(To access free chapters, click the underlined chapter titles)

Table of Contents:


Part 1. Affirming the Realities

Part 2. Coping with Feelings

Part 3. Managing Your World

  • 19. Rested or Not, Here Life Comes
  • 20. Quiet Times
  • 21. Housework Disaster
  • 22. Shopping
  • 23. The Big Picture
  • 24. Moral Foundations
  • 25. Squirt Some Laughter
  • 26. School Days, Worry Days
  • 27. Routine Expectations
  • 28. Getting Organized
  • 29. Navigating Failure

Part 4. Reflecting on the Journey

Bonus Section: FAQs and Tips for Family and Friends

Photo Gallery: Snapshots—Infant to Teen


Note to reader:  My hyper son, Charlie, who is featured in my book, is now grown and has a PhD… and three active children of his own.

“So then, who is Tommy?” you might be wondering. Well, you can meet the real Tommy in Chapter One—but maybe you already know a “Tommy.”

Maybe you have a Tommy, or a Tomi. Children like Tommy are everywhere.

Excerpts from the book:


Electric currents surged and bolted inside my home for years. Such incredible power! By merit of motherhood, I’d acquired the task of managing an over-the-top vivacious child. Wired!

If you live in the voltage of a super-busy child right now, you know what I’m talking about. Those same electric currents which jolted me are hitting you now. Firsthand. Unquestionably. You’ve watched friends respond in dismay, shocked. You’ve probably wondered, “Does anyone really know what it’s like to live with this charge 24/7?”

Yes! Others have lived in that surge and understand your life. I mothered a bolt of energy. Now I invite you to jump into my eyewitness account of life with a hyperactive child. Actually, you and I both know that merely reading an account about a storm can’t give the same experience as feeling a thunderous shock as lightning splits a tree. Nor can written words emulate the terror you feel when a bolt strikes your roof, igniting a fire and setting your house aflame. Likewise, these pages can barely simulate the actual stress you’re going through. Yet a written news report can serve to document the reality of the destructive storm, and a news account will help others understand the suffering endured. In the same way, Tommy’s Wired and Mommy’s Tired will validate the reality of what you are experiencing and will describe your world to family and friends who watch you stand against that onslaught of bolts.

When a child is wired, the mommy is tired. Exhausted. The please-can-I-go-to-bed-now kind of fatigue. It doesn’t really matter whether your child’s high activity level has come from a strong personality or from a neurological issue such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or whether the source of all that vigor is a psychological disorder or perhaps a medical disease. Extraordinary motion in a child stresses the mother, resulting in a weary (and often ashamed) mama…. . [Continued in the book]

Chapter One

Meet Tommy… and Charlie

Two-year-old Tommy burst into my classroom like a thrashing fire hose—powerful, out of control, and constantly on the move. With arms and legs in perpetual motion, Tommy dashed around the room. Jessica screamed when Tommy crashed her puzzle to the floor. Blake needed consoling after Tommy’s swift kick. Two teachers definitely were not enough for this powerhouse! I tried distracting wiry little Tommy with a jack-in-the-box, but his eyes darted away in seconds. I tried to hold him and comfort him, but I grasped water. He squirted out of my arms and raced away.

After three hours, I was exhausted yet amazed. An empty nester now, I had never met another child that so reminded me of my own boy, Charlie. Another teacher had registered Tommy, so I’d not met his mother. Now I couldn’t wait. I wanted to meet her, empathize with her, and say, “I understand your life.” I felt pretty sure I would meet a kind-but-exhausted lady who felt condemned by the world. Maybe a little discouraged. Maybe needing a hug.

At the end of class, she arrived. And I was right. Tommy’s mom impressed me as a very sincere, gracious young mother, but she was visibly apprehensive about what I might say about Tommy. As I reported the morning’s tempestuous events, I also told her how much I liked her son. He reminded me of my own boy. The anxious lines in her face softened as I related similarities between Charlie and Tommy. She became like a sponge soaking in my words. Someone understood! Someone cared about her without trying to give advice on how to change Tommy.

The needs of the mother of an active child are rarely addressed. With intent to help, many of your friends—and most books—focus on suggestions on how to manage the child. “Train him to obey,” asserts your brother. “Set up a star chart and reward her with a toy,” the books advise. So you attempt a zillion ideas, wanting to solve your world. But has all that advice helped your exhaustion? Probably not, because when a child’s energy is over the roof, the energy a mother exerts in behavior management is multiplied. In the same amount of time that one child might misbehave ten times, a hyperactive child can have thirty infractions or more. If the child’s mother is dedicated and deals with all the misbehaviors consistently, she has a nonstop, exhausting job. You don’t need more recommendations on how to manage your child (at least not today), but rather some help on how to manage and encourage yourself… . [Continued in the book]

Chapter Two

Life in the Cyclone

Shhhhrrrr-iii-eeee-kkkkk! Pain filled my ears, once again, at the sound of Charlie’s scream. Shrieking nonstop, my toddler sprinted from the toy box to the bay window, toppling his brother’s stack of red and green blocks along the way. Leaving my dishes at the sink, I ran to intervene before big brother John could retaliate and sock Charlie. As I raced to the rescue, I glanced at a row of bottles in the cupboard. Seeing those vitamins, I lamented, I don’t even have time to take a vitamin.

Do you find that hard to believe—that I couldn’t find time to take a vitamin pill? It’s still hard for even me to believe, though it’s totally true. And it’s even harder to describe. Have you tried describing your whirlwind called hyper? Do your friends believe you? Do they wonder if you are embellishing? You absolutely know you aren’t exaggerating, and even though you’re aware that your stories seem too far-fetched to be believable, you know they are one hundred percent… . [Continued in the book]

Free chapters below!

Chapter 4 – Broken Stuff

Chapter 9 – Every Child Has a Gift

Chapter 13 – Fearing the Worst

Chapter 27 – Routine Expectations

Chapter 33 – Charlie’s Letter to You



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Images courtesy of Elm Hill © 2020