My father was OCD and the dominate parental figure in my upbringing. He was highly organized so I struggled to keep up. With his help maintained good grades and got through college and a Masters program in Computer Science. Though feeling always well supported and love, I always felt massive guilt because I could not stay on task as well as he.
I have been diagnosed with ADHD for over 10 years and regularly take Concerta and see a therapist.
I found a wife that shares many of the same characteristics as my father (probably a common story). We are both full time employees with successful jobs. My wife is s high level manager/director and I am an individual contributor. She has an amazing ability to keep large number of tasks in her head and can tackle even more with proper lists and calendar use.
I am struggling to keep up with family and kids activities. A full day for me is assisting in morning routine, getting to work and my own appointments, helping in the evening with some household and child care. I am asked to do a small number of evening things like pick up kids from sport practice. I want to do this, but find I am easily overloaded if I am asked to do 2,3,4 additional things in an evening when one-off additional events are happening. My mother-in-law lives with us and assists greatly in getting kids from school and taking them to activities.
This is about as much as I can do in a day. I cannot compete with planning any activities or vacations on the level of my wife so she is the primary organizer for family life. In general this works for me because I don't need to be in the driver seat and she generally enjoys the control. But not always.
However, when the schedule gets over overloaded for her, I feel maxed out, and she wants me to step up: I often react badly because I already feel pushed to the max. This includes moody behavior, stomping around the house when completing tasks not talking with her until things settle down. This angers her because she feels she is asking me to do so little. It angers me because I feel I am already drowning in tasks and being pushed for more. I understand her disappointment in me because she does 3-4 times for the house than I do with relative ease. This triggers massive guilt similar to what I felt as a child in not being able to live up to my father.
Things had been going well with us for a few months. The other day I was supposed to pick up my 10 year old from a soccer practice on a night when 2 additional one-off activities were added to the schedule. With multiple text messages back and forth and other discussions I was supposed to: Shop for a present for a card card game at a friends house, pick my son up, take him to a bingo night at school where I was to meet my wife and daughter, go home, put the kids to bed and play cards with friends.
All of the later activities swirling in my head, I went straight the school for bingo night skipping my son's pickup. I got the frantic call from my wife asking where the hell I was and immediately my heart sunk. I forgot my son at the field. Luckily the coach stayed with him and everyone was OK and I picked him up 20 minutes late.
I was horrified and still cannot believe myself. The guilt is overwhelming. This also understandably triggered a massive reaction from my wife because though I have forgotten things before (an item at the store, or other material things) this was the first time this happened where I forgot my child.
I have reconfigured my phone and calendar and made an oath to myself that when multiple activities are occurring I will always prioritize the children allowing myself to skip or make anything else lower priority. However, it has scarred her existing distrust in my ability to carry through with anything and I am nervous and tight as a drum to never let it happen again. I will forget something again. What will it be this time?