Meet The Mama

This is real life, y’all; the good, the bad, and the crazy.

The Mama On The Rocks was created after our little family had endured nearly three years of hardship raising an explosive child. Feeling the paralyzing fear and crippling isolation that accompanies parenting our types of children lead me to grow tired of hiding. We exhausted ourselvesĀ making excuses to skip out on events, parties, and even church because our “strong-willed child” might choose to give a full-blown illustration of just how explosive he was.

So I began being honest–embarrassingly, humiliatingly transparent. You know what happened? I suddenly wasn’t alone anymore. There are a lot of us! Mamas, daddies, grannies, and aunts just struggling to hang on by the last thread of dignity we have while making what seems like a feeble attempt to raise a child who is–if we are being totally sincere–REALLY hard to like most days.

From this stark realization, I made a year-long prayerful decision to come public with our trials raising our incredible, brilliant, hilarious [and also loud, mean, hurtful, explosive, and manipulative] boy. To date, our son Briggs, has been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-combined; severe), ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), 2E (Twice Exceptional-meaning he is gifted academically but also has a social diagnosis), Sleep Disorder (he has night terrors almost every night), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Before medicating our son, we tried positive reinforcement, consequences, time outs, time ins, reward charts, prize boxes, aversion therapy, play therapy, talk therapy, chiropractic care, 60-day elimination diets, essential oils, and I’m sure much more that I cannot remember right now. Since giving in to medication, our son’s behaviors have become manageable. He is able to focus in school and he is testing at a 3rd-grade reading and 2nd-grade math level. He is a kindergartner.

While I have no formal counseling degrees, I am a teacher, former boys’ group home manager, and have over 15-year experience working with children with disabilities and at-risk youth. Collectively, my husband and I have worked with the at-risk youth population for almost 30 years and it is a group of kids that we are grateful to serve. We have a passion to meet kids where they are, set expectations for them, and show them that they can achieve and exceed those goals. But let me remind you, we can go home from work.

Raising a child who struggles with these invisible disabilities can sometimes feel like our personal prison. It is something from which we cannot escape. We feel called to be painfully honest with you because in our hurt there is healing. We need each other and we need to know that we are not in this alone.

So, yes, our lives are chaotic, crazy, and nothing short of entertaining. Sit back, buckle up, and pour some coffee because, by the end of all of this, we’re going to be great friends!

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