Guest Blogs

No ADHD Respite for Me

My plans for a long weekend of respite from my daughter with ADHD have been dashed — time to flip the switch back to ‘on.’

I was really psyched up for the long Labor Day weekend. As I said in an earlier parenting ADHD children blog post, I’d been feeling even more overwhelmed than usual, and had made a plan to deal with it. A key component of the plan was to take a break from the constant chaos, vigilance, patience, noise, activity, sleep deprivation, and neediness of parenting Natalie, with her ADHD. I’d told Don that I REALLY needed a break, and he’d agreed to take the kids and visit his parents for the weekend, while I stayed home alone. They’d leave Friday evening, and return Sunday in time for dinner at my brother and sister-in-law’s house on Sunday.

I imagined sleeping in, taking long walks, and working leisurely on a book review assignment for Adoptive Families magazine. Maybe I’d even move all of my writing stuff into my gorgeous new office center, which was delivered several weeks ago, and still sits empty. In therapy speak, I’d “refill my bucket”, and be ready, willing, and better able to parent Natalie when she returned.

Friday afternoon, I was at work, when I noticed my cell phone beeping. There was a message from Don. “Give me a call when you have a chance,” he says. “There’s been a change in plans.”

His dad was sick.

They weren’t going.

I felt tears fill my eyes. Instead of getting a break, I was facing a long weekend of being “on.” I’d pick Natalie up from daycare in a couple of hours; handle the difficult time between 5:00 and 6:30 alone. I’d have to make supper. And how was I ever going to read three books and write a review with Nat there?

This particular disappointment felt familiar. Nat coming down with a fever on Friday when a respite weekend was planned. Snow storms three weekends in a row when the kids were supposed to go to Grandma’s. I have been here before.

I took a deep breath and readjusted my frame of mind. It’s still a long weekend. I’ll get a break from my usual 10 hour work day on Monday. It’ll be great to see Kari and Tim and other relatives at Neal and Teresa’s house Sunday night. Think positively. I love my kids. I’ll be okay.

Don’s dad ended up at the emergency room Friday night. Pneumonia? Maybe a virus? He’s better now, thankfully. Don and the kids rescheduled their visit for this coming weekend.

Dare I say, I’m looking forward to it?