Summer is over, we're settling into our school routine, and I'm buckling down in all aspects of life. I enjoy the lack of routine in the summer, and being a little more carefree about things (things like, um, not cleaning the house for 3 weeks because we're too busy beaching and day-tripping).
But there's definitely a part of me that welcomes a return to regular schedules and knowing exactly what each day is going to bring. And as we get back to that schedule, and we deal with this transitional time, it's become abundantly clear to me that all summer, we were just muddling through with Gabe, and now that we need to expect a little more of him (homework, getting up and getting ready for school, doing more regular chores), things aren't going particularly well.
I'm in no way blaming him. He has ADHD, and he struggles. He struggles greatly sometimes. And he's aware of the fact that he's struggling, and there are a lot of times where he'll even comment on how his brain is making him crazy, or how he hates that he can't remember what he's supposed to be doing or how he's supposed to be acting.
I'm not excusing bad behavior in any way, and there are things he does that are just him being a pain in the butt, like any kid is from time to time.
More often than not, though, it's truly not his fault. His brain works differently, and there's no getting around that.
But no matter how much you remind yourself that it's not him intentionally trying to cause trouble, when things are getting hairy and chaotic and three very loud, increasingly excited boys are all losing it at the same time, it's all too easy to react without thinking rationally - which never ends well, since my overreactions lead to their overreactions, leading to the entire situation spiraling into ugliness.
I'm just not happy at all with the relationship Gabe and I have right now. I feel like all the time I spend with him is spent nagging or correcting behavior or yelling. It's frustrating, it's exhausting, and there are days I'm just so emotionally spent, I have nothing left for anyone else in the family - which isn't fair to Gabe, or to Carmine or Dante or Scott.