Walk a Mile in My Issues

Tales from the "Challenging" Side of Parenting


Walk a Mile in My Issues


You know that list of “Children’s Book Titles You’ll Never See?”

Well, here are some of our first thoughts on what we should call this blog:

“My Kid Did What?”

“Oh …. You’re Jimmy’s Mom ……………. “

“Why Jimmy Can Read, But Refuses To”

“Why Jimmy Can’t Spell … and Couldn’t Care Less”

“How to Deal with School Refusal — Wine, Xanax and … Oh wait, you meant the kids?”

“Homework is Two Four-Letter Words … and They Don’t Start with ‘H’ and ‘W'”

“Why Jimmy’s Teacher Takes a Lot of Vacations (and Why Jimmy’s Parents Can’t)”

“When You Grow Up, You’re Paying for my Face Lift and Hair Dye”

“I Just Keyed that ‘Mother of an Honor Roll Student’s’ Car! – Tales from the Dark Side of Parenting”

“If I Ever Tried Homeschooling, There Would Be Nothing Left But Claws and Fluff”

“‘Gee, I Never Thought of That’ – Responses to ‘Helpful’ Parenting-Kids-with-Issues Advice (from People Who Haven’t Been There)  That You Have Already Tried a Million Times, But Thanks Anyway…”

“I’d Love To, But I Have to Pick Jimmy Up at the Police Station”

“Jimmy Who?”

But then we thought of what message we are really trying to promote. And who we are trying to reach.

This website is for the mom who understands every one of these fake titles above, and who may be laughing through her tears.

Yes, it’s hard … harder than anyone else can imagine unless they’ve been through it. Yes, you want to pull your hair out. Yes, you see the future telescoping out in front of you like the hallway in Poltergeist, and you think it will never get better. And yes, you will feel judged, you will feel alone, you will feel like a crappy parent, and you may even feel hopeless.

Guess what, though – we have been through it and are here to report from the other side! We may need Botox and Clairol more than the rest of the general population … or at least a lot sooner … but our “kids with issues” are now young adults, and they are awesome. And we realize that we have been pretty awesome moms, too.

THAT is the message we want to get out to other women who may be weeping at their kitchen table, or hurting from comments, criticism and judgments by people who have absolutely no idea, or gathering up the courage to walk into a school meeting for the seemingly one-millionth time, like we were.

This is hard – but it’s worth it. We may not have gotten the message very often along the way, but we did a great job, and so did all the “Jimmy’s.” (As hard as it is for us, it is a hundred times harder for them.) And the result? Our kids, and those of the people we’ve interviewed (we are all “Jimmy’s mom!”), are fantastic, unique and amazing young adults … not despite their “issues”, but because of them. Not that there aren’t still a few bumps in the road …. but hey, that’s what keeps life interesting, right? ( * sigh * ) We all have challenges – and issues – to face.

But trust us – you’ll never get through it without three things that can be harder to find than a completed homework that needs to be turned in tomorrow morning: support, perspective, and a huge amount of humor. And that is exactly why we are writing this blog.

And by the way, this is not just for moms; it’s for dads, too …. and actually, we will be including many perspectives, including moms, dads, siblings, teachers, etc. … as well as some absolutely fantastic grown-up “Jimmy’s”.

So stay tuned, and join us as we walk a mile in these issues.

Martha and Ruth

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Just took this adult ADHD test……and guess what!



1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?

Very Often…… YEAH, THIS ONE


How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization?

Very Often…….. BINGO

3. How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?

Very Often

4. When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started?

Very Often…….just ask Ruth

5. How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or feet when you have to sit down for a long time?

Very Often…..cannot pay attention unless I’m drawing, knitting or chewing gum….


6. How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?

Often…….but, I LOVE hyper focus!
Very Often

About Scoring this Psychological Questionnaire


Questions 1 to 3: 1 point for “Sometimes”, “Often”, or “Very Often”
Questions 4 to 6: 1 point for “Often” or “Very Often”(got totally confused at this part)

6 Questions: Answering 4 or more questions with the answers indicated above suggests symptoms highly consistent with ADHD in adults, and further investigation is warranted.

Further investigation is definitely warranted!





If you suspect that you, or a loved one might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, complete the
following self-test by clicking the “yes or “no” boxes next to each question. If you or a loved one has
experienced trauma and has answered “yes” to some of these questions, discuss them with your doctor.


Yes/ No Have you, or a loved one experienced or witnessed an event that caused intense fear, helplessness or horror? (yes, in, around, before and after school)


Do you, or a loved one re-experience the event in at least one of the following ways?

Yes/ No  Repeated, distressing memories and/or dreams? (well….I have this dream where it’s drop off and nobody gets out of the car and I drive in circles around and around the school and it’s drop off and nobody gets out of the car and I drive around and around the school and it’s drop off……..)

Yes/ No  Acting or feeling as if the event were happening again (flashbacks or
a sense of reliving it)? ( he will get the homework  in on time…..he won’t be inappropriate….he won’t pants anyone again)

Yes /No Intense physical and/or emotional distress when you are exposed to things that remind you of the event. (like the sound of my phone?) 

Do you, or a loved one avoid reminders of the event and feel numb, compared to the way you felt before, in three or more of the following ways: (does sitting in the same spot staring at the same wall for long periods of time count?)


Yes/ No Avoiding thoughts, feelings, or conversations about it? (What? Look over there! What do you think about avocados?  Did you watch The Housewives last night?)

Yes/ No Avoiding activities, places, or people who remind you of it? (You mean in the town I live in?)

Yes/ No Blanking on important parts of it? (huh?)

Yes/ No Losing interest in significant activities of your life? (like going out?)

Yes/ No Feeling detached from other people? (friends? what friends?)

