SLEEP

My husband was diagnosed with ADHD.  He has had sleep problems since we met.  Including sleep apnea which I read goes along with ADHD.  

His ADHD has caused him to lead a lifestyle full of work, and all his other interests.  When we had our 1st child 14 years ago, he moved to the guest room since I kept him up at night being pregnant and uncomfortable.  Then after the child was born he stayed in the guest room since I breastfed through out the night and it woke him up.  

This actually sounds ridiculous as I type it...

But, one more birth child and one adopted child later we have had all sorts of arrangements for sleeping.  I have slept in kids rooms, they have slept with me, I have slept on an airbed, husband has slept in the kids room.  

And since his lifestyle led to me being alone with kids for days at a time, and I couldn't get 3 little kids to sleep at the same time, I have basically in some way just tried to get some sleep.

We are finally down to 1 five year old who sleeps with me.  Sometimes my husband sleeps with us and sometimes he sleeps in the kid's room.  I am trying to transition her onto an air bed in my room, then into her room with me on an air bed, then on her own.  

I know people will LOVE to critizise me about the sleeping arrangements, but it basically started 14 years ago with a pregnant woman, breastfeeding, then putting kids to bed alone after being alone with them all day while her ADHD husband led a very full life.  

I am VERY angry when he leaves to go in the other room.  When he left the bedroom when I was pregnant it broke my heart and it hurts everytime he leaves.  Like picking a scab off an old wound.  And I'm angry that I am still the only one responsible for planning how to get the 5 year old to bed as I was responsible for getting the other two kids to bed.  Who by the  way sleep extremely well in their own rooms now!!!

I'm not sure whether to tell him if he chooses to leave the bedroom to not come back.  Help!

 

 

 

 

No criticism from me...

I'll start with saying I'm the ADDer who did not know about it until my diagnosis 3 years ago. I married my DW almost 17 years ago and we have 2 DD's (14 & 10). As for sleep issues and ADD, I did not really have any when I was younger, but after we married I began to gain weight and snored pretty bad by the time DD#1 was born in 1997. As my weight increased the snoring increased. I also had what I call "The Slide Show", where I go to bed and one thing after another just flashed through my mind and I never felt like I was sleeping. In 2002, DD#2 was born and in 2004 my snoring was so bad I had a sleep study done and I had moderately severe sleep apnea. In the 6 hour study I NEVER got to REM Sleep, averaged 67 apneas per hour, stopped breathing 108 times for as long as 3 minutes and my O2 levels had dropped to 80. So... I can safely say ADD and Sleep Apnea went together in my case.

I'll stick with sleep issues before the "Bed Situations" ;) In 2009 I was diagnosed with ADD and began taking Adderall and have pretty much slept like never before. I used to toss and turn all night, now I can literally wake up in the same position I laid down in. I average about 6 hours of sleep during the week and feel better than when I slept 10 hours in the old days, by A LOT! I've lost about 100 lbs and kept it off for 2 years. Exercise (Walking) makes me feel great. I can still get the Slide Show sometimes, but nothing like the old days. Believe it or not, my sleep improved whe I started taking my last Adderall dose around 4-4:30pm instead of 2pm, like I used to. When the meds wear off the sleep issues begin.

Sleeping arrangements have almost broke us apart. With both DD's, my DW would do the 10:30pm feeding and I would do the 1:30-2am feeding. This did not help my sleep issues, but I did my part. The crib phase was not too bad because the babies were contained. My only conflict with my DW during this phase was She insisted on getting up for about every cry a baby would make, and I disagreed on many occasions. We alternated getting up to check on the babies, so I was not real happy with her policy of getting up for every single whimper. The bigger problems came after the crib. DD#1 would get out of bed and come to our room and knew to go to my DW's side, because she would let her get in bed with us and I did not protest enough. So when DD#2 came around, I was Real Clear that she was not sleeping with us. So when bedtime came I was adamant about her going to sleep in her bed. We kept a good regular schedule, reading with her in her room for 20 minutes or so before bedtime, but then the battles began. DD#2 is very ADHD, but I did not know what I was dealing with at the time. She used conflict to stay awake. I was going to make her sleep in her bed and bedtime was a bloody nightmare. DD#2 knew, even at the age of 3 that if she carried on long enough my DW would come swooping in and save her, completely undoing everything thing I was trying to do. I would be furious/exhausted by then (I did not know I had apnea and ADD) My DW would lay down with her to get her to sleep. The problem was my DW pretty much insisted that we split all household work, which I don't have an issue with because we both work stressful full time jobs, but forcing me through the bedtime horror and undermining my efforts was just ridiculous. With DD#2, we have DW's mom living with us, so after the beating of getting DD#2 to bed, she would just get up at some point in the night and go into grandma's bed.

