Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Momma, aka Mom, Mommy, occasionally “bro,” and legally, Vanessa. I affectionately refer to myself as the “hot mess express” due to the chaotic nature of my life and my love of sarcasm.
I like to think I wasn’t always this way. My three children, Rhys (2013), Aija (2016), and Maks (2019), along with our two puppies, Gracie, a lab mix, and Penny, a pit bull mix, keep me on my toes. Originally from Buffalo, NY, I met my husband while teaching new educators in the Bronx. We’ve gradually moved further north, settling in Newtown a year ago.
While I’ve always been proud of my organizational skills, being the pre-frontal cortex (aka brain) for four other people in my house is exhausting.
My oldest son and daughter were diagnosed with ADHD, and my husband was recently diagnosed. As a special education administrator, I spend the majority of my time working with children with ADHD, helping neurotypical people understand how ADHD brains work, and advocating for our neurodiverse population both at school and at home. My husband and I have attended parenting classes and worked with a DBT specialist to provide a supportive, structured household. There are many challenges I’ve had to overcome, including “resetting” after a stressful day. After being with students at school, I need to reset before entering my boisterous house, which demands all my energy.
The most frustrating aspect of parenting neurodiverse children is walking the fine line between validating their experience and helping others be more understanding and inclusive. I must guide my children to fit into a society that assumes everyone is neurotypical.
This has gotten harder over the past few years, given society’s lack of patience and grace for others. I’ve learned from my experience thus far how important it is to give ourselves and others grace. Assume the best intentions and approach conflicts by seeking to understand rather than judge.
Laughing at myself also helps because I’m doing my best with what I have, and that’s all I can do.
While my days of discovering spit-up on my clothes during a meeting are gone, I might forget why I walked into a room or searched for my phone for ten minutes before realizing I’m holding it. I’m far from perfect, and I’m totally okay with that! I’m excited to be a new contributor with Fairfield County Mom and share a peek into my chaotic life with all of you in solidarity.
We need to hang – in between our collective chaos, sports games and taxi driving. I’d be willing to cheer on the Buffalo Bills if you will let my sarcasm live on! And, my husband misses yours. Best of luck with FairfieldCountyMom!!
We absolutely do! Fire pits and pools this summer? 😉