Yes/ No Feeling your range of emotions is restricted? (not sure.  I can only hear the white noise in my head)

Yes /No Sensing that your future has shrunk (for example, you don’t expect to
have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)? (OH BOY!  THAT’S FOR SURE!)

Are you, or a loved one troubled by two or more of the following:

Yes/ No Problems sleeping? (sleep?)

Yes/ No Irritability or outbursts of anger? (only during homework and getting out the door)

Yes/ No Problems concentrating? (I’m sorry…..what was the question?)

Yes/ No Feeling “on guard”? (ummmm…..like in the principal’s office?) 

Yes /No An exaggerated startled response? (only when I wake up in the morning)

Having more than one illness at the same time can make it difficult to diagnose and treat the different
conditions. Illnesses that sometimes complicate an anxiety disorder include depression and substance
abuse. With this in mind, please take a minute to answer the following questions:

Yes/ No Have you experienced changes in sleeping or eating habits? (like napping with snacks?)

More days than not, do you feel:

Yes/ No Sad or depressed? (only in the morning after I have my startled response)

Yes/ No Disinterested in life? (No way!  THIS is livin’ Baby)

Yes/ No Worthless or guilty? (isn’t that called being a mother?)

During the last year, has the use of alcohol or drugs: (does chardonnay count?)

Yes /No Resulted in your failure to fulfill responsibilities with work, school, or
family? (can I answer this later?  I have to grab ice cream, sit on the couch and watch Bravo)


Yes/ No Gotten you arrested? (not yet)

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I Must Get This Book!

Watch the interview below with David Mitchell, who has translated a book by a 13-year-old Japanese boy with autism! WOW!!!!! I must get this!

It’s called “The Reason I Jump – The Inner Voice of a Thirteen Year Old Boy with Autism” by Naoki Higashida.


Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas) is the parent of a child with autism, and his wife is Japanese. When they came across this book, they started to translate it for their son … and then realized it needed to be shared with the world. When you watch this interview, you will see why.

It’s not that they’re broken … it’s that their means of communicating what’s going on in their mind, that is broken. And with luck, you can work on that, and help them. (Mitchell)

The most heartbreaking parts to read were the parts where this child is very aware of the stress that the condition is causing on his caregivers and on his parents and other people, and his low self worth based on not being able to control these things that he knows you want him to control. (Stewart)

That last sentence stopped me in my tracks. “And “heartbreaking” could not describe it better.


And here is Part 2.

I’m planning to get the book on Friday. Let me know if you’ve read it, and I would love to hear your comments!



First grade.  First report card. You’re 6 years old and you get pretty much straight “F’s.”  It’s weird.  You seem to know a lot of what’s NOT important for first graders.  You can pretty much name every dinosaur, the era that it lived in, its size and weight and whether it was a carnivore or an herbivore.   But,  apparently that’s not good because you can’t hold a pencil and you find letters and numbers confusing and boring and no amount of Oreo’s promised by your mother is going to make you learn them.


School had such a good rap and you thought it was going to be fun.  Everyone talked it up like it was awesome.  But you don’t like it and you find it chaotic and tedious all at once.  The school day feels ridiculously long especially lunch.  You never eat because the little boy who sits next to you always brings yogurt that grosses you out and you have a very strong gag reflex.

Your mother now arrives with food at the end of the school day and because you are so hungry you act out.  You either cry for no reason or you are mean to your little brother or you hyper focus on the one boy you really really want a playdate with only to see he has a playdate with another little boy.

You get home and upon reviewing your report card your mother flies into a rage at how stupid it is and then back peddles and tells you how much she loves you and that you are her best boy and you are smart.   You now feel like you have to make your mother feel “ok” but all you really want to do is watch T.V. and play with your Jurrassic Park action figures.

The next morning your mother is in a “mood.”  Your dad is away in Japan and it is “opposite” time there.  You really miss him a lot but it also means your mom is so tired she lets everybody sleep in her bed.

Your mom keeps forcing breakfast and acts way too cheery and positive.  You don’t like it.  It’s annoying so you take your little brother’s stuffed animal and make him cry.

The annoying kid from next door shows up because your mom drives him to school every day.  The kid is obviously really into report cards and the letters on them because he goes on and on about the letter A.  You don’t even know what it looks like and you don’t really care.  You find the garbage truck in front of your mom’s car far more interesting and you wonder what it would be like to ride on the back like the garbage men do.


As the kid keeps yapping about “A’s” you notice your mom is getting annoyed and keeps trying to change the subject.


You get to school and as usual you don’t want to go but, your mom seems kind of crazy.  Even though she is in her pajamas she heads to the principal’s office with your little brother on her hip.  She looks sweaty and mad.

Another long day in first grade goes by.  When your mom picks you up your little brother isn’t with her.  He is with your Grandma.  You two go to Starbucks and it is there that your mom tells you that “F” stands for Fantastic.



Top 7 Responses to the Stupid Things People Say to Moms of Kids with Issues

Ahhh, those wonderful and “well-meaning” people who always have something to say about our “issues kids” and our parenting.

We first wrote about them in our Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions post, but they really need no introduction.

We have come up with a long, long, loooooooong list of the stupid things people say to us as moms of kids with issues. But today, rather than focusing on the comments and questions, we’re going to concentrate on the responses to them.

Sometimes you just stand there, blinking and silent, like Dora the Explorer. You’re too stunned to even answer.

And sometimes … you just have to say something.

So, without further ado …. here are ….

Martha and Ruth’s Top 7 Responses to the Stupid Things People Say to Moms of Kids with Issues

#1 -

batman meme


house meme


gee i'd love meme


dos equis meme


Set limits meme


baby meme



What are your favorite responses? Or what do you wish you would have said?



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