Netflix released a new series this week called the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. My husband and I have been watching it non-stop this weekend, and we ADORE the show. The characters and the writing are all great, and it’s so hilarious. It’s about a girl who was kidnapped in the 8th grade and forced to live in a bunker with 3 other women, who were all told the world had ended in an apocalypse. She was rescued 15 years later. She decides to move to New York and start a new life. It’s created by Tina Fey, and you can definitely tell. Tina Fey is a genius.
The show got me thinking about my own unbreakable moments, and one really stands out for me.
My daughter has ADHD. We actually haven’t ever had her officially tested or anything, but we definitely know she has it. A couple of years ago we took her to a counselor because she was always just so emotional. We wanted to give her tools to handle her emotions instead of breaking down crying all the time. Within about the first 5 minutes of our first counseling appointment the counselor says “and how are you managing the ADHD?” My husband and I were like “whaaaaa?????” And suddenly my whole world made sense. She said it so matter of factly, after meeting my daughter for just a few minutes. Like, duh, this is exactly what your daughter is dealing with. A light bulb finally went off, and we found we were about to have to change our entire lifestyle.
I really should have picked up on it so much sooner. When she was a baby, I went to a play group at my church. All the other babies were content just sitting there and playing with toys or on instruments right next to their moms. Not my kid. She was off and crawling every which way. She would not stay still! We ended up wandering the halls, with me calling my sister, crying, telling her what a horrible mother I must be since my kid won’t just sit still like everyone else’s!
Once she started school the problems didn’t stop either. She was constantly being put in the “naughty chair” and had behavior problems multiple times a week. Now that we were armed with the knowledge that she had ADHD though, we were able to do something about it. Since my sister has a healthy kids blog I turned to her for some advice on what we could do to help our daughter. She told us that people have found success cutting out food dyes and other preservatives. I told my daughter about it, and she was ready to try ANYTHING to help her be able to focus and stop getting into trouble all the time.
We went through the cupboards and got rid of anything with dyes and the other things on this list. There is a surprising amount of foods with these ingredients. Even Pillsbury crescent rolls and WHITE marshmallows have dyes! It was a difficult process to change our entire family’s diet. Sometimes I just want to eat some Lucky Charms… ya know? We changed our weekly pizza ordering night, to a pizza making night, and make pizza from scratch every Friday. We have to check the labels on everything as it gets added to our shopping cart. No one is more vigilant about this than my daughter. I never told the school or really anyone else about this, but my daughter is extremely strict about it. I would get text messages from room moms asking what they should bring for my daughter to participate in the upcoming party, shocked that they would know anything about it!
We also did a couple other things to help. The counselor said that carbs can definitely increase hyperactivity levels, and so we eliminated carbs for breakfast (before school, she is allowed to have them for breakfast on the weekend). Which means I get to make bacon and eggs, for breakfast every morning before school. We also signed her up for swim team to help get some of that extra energy out. She is in swim practice for an hour a day every day, which has also helped.
It’s been a difficult journey, and as someone who HATES to cook, it’s been an extremely difficult challenge for me (especially since I also work full time). It’s been worth it though. Her behavior has improved about a million percent, and RARELY has any behavior problems now! Her emotions have been much better as well, as she can focus better, and understand what is going on a bit better.
So, here’s what I want someone to make… and app where I can scan a product and it just gives me a big red x or a big green check mark telling me that it’s safe for my daughter to consume. It would make my grocery shopping SO MUCH FASTER. So…. world…. get on that please and thank you!
Don’t forget to check out the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and go out and be unbreakable yourself!
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