Irritability Isn't Just for Kids

April 7, 2011 Angela McClanahan

Let's talk about irritability.

Our children suffer irritability because of their psychiatric conditions. But I'm not talking about their irritability--I'm talking about mine.

Lately, I've been really, really irritable. I'm sure part of this is "spring fever," work stress, the usual suspects. But the greatest part of it comes from dealing with Bob, his bipolar disorder and ADHD, and the problems he experiences as a resugrumpylt.

I had a comment recently blasting me for daring to complain about my child. How dare I be angry, when his issues are so clearly beyond his control? How dare I go on a public forum and whine ?

How dare I, indeed.

It is hell to live with psychiatric illness. It's also hell to live with someonone who has psychiatric illness. And it's really Hell to raise children with special needs--particularly when those special needs aren't taken into consideration by most of the world.

I invite anyone who wants to accuse me of "whining" to come on over and trade places for a week. Just a week. Step into my shoes and see how you do. Come work my high-stress job while fielding phone calls and emails from school about how Bob ignored his teacher's direction to wait and use the restroom after Johnny, left class, went to the restroom and shoved Johnny into a stall. Try giving Bob a calm, reasonable explanation why (1) it's not okay to leave class without permission and (2) it's not okay to shove Johnny. Become a broken record while he seethes and snarls and glares at you. Invent an appropriate consequence that won't ultimately be more punishment for you . Enjoy a family dinner while Bob makes snide comments about everything anyone else says. Try to ignore him. Engage him in homework while he growls and throws things. Grin and bear the attention-seeking behavior between dinner and bedtime, and then all the rituals he has just to go to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. grumpy2

After a week or so, let me know if you still think I'm not entitled to whine now and again.

I take my responsibility as a parent very seriously. I love both my boys and want only the best for them. But sometimes they wear me out. Sometimes they piss me off. And I'm not about to pretend otherwise. If I only posted about how life is all starshine and Rainbow Brite, I'd be doing a serious disservice to the other parents in my position, making them wonder--what is she doing that I'm not? If she's got it so under control, what am I doing wrong? They get enough of that from everyone else.

That said, there are good times. There are happy days, weeks, sometimes even months. And we revel in those. We don't always whine, sometimes we actually brag. Believe me, if Bob gets through a week without visiting the principal, I shout it from the mountaintop.

But this week, I'm irritable. It's my prerogative.

APA Reference
McClanahan, A. (2011, April 7). Irritability Isn't Just for Kids, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 17 from

Author: Angela McClanahan

April, 11 2011 at 3:38 pm

Angela, anyone who's lived with for a lengthy period of time or raised a child with 'issues' will totally understand. Those who haven't don't deserve to comment negatively!

April Gear
April, 10 2011 at 8:34 pm

Amen! Sometimes venting is good for the soul. Otherwise you might implode!

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