Does parenting a difficult child leave you little energy for anyone else?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by firehorsewoman, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Parenting my difficult child leaves me little energy, patience or, tolerance for other living beings. I know this. I try to warn people that just don't get it...but so many of them don't understand....especially when the glimpses they see of difficult child appear normal to them.

    I had a house guest this week...luckily there was only one day of overlap between when my friend was here and when my kids were...still after she returned home I did not have the reserve in my tank required to deal with my son. This friend of mine has been trying to live in one state and work in another (several states away) for over a year now. She maintains a home where she "lives" and stays with friends where she works. She rotates friends so as to not impose on just one but still the situation is getting a bit ridiculous I think. She keeps totally different hours from me and my pets are upset by her routine when she is here so my sleep was disturbed the entire week. By the time difficult child and his sister got here on Friday I was tired and frazzled...not good. He is not having a good weekend and my nerves are completely shot by now. I am going to have to tell her that she cannot stay here in August as she is planning to do. All my patience and energy has got to be spared to deal with my son.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I completely understand. When my difficult child was your difficult child's age I had very little energy for anything else. Even now it is that way to some extent. I think you are making the right decision to let her know she cannot stay in August.
  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    In short, yes.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Sounds like your friend is a free-loading difficult child. Yep, time to put a stop to her using you. If you'd wanted a difficult child, you'd have kept your own kid at home. I hear ya'. I'm surprised her other friends haven't totally caught on yet and put an end to it. difficult child's or not, I have little patience or tolerance for people like her.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hope you're looking for validation of your own gut feel... 'cause I'm on the same page as the other posters... YOU and YOUR family come first. If that means there isn't enough to accommodate your fried... that's life with a difficult child.
  6. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    You must focus on you and your family. Even with no difficult child-this friend is taking advantage. Do not enable her. Let her know the truth...your are tired and you must keep a peaceful routing for your family (pets as well). While you care about her, you just cannot help her at this time. I hope she will understand, if not, she is not worth the energy it takes to be her friend. This is tough, but really true when you are raising children, esp. a difficult child!
  7. I agree with everyone else. difficult child's are exhausting and you need to take some time to care for yourself. If having your friend at your place disrupts things and causes too much stress then she can't stay. If she understands this then she is a good friend - if not, maybe she is just using you?
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds to me like you are making a healthy, wise choice, you need all your energy for your family. Taking care of difficult child's IS exhausting, you have so much on your plate. I hope you are getting time in to take care of you too. HUGS!!!
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm with you!
    I am sorry if she doesn't "get it" but she needs to stay in a hotel every now and then for her vacations or standard living arrangements. She would be wise to change her arrangements altogether, because I imagine that state hopping must be stressful on her, too.
    I completely understand what you mean.
    We had cousins in town last week who stayed in a hotel and were very laid back, and I planned "fun" things but it still takes time and energy and money and ... time. And energy. And all that.

    I hear you.
  10. Thanks everyone. InsaneCdn is correct...I was seeking validation...wondering if I am being selfish although I knew in my gut that I am not. Its more like self-preservation than selfishness. I also do think the circumstances is not like she is a good friend that wants to come visit and spend time with me for the sake of a visit alone....I would accept a disruption of my life and coping skills for that. Rather I am just part of the free motel rotation that she has set up for herself. I was willing to help last year but now that it has become her permanent lifestyle (she would still be living here if it weren't for the man she is dating in the other state....she moved there to be close to him) I am no longer willing to help being that it affects me negatively. I forgot to add that she is single and has no children. She has no real idea what living my life is like.

    thanks again everyone!
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I am no longer willing to help, being that it affects me negatively

    Absolutely!!!! It's your life, not hers.
  12. llamafarm

    llamafarm Member

    Living with a difficult child does give everyone in the house less energy and less patience! Good for you to realize it and act on it. YOu have to say no to things that are too much. It is the only way to stay healthy yourself. And you need to stay healthy!