When my son first started exhibiting behaviours that weren't considered to be in the 'normal' growth range, I was encouraged to seek outside help regarding parenting. I immediately found a parenting course for ADHD/ADD/Difficult Children and as my son fit the 'Difficult Children' category, I signed up for the six week course. During the six weeks, we documented behaviour, applied strategies and posted the results. We had homework every week, and our spouses were also given tasks to complete. Many of the parents took turns regarding homework, however, there were some of us who could not engage our partners to help. I was one of the people in the latter category.
My husband (at the time) decided that he couldn't give any of his time to learning about our son's challenges, opting instead to have me learn everything and pass it along to him. This wasn't the solution I was looking for, but had little choice except to go along with his decision. After I had completed the course, I realized that there was a lot more to it than simply passing along information, so I signed him up for the next six week course.
He didn't attend one class.
Shortly after that, I made the decision to move my son and myself, and go live with my daughter. After making that move, I had to deal with the fall out from the decision, which made our life much more difficult, something, I'm sure, many of you have experienced.
Singleparentitis is not regulated to only families with ADHD children, unfortunately though, the statistics for this possibility are much higher when one or more children of the marriage have a disability, simply because of the added stress.
Of course, there are many factors that need to be present before the onset of Singleparentitis, and not all the symptoms are the same for everyone. However, if you are suffering from Singleparentitis, there are some things that you can do to help aleviate some of the symptoms.
First and foremost, you need support! There are several avenues you can pursue, one being a local chapter of C.H.A.D.D., both in the U.S. and Canada, your local Mental Health facility should also have listings for parent groups, or you could check with your doctor for any support groups in your area.
Give yourself some "me" time. Find something you enjoy doing and set aside some time at least once a week. I know it is difficult, but if you don't recharge your batteries you won't be able to deal with the day to day challenges and the stress will overwhelm you.
Whatever you do, don't lock yourself away and suffer in silence. You need to vent, relax, talk with people who are dealing with the same challenges, or simply get away from it all for a couple of hours. If you find that difficult, you might want to look into some respite care. This will allow you the time to unwind and recharge, something that is very necessary for your mental and physical health.
Above all, don't lose hope! Singleparentitis isn't permanent, it just feels like it some days!
Welcome to One Small Step for Parents! Our goal is to help you find the right resources, support and information that is needed to make informed choices. Without the proper tools we, as parents and adults, don't know what will help our situation or what works and doesn't work. Here at One Small Step, we have done our best to take the guesswork and confusion out of the equation by supplying tools, resources and online support.