothing while Zach prefers plaids and khakis, or plaid with plaid (even better).

Kylee wants to swim with the dolphins when she grows up (that’s a cool aspiration, I must admit), while Zach aspires to be a game developer (totally cool as well, my kids are pretty bad ass) or an engineer.

The spectrum is covered in my house, but it’s so very rough.

Praising Kylee’s eating habits while not making Zachary feel like he’s less because he’s picky like his mom…is a struggle.

Fostering Zachary’s love of words while not trying to lose Kylee in conversation…is a struggle.

Hanging Zach’s straight A report cards and test scores on the refrigerator while trying to explain to Kylee that she IS enough and she’s raised her grades by 2, 3, 7, 10 points (she tries hard most of the time, y’all!) is the hugest struggle of all (but I do continue to encourage her and her report cards are hung right next to his for the record!).

Allowing Kylee to have her friends spend the night, or accepting another sleepover invite, while I hear from Zach’s teacher that he is struggling socially is both invigorating (that she’s so popular) and heartbreaking (because he’s so funny and it’s not his fault that other “kids” don’t get him) all at the same time.

For what it's worth, I'm just a mom raising 2 kids on opposite ends of the spectrum and the struggle is real. Every day life poses challenges that only other moms on this rollercoaster can understand!

This all might sound superficial to you in light of today’s tumultuous times, unless of course you are the parent (and I know you’re out there) of two kids on opposite ends of the spectrum.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I don’t know if I’m asking for help, or just venting. I just know I’m exhausted and I want them, both of them, to always feel like they’re enough (they are so enough) in this world and it’s an exhausting challenge on a daily basis to raise such opposing personalities in the same space, at the same time.

I love them both, equally, and I hope they always know that. I love how they love each other no matter how much they fight and I hope that they’ll always support and love one another, despite their opposing sides of the universe.

One day, although they’ll always be horrifically different humans, I hope they lean in and help each other to fit in better in the areas they don’t belong. One day, I hope they notice that I was always in their corners and that I struggled to foster their differences, no matter how real that struggle was. I hope that they, some day, read this and know that, no matter what, I tried…I always tried…to raise two kids on two opposite ends of the spectrum as fairly, and as lovingly, as I possibly could! They’re both important in their own right. I love them both, differently and equally, despite their differences.

I hope they know I know they’re amazing, both of them. Their similarities, and their differences, make them the beautiful people that they are now, that they will always be. Only a mom can see this, you know?

Are you raising two (or more) children on opposite ends of the spectrum? If so, please tell me how you deal with it because it’s rough, y’all, and I just want to do the best that I can for the little humans that I’m raising now…on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Coping with Life-Altering Events and Changes

How do you cope with life-altering events? Do you take them head on? Do you avoid them all together? Do you quantify them because some are just worse than others? I’m struggling right now with a life-altering event that trumps all others before this one.

my new normal

Some events are life altering. Birthdays, marriage, birth of a child, divorce, job change, house purchase, financial woes, moves, and broken bones. In my lifetime, I’ve been through all of those life-altering events and some are just easier to cope with, to move on from or rejoice in, than others.

Life altering. It’s all in your state of mind, right? I mean, I’ve been through most of the events I mentioned above multiple times.

Birthdays. I’ve had a few. Each is significant. Each is life altering. Each brings new challenges, but I embrace them because it’s just another year. Another wrinkle. Another day that I’m thankful that I’ve been afforded. Some are not so lucky.

Marriage. I’ve been there a time or two (or three…see divorce…I’ve been there too). It’s life altering for sure. Those men folk can be messy, they stink, and they’re stubborn. But when a marriage is better than it is worse, altering your life is truly worth it. If it’s not, you say good bye and deal with another life altering event.

But let’s face it, if the marriage was really that bad, if it was worth giving up on, it’s not that hard to say good bye and change your life. It might seem like it in the short term, but in the long run (shorter than any other recovery time), altering your life, for the better, was the right thing to do.

The birth of a child. OK, I’ve done that a bunch. Always life altering. Always worth it. The end.

Job change. Ain’t nothing but a thing. It happens by choice, or not. But it happens. We all deal with it, we move on, we find bigger and better things. Life altering? Yes. A bad thing? Not usually.

House purchase, financial woes, and moves. They all kind of go hand in hand. Money can make or break you. I’ve chosen to let it make me, whether good or bad, I always rise above and move on. I’m in a good place now financially, I’m in a nice home, life is good.

But broken arms? Those are different kinds of life altering changes all together. It’s something that’s hard to explain. I’m not talking about falling out of a tree when you’re 7, wearing a cast for 8 weeks, and going on about your life kind of broken arms. I’m talking about broken. Like, life is painful broken.

In 2003, I made a rookie move for someone in my 30’s. I attempted a cartwheel. In a hotel corridor. By a pool. On a wet floor. Slip. Fall. Ouch. A broken bone or two, a blown elbow, one surgery, some therapy, almost good as new 12 years later. Life altering? Yes. But I’ve dealt with the pain, the popping, the slight ROM loss, like a champ. My life has moved on and my left-handedness has won out. I win. Take that life altering event!

But in September of last year, 9/4/15 to be exact, I experienced the first life-altering event of my entire life that has me wondering what my new normal will be for the rest of my life. Sound dramatic? It is. When I slipped on that day, when that unsuspecting and harmless person stepped on my flip flop as I tried to take a step and I lost my footing and grabbed a chair and broke my arm in 6 separate places and shattered my elbow in a zillion pieces? That day changed my normal. That day altered my life for real.

