Having a child with ADHD makes the daily routines of getting ready to leave in the morning, and getting ready for bed very challenging. As all parents know, working or not, special needs or not, these are difficult times of day anyway. The constant reminders to please eat, please get dressed, please put pjs on are even more frequent with a child who gets distracted. He may take off one sock, and then move onto reading a book. I try to remember this. We leave plenty of time in our routine so it’s rare that we’re pressed for time because of the dawdling. We give short, multi-stepped directions to let him know what he’s supposed to accomplish (please take off your socks and put them in the basket). But nonetheless, with two kids under 5, these routines prove to be a challenge sometimes and frankly they leave me grumpy.
There have been a few things that have come up recently to make me stop and think about how I treat my husband when we part ways for the day. 4 days out of 5 when one of us leaves the house for work, I’m so exasperated by the happenings of the morning (please get dressed, please stop pouring milk into your yogurt, please put underwear on before you finish that puzzle etc. etc.) that I don’t always treat him very nicely. We love each other, we really do, but sometimes it’s just hard for me to show it. It’s the kids I’m frustrated by but because he’s the adult, he gets the brunt of it. When that happens though, I always think about how awful I’d feel if that was the last thing I ever said to him (or didn’t say). I think the same thing about my boys sometimes too. When I’m a bit too short with them in the car, or putting them to bed, I always regret it.
A young father we know passed away this week unexpectedly. He played softball with my husband. He had kids the same ages as ours. It really shook us. He simply went out for a run. I find myself wondering what his morning was like…and what a similar situation would have been like in our house. Would I have been at peace with my last exchange with my husband and his with our kids, or would it be something I’d regret?