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At Home with ADHD
MAY IS FOR MOTHERS
By: Lannette Guerra | May 4, 2022
This month I’d like to place aside the label and focus of ADHD/ADD and dedicate this article to all humans who nurture and to the mothers who’ve experienced loss. The Crier itself is produced by a group of very impressive and hard-working mothers. Because of this, I have first-hand knowledge of the sacred power, sacrifice and skills that are carried within the label “mother.” I also know something else...
You are all probably exhausted!
Yes, mothers of all types are constantly exhausted. They might keep it under wraps and hush-hush, but underneath their cloak of superhuman strength and patience there is an exhausted female. And that exhausted female may just want to lock the bathroom door and secretly drink a glass of wine, binge Netflix and eat Oreos.
Sometimes women, and humans in general, take on way too much. In the pursuit of protecting, nurturing, guiding and listening to those we love, we may go overboard.
An example of the extra weight we tend to carry is represented in the picture above. I traveled to help one of my best friends set up her mother's ceremony (an alternative to hosting a baby shower). It took place in a yoga studio. The instructor told us, “those who wish to show their support (for the mother-to-be) can wear this blanket around your belly.” At the time, I was unknowingly pregnant with twins. My body knew, yet I ignored it. It kept telling me to slow down and rest, but what did I do? I wore a blanket of extra weight. Today I look back at that moment and think how representative it is of what many mothers do on a daily basis. They stoically carry the excess weight and hide the aches and pains from those they nurture. To those women, I see you, I feel you, and I get it. The “can’t stop, won't stop” mentality can get the best of us.
Another example of the extra weight a woman may carry is that of loss. To those who have lost, a big warm hug to you. I have first-hand knowledge from my own experience as well as from friends. I know how difficult it can be. I did not end up carrying my twin pregnancy to term. I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks, and at the time I didn’t recognize the psychological implications. In the past, as I witnessed friends go through it, I felt their pain and mourned with them. But when it happened to me, I pushed the pain into the deep pockets of my warrior shell. I marked it as one more thing on my list of life experiences to move on and heal from. I was in such a state of denial that on the day I had my D&C, I hopped on a plane five hours later—determined to not allow what had happened to ruin my daughter's Disney vacation.
As the months progressed, I knew something was deeply wrong. I thought that it was dissatisfaction at work, so I made an impulsive decision to quit my job and reboot myself. I went to help two extraordinary ladies start their firm, but even there, I wasn’t the productive, helpful person I knew I could be. I wasn’t as focused and intentional as I wanted to be in my goals of helping them grow and land unique projects. Instead, the only thing I landed on was my bed. The pandemic hit, work stopped, and I tried to fill the void with innovative ways in the interim.
In hindsight, 2020 was the beginning of my crash and working under my shadow self. Through therapy, reading and trauma class, I learned that experiences such as those are referred to as trauma with a “little t.” If there are enough “little t’s” in a person’s life, they can add up to a “big T” and Complex PTSD (CPTSD).
When a person experiences multiple miscarriages or is faced with the inability to become a mother, this can be a “little t.” Add that to the array of other human experiences—natural disasters, job loss, a global pandemic, a health diagnosis, abuse, exposure to a traumatic event, etc.—and boom! Depression, anxiety, CPTSD, PTSD can result.
Sounds fun, right? No. As a mother, I can tell you one thing, we don’t have time for drama, slacking, or lying in bed all day. We don’t have time to be sad, stagnant, or lost, because our children, the ones that look up to us, are growing fast. If we blink, we might miss something. We have to pack lunches and teach them how to pack lunches, tie shoelaces and teach them the bunny ears shoelace hack, read bedtime stories and teach them to read, give them hugs and teach them how to love. We cannot fall into the abyss.
Thus, the added weight doesn’t stop, and rest is left as the last thing on your to do list. This, again, is why mothers sometimes look completely depleted. In the shadow of their kids’ perfect bento boxes, brushed hair and clean clothes, a woman is making great sacrifices to give her children the stability to make them healthy humans. And that woman might also be working a full-time job, handling family dynamics and neglecting her own medical needs.
If this sounds at all like you or your experience, I hope you know that behind you is a tribe of other mothers who have walked in your shoes and have your back.
If we see you standing on the sidewalk in frustration after your toddler has just thrown his brand-new helmet on the ground, rest assured your sister in motherhood will take the time to call from her car window, “Hey mom, you got this! You are doing great, you’re not alone. Deep breaths. Dark days are followed by the counterbalance of spring.”
Happy Mother’s Day to all the warrior ladies out there. I know you are tired. May you take time this month to enjoy some much-needed rest. May you find ways to pause and say “no” to the unnecessary weight. May you thrive, laugh and make your children proud of having such a rockstar super-mom as yourself. You’ve got this!
Lannette Guerra has a decade of experience working for large and small high-end residential firms, throughout Northern California. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture, a Bachelor of Arts, and is a LEED accredited professional. Before moving to California, she spent 4 years as an Exhibit Designer in Kansas City, MO.
She resides and virtually works for her current employer, from her home in San Rafael, CA. When she is not hyperfocused on work she enjoys hikes in the Marin headlands and couch cuddles with her family and furry friend. She is currently staying away from engaging in any new hobbies except for being a mentor & advocate of mental and physical well-being.
She is also a strong believer that the only way to build yourself to personal fulfillment and reach your true potential is to quiet the mind, eliminate distraction, and listen to what your heart has been telling you all along. Only then will you be able to see your authentic self reflected within your home, your soul, and in the workplace.
More from this issue:
Book Picks: Mother's Day Read >>
Community Heroes: Postpartum Support Center Read >>
May is for Mothers Read >>
Mindfulness in the Making: May We Be Mindful and Listen Read >>
Mother is the Teacher Read >>
Reach a Little Higher Read >>
Share the Bounty Read >>
SMMCpreneur: Ellie Dominguez of Ellie's Essential Blends Read >>
Something Good Read >>