Monday, August 6, 2012

How does it feel to have 10 kids?

I get asked that question sometimes.  It is hard to answer. Not all 10 kids are home at the same time.  Many of them (ok, a little more then half) are pretty self-sufficient.  At least I don't have to tie their shoe laces.  I am pretty good at memorizing birthdays so that is fairly straight.  My husband has me on speed dial for whenever anyone asks him any birthdate.  Hmmm, must be nice to be a man!

It is not the 10 kids that is overwhelming.  It is the effects of abuse and neglect that is difficult.  Add to that the effects that my children deal with because mom decided to do drugs or drink alcohol while pregnant.  I give the benefit of the doubt and think that the mom didn't realize the damage she was doing.  However, it does make me sick when pregnant women think that if they drink in moderation while pregnant then the baby will be fine.  Yes, well, the child is the one who has to live with the effects the rest of their lives.

Ooops, sorry, went on a tangent.  FAS makes me mad.  It is so unavoidable.  Why take the chance?

I don't feel like the parent of 10 kids daily.  Actually, I am in shock when I realize that in fact I do have that many children.  How did that happen?  However, I do feel the effects of 4 kids with ADHD.  Whew, as in really feel the effects.  Funny, I was so ignorant about ADHD as long as I didn't have a pack of kids with it.  Anthony has long been medicated for his ADHD.  If I ever forget his medication then his teacher lets me know....typically by phone at 8:30 am.  He can not function without his meds. 

This last year Larissa was struggling with reading.  Her teacher told me that she could not concentrate in class.  After testing and medication she started to do well in school.  My concern that she may have a LD were wrong.  Add seizure medication and anxiety medication....ugh.

Typically I don't medicate for ADHD on weekends or over the summer.  However, enter into our lives two little ones.  Recent evaluations show that both are ADHD.  As a matter of fact, Michelle should be well above average in school and is not performing there.  Two more kids on ADHD medications.

All these medication bottles are driving me crazy.  I feel like I run a pharmacy in my home.  At one time I was so against medicating kids until I saw what it did for them if they did not have it.  I have seen the benefits for the child both academically and behaviorally. 

We pretty much concluded that we could not take the kids off their meds over the summer.  They were driving us and themselves crazy.  They could not be creative, they were too busy tearing up the house and fighting.  I have tried not giving the ADHD medications but it has always turned out to be a bad idea.

Without their medications, all 4 of the kids would not be able to sit together at their craft table creating masterpieces with little cardboard pieces while sharing one set of water colors.  It simply would not be possible.

We are still dealing with issues.  We still have moments of insanity.  However, we now have more moments of normal family activity.  More moments of typical child play.  More opportunities to bond and establish relationships.


  1. Jasmine is on her meds over the summer too. We've missed a few days and she doesn't go crazy or anything but it's harder for her to enjoy things because she can't focus as well. But she doesn't get out of control. She's on a 20mg daytrana patch and 5 mg focalin to jump start it.

  2. Oh my, can I relate to this! Whitney has been on ADHD meds for 2 years, and I don't know how we ever survived without. She had to be off it for the summer because her growth had completely stopped. She grew a ton over the summer, but it was a challenging few months for her...and the rest of us. She will start back up again on Wednesday and she is counting down.