Saturday, November 7, 2009

Noise Annoys

Being a parent is hard. People are always asking me how hard it is to raise a large family.I don't think it's all that different than raising three kids. Once the kids outnumber the adults, it's really more about crowd control. It's not harder, just noisier.

You really learn to tune things out, which is sometimes not always a good thing. You get used to a certain level of noise and when it gets quite, you know something is wrong. We visited friends this summer who have two autistic boys. There were 12 kids in the house between our two families. Needless to say, their autistic boy became overstimulated very quickly. He literally ran circles around the kitchen table flapping his arms. None of the adults paid it any mind. It was really no big deal. He wasn't hurting anything. Compared to the excited girlie shrieks, it wasn't even all that annoying. He was just there, doing his thing.

My kid on the spectrum, however, deals with things differently. He goes off in to his own little world by delving in to the computer. He's learned to tune out everything that is too much for him by hyperfocusing. And, like when mama and daddy tune things out, it's not always a good thing.

We've used the computer and TV as a reward for good behavior. The children get an allotment each day and if they go above and beyond, they can earn more time. Conversely, if they break the rules, they lose their TV and computer time. This has always been the rule at our house. Unfortunately, with so many people in the house, the TV seems like it's always on because it's always someone's turn. The noise level goes up! up! up!

And remember, this mama has ADD and my sensory trigger is noise. This creates an unhappy mama. This then creates a downward spiral of mama's mood as the day goes on. By bedtime mama is ready to pull her hair out. I end up staying up way too late just because it's quiet. On a good night, I'll turn in around midnight. On a bad night, I'll get sucked into the last night when I watched that woman give birth on a webcam.

I get up with the kids and usher everyone off to school. By this point, I'm completely exhausted and left to deal with homeschooling the oldest, parenting the terrorist 3 year old and the 7 month old. As the day goes on my mood sours because I'm tired! DUH! How many tantrums have you seen your toddlers throw because they are overly tired?

So now we're trying to work out some sort of balance. How can mama get the quiet she needs? How can the kids be allowed to be kids? How can mama get some sleep?

The biggest change for us is going to come from dropping the homeschooling. The boy is going back to public school. I'll blog on that more later. Long story short: We had a learning contract and he's in non-compliance. Sometimes following through with consequences means doing things you'd rather not do.

The bright side, is now I get to not only finish weaning my 3 yr old from me (she's not even really nursing, she just asks and pretends) we get to wean her from TV! I think this may even prove more painful LOL But the noise level in the house should go down and I'm really hoping that simple change will make for a happier mama. And maybe less TV will result in a happier 3 year old!


  1. I love the name of your blog! My oldest has ADD and it is the source of many funny things happening around the house! I have a solution for a couple of hours of quiet...Return the homeschooler to school, two-morning-a week pre-school for the 3year old and Starbucks with the computer for Mom! Quiet and caffeine....WOOHOO! I'll be reading more!

  2. the homeschooled kid is going back in a few weeks. Long story. Blog post coming LOL


Thanks and have a great day!