Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Easy to Love but Hard to Raise

I was fortunate to receive an early copy of the book Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories from the editors Kay Marner and Adrienne Ehlert Bashista. I was looking forward to some free time where I could start reading it, but jumped in sooner than expected after a particularly bad day with my boys.

It was the last week of summer and I made the bad decision of taking all 3 of my boys to the optometrist to get my oldest a pair of new glasses. What was suppose to be a short stop turned into a long period of waiting, which meant I was constantly managing my boys unruly behavior in front of a crowd of annoyed adults who gave me the stink-eye every few minutes. At one point, I turned away from the employee who was assisting me to see all 3 of my boys on the ground fighting with one another. My attempt to resolve the situation only irritated the employee who didn’t have time for such nonsense. By the time I got home I was crushed, feeling sorry for myself that things had to be so difficult.

Then I noticed, sitting at my desk, the book, Easy to Love but Hard to Raise. My first instinct was to laugh, I thought, hmm... how appropriate! Then I curled up and licked my mommy wounds as I read the true stories inside. Page after page, I started to feel better, knowing that I’m not alone and that there were other moms just like me who could relate to this miserable feeling I had inside.

Over the next week I continued to read the book. There were stories of children with ADHD, some with OCD, some with bipolar disorder and the list went on. Every story left me feeling encouraged, kinda like a support group in a book! There’s something healing in reading words that you thought you alone experienced. Here’s a few examples from the book that struck a chord with me:

“Although I loved mine no less, I found that I did not enjoy my child as much as most mothers seemed to enjoy their children.” (Delayne Ryms)
“The simple fact that our homes, the places where we should be most relaxed and off-guard, are a place we can never relax, is a huge stressor.” (Adrienne Ehlert)
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying... I will try again tomorrow.” (Renee Perrone)

Not only does the book present the raw, hurting words of mothers and fathers trying to raise children with special needs, it also provides educational information through interviews at the end of each chapter, as well as stories of success using certain therapies or medications. I found myself intrigued with one family who shared their journey with OCD, something that I’m starting to see in my youngest. It was an eye opener that their early mistakes were exactly what I was doing to help my son today. It definitely gave me something to think about and discuss with our therapist.

This book is not a book of complaints, it’s obvious that these kids are loved by incredible families who are doing everything they can to help their children thrive. They are passionate, hopeful and inspiring individuals who have the courage to share their journeys with us.

If you’re a parent that feels isolated by their child’s disorder and frustrated that no one understands what you’re going through. Or if you’re tired of reading books by doctors who aren’t raising your children and are looking for something you can more closely relate to, I highly recommend this book!

Here is where you can find it:

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