After my diagnosis in 2009, things really began to make sense... I was not totally exhausted in the evenings and began to see why DD#2 was the way she was. She needs extreme regiment and unwind time, like me, as the summer of 09 was coming to an end, I began saying "When school starts you are sleeping in your bed on school nights and grandma on weekends" The simple act of repeating and repeating really worked. We have had ups and downs until my latest push, when I laid down the hammer and said no exceptions, no arguement, no discussion about bedtime. I took her to bed for almost 3 months straight and low and behold bedtime is actually beginning to work. No arguing or complaining, she knows I'll kiss her good night and sit on the floor for about 3 minutes, then off I go.

After 14 years, bedtime is not a total beating.

My DW and I basically slept in the same bed, but during the lay down with DD#2 phase (YEARS) who knew when we would be in bed together, contributing greatly to the Room Mate Situation of no sex life, but that is another story all together... Sorry for the incredible ramble, but the meds are wearing off ;) 

i appreciate the feedback

I appreciate the feedback.  

We have never split the chores or childcare duties since he goes to work and I'm a stay at home mom.  I might have a leg to stand on if I worked.  But I think he is stubborn that "he needs his sleep since he has to work".

I feel like I have been a trouper through extreme sleep-loss.  But I work too, I just don't make any money.  I have stayed up night after night with babies, sick kids, I clean, cook, shop, haul everything home and from the car, take care of my car, the house, the garbage, the kids activities, doctor appointments, the kids' schools, almost everything except his work and bills.  I have done a lot of this work through EXTREME fatigue from not getting any sleep.  NOT due to ADHD like my husband, just due to having a FAMILY!!! 

My health has suffered tremendously from the stress and fatigue.  I can't even rely on a break since my husband usually has a headache or some type of physical problem.  He works very long hours.  I had to drop out of any hobbies or activities at all because he wasn't able to be home on time or alone with the kids when they were small.  He wouldn't feed them or change the diapers.  Now I have no hobbies, friends, or activities.

He tried the adderal and didn't like it, I don't know why.  I don't really know how his sleeping is now.  

I just think it's so unfair.  I read all the books and try to set the schedule and transition the kids to bed, etc.  BUT, the schedule is so inconsistent since he has always been gone so much for work, his hobbies, his interests.  I'm just so tired.  And alone.  Many of the obstacles have been his interests, not even work-related.

He went to the other room tonight and I told him to make it his permanent bedroom if he did.  He's all mad now.  He was out for work last night while I had all the kids, tonight we had a baseball game for my son, dinner, and homework.  I'm in charge of the 5 year old while he just goes to bed.  I have to brush her teeth, get her pjs on, etc...  It's 10:30.  I have a huge full day tomorrow with 3 kids.  I'm tired too, but he is upset that he can't just go to bed in the other room and leave me with the 5 year old. 

It's such a terrible way to live.  It all sucks and has sucked since we met.  But omg it's impossible with kids.  I'm trying to get ahead a little since my 5 year old will go to kindergarten next fall, then I can maybe finally feel a little better.  I'm always so tired and so frustrated.  I have been on antidepresant medication for 12 years and just weaned myself off of all of it.   I am hoping that when I can have some time to catch up when they are all in school that I will know what to do.  I don't have ADHD, I'm just exhausted from accomodating my husband who has severe adhd.  

I don't think either of us is rambling in our posts.  These issues are just so frustrating and constant and never-ending.  We just go in circles, over and over and over.  I really think once the kids are older and I can get a job that the bad feelings we have from the past will overwhelm us and we will divorce.  I can't imagine anything ever improving to a consistent level.  I am positive other "issues" will come up that are as impossible to solve.  We just aren't able to work together at all on just about anything.  It's like a living hell that absolutely no one understands.   

Not much hope here...

You have The Most Respected Job in the World

In my opinion... The stay at home mom does an incredible about of unrecognized/under-appreciated work. I'm a programmer and going to work and doing my job is easy, even under a stressful deadline condition. You should keep a list of your tasks on a daily basis and when your DH is tired and ready for bed, ask him if he worked as many hours as you have? He is also cheating himself out of the most important bonding period in the kids life by not taking the young ones to bed. I may have been exhausted during some of the late night duties, diapers, sick or whatever, but I know it is one of the Best things I've ever done. My girls "Talk" to me, even the teenager. Incredible, if you ask me. My DW and I sure differed over tactics, but in the long run that won't matter. 

I will say as an ADDer (Unknown until 43) that the mindset is whatever is the norm doesn't change until it has to change. So... I you do everything, he will assume he is doing everything you need. It sucks, but the ADD oblivious mind is what it is until you wake up the brain with meds. My DW would Tell me when she thought I should be doing something I did not see and I would feel terrible not knowing untl she was pissed off enough to say something. My DW used to complain about having no hobbies and I could not make one for her, but I always encouraged her to find one. Now one Saturday a month she takes a painting class from 9am - 4pm. She loves it and she is pretty good at it too. Do yourself a huge favor and find something like this, schedule it and tell your DH the HE needs to watch the kids while you get a much deserved break.

I sure hope things improve for you and remember there are a bunch out here who support your efforts!