Let me explain. These days, almost 5 months after that life-altering event, my normal is a hidden sob while trying to be normal. One day, I was cooking meals, cleaning my house, taking pictures, running a successful site, taking care of my husband and my kids, and going on as normal as an abnormal person does. The next, I was trying to figure out how to move again. How to be “normal”.

My arm really doesn’t move. Every meal I cook, every can I open, every click of a camera button…hurts. Yes, one click of a camera button sends my arm…my body…into fits of pain that I can’t explain. Fits of pain that leave me sleepless most nights. Hell, even Bubby’s huggie time hurts. My 7-year-old son approaches me for a hug and I wince. It will hurt like hell to bend that arm just to hug him, it will bring tears to my eyes, it will leave me swollen and incapable of doing my job in the morning. But I hug him anyway. I have to hug him!

This is my new normal.

Sex. Something I don’t discuss here often. It’s something that hurts. Have you ever had sex without moving your arms? You might not notice because you can move them normally, but you move them. Although I enjoy it, although I know my husband needs it, it hurts too.

Everything hurts.

Making lunches for my kids for school? That hurts. Try to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with an arm that doesn’t bend. It hurts.

It all hurts.

I could go on. I could say that my life, my pain, is so much worse than everyone else’s life or pain. IT IS NOT. I can walk. I can talk. I can hear. I’m alive. I’m thankful.

But this life altering event has the best of me. I’m not sure if I should deal with my new normal and give up on recovery or if I should attempt to go into month five of therapy, more surgery, and hope that my new normal will go back to my old normal. I just don’t know.

For the first time in my life, I’m not dealing with a life-altering change very well. I’m tired of pain. I’m tired of inadequacy. I’m tired of feeling like less of a person. I’m just…tired. I want to be “normal” again, whatever that is. I want to bend my arm, dammit. I want it to stop hurting when I try to bend my arm. I want to be able to cook a meal, take a photo, hug my son, and make love to my husband…without pain…again.

Is that too much to ask?

I’ve got to push on. I have to go to therapy again. I have to…be normal. I have to learn to deal with this life-altering event like I have with all of the life-altering events that have come before it. I have to…be normal again.

I don’t want this to be my new normal. I do NOT want this to be my new normal. How do you cope with life-altering events? Do you roll with unfortunate changes or do you figure a way to make the change? I need strength, support, and encouragement right now, so I really welcome your advice!

Can you help to encourage me to be “normal” again?

Happy Calm Focused: A WAHM’s Best Friend

When life gets hectic, a mom has to turn to something for help. If you find yourself struggling with sleep, emotional control, or just an overall nervous feeling, I highly recommend trying Happy Calm Focused. The supply of Happy Calm Focused that I received to facilitate this post has been helping this WAHM stay more on task, stay in control of my emotions, and get a good night’s sleep.

Stay Calm with Happy, Calm, Focused

We all know life can get hectic and we all think, at least at times, that our lives are more overwhelming than others. I’m a full-time work from home mom of 6 kids from the ages of 25 down to 6, I’m married, and I manage my household. I cook daily, I drop the kids off at school, pick them up, deal with the chaos while taking calls from my grown children about whatever might be happening, good or bad, in their lives that day. I handle all of our finances and my husband works ridiculous hours and teaches school at night. All of this to say, I get overwhelmed, as we all do.

The Life of a SAHM: The Night I Lost My Shit #momlife

About a month ago, I realized that I wasn’t handling the stress as well as I used to. Basically, I lost my junk and it wasn’t pretty. I was losing my focus for work, home, just about everything, and tasks weren’t getting completed. I was losing my temper more than I care to admit, I wasn’t sleeping, and I was a nervous wreck more times than not. Diet and exercise just weren’t doing the trick anymore. That’s when I heard about Happy Calm Focused and decided to give it a try. I mean, it couldn’t hurt, right?

I was hoping for instant gratification, a miracle “cure” for what ailed me. That was a lofty and ridiculous hope and I knew it, so I wasn’t disappointed when I didn’t feel any changes immediately. After about 2 weeks, although I hadn’t noticed any real changes, I realized that I was feeling particularly rested, we were getting to school on time every day without drama, my to do list wasn’t nearly as unchecked at the end of the day as it had been, and I wasn’t flipping out over trivial things. I realized that I had been actually sleeping through most of the night for the first time in a long time, and although I was still feeling overwhelmed, I seemed to be handling things more calmly and rationally.

From that point on, I noticed subtle changes and I felt my old self coming back slowly. After a full month of taking HCF, I’m a calmer, more level headed, more productive person again. I find myself laughing more than crying or yelling, and I just feel BETTER. I still flip out from time to time, but that’s my nature since I’ve always been high strung and a true perfectionist. I will say that I haven’t changed anything else about my lifestyle. I still eat my vegetarian diet and exercise daily, and all of my tasks are still the same as they were before, so the only thing I can attribute to this change in my mood, my overall well being, is HCF.

If you find yourself struggling with sleep, emotional control, or just an overall nervous feeling, I highly recommend trying HCF. To find out more about this natural miracle “drug”, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Here’s to a calmer, happier, more focused life for both you and I!