Tag Archives: ADHD and relationships

Considering a Busy Baby

Considering a Busy Baby

So a while ago I thought I’d write about ADHD and relationships. I don’t have much material and I don’t think we’re facing more issues than other couples. Perhaps I should write about it more, then. Everything is, in generally, going well.

I’m 29 and in some sense I suppose a certain clock has started ticking. Perhaps it’s just that I’m in a phase where everything is well, and that leaves me time to -gasp- think about the future. Children is something that seems to have moved from the ‘maybe one day’ time slot in my head to the ‘possibly relevant over the next few years’ time slot. I won’t be talking about trying to conceive on here, I’d just like to keep certain things to ourselves. I will probably mention it again when that possibly-somewhere-in-the-imaginable-future Busy Baby is actually on his/her merry way.

It’s just that here I am, thinking ahead.

Yes, the world is about to end.


Hey, wow, it’s still there.

I’m anticipating that pregnancy would bring along certain challenges for me. I have a complicated past, I have ADHD and use medication for it. I would have liked to get more info on what to expect, what helps, what doesn’t.

So I googled.

‘ADHD and pregnancy’ in 2 languages and a few different ways, gave me one almost useful result: a blog post from 2012. The rest was all about medication and ADHD: we still don’t know if it’s safe. What I found a bit disturbing is the amount of results focusing on things to do during pregnancy to cause ADHD in your offspring. Most popular one: tylenol or paracetamol apparently. I’m pretty sure that’s skewed research and perhaps the reason WHY women need pain killers can be the risk factor? Stress during pregnancy is a known risk factor, pain causes stress so… duh. Besides, why are people so terrified of ADHD anyway? At least I’ll know what ’caused’ it if I have a kid with ADHD…. me.

So, no useful info.

I then realised it may just simply be ‘new’ grounds. I’m part of the first generation of women who go into pregnancies and motherhood KNOWING they have ADHD. There probably is very few research about it, there’s simply a lot more glamour in -I don’t know- demasking Paracetamol as a possible cause of ADHD than there is in finding out how pregnancy affect women with ADHD and how to make the most of it. It’s not that the data isn’t there. Women with ADHD have been having children since women have been having children, but to find out about ADHD and pregnancy you’d actually have to go talk to them, you know.

I’d like to know how to cope, that’s all. ADHD forums (something I’ve been avoiding, to be honest) are littered with the meds-or-no-meds debate. Not useful. Meds are only 50% max of what you can gain.

And I suppose perhaps that’s the answer.

I’ll have to find out what works for me and I’ll have to find support from those around me.

Just like ‘normal’ pregnant people.

So I went out to look for a normal pregnant book. (Ok, fine, I walked around the city centre, looking for a book, mainly because I was off my Concerta and needed the business and the walking to think. Getting it online would have been easier, but I needed to think). I wanted a book that was fun and practical. Because of Dutch being my second language, I went to the American Book Store first, but What to expect when expecting and the like was too text-y. Mindful pregnancy or something like that seemed too Buddhist… I ended up getting this colourful Dutch book, which seemed just right:


Yes, I know, I’m a doctor and I don’t need fruits to explain to me how big Baby is, but it has a lot of practical tips and overview tables which I do find useful. It’s cheerful, it’s fun. TDH complained about it being too ‘simplistic’. I handed him my Gynaecology and Obstetrics text book from med school. ‘You don’t really think I’m going to read that, do you?’ he said.

I’m probably going to go for some preconception advice at some point, considering everything. I just don’t know where to go for that. In this country, midwives do preconception stuff too, but then I’d have to find a midwife I like and who understands this kind of thing first. It might end up with the same impasse I’ve run into before: I’m a doctor.

I think rule number one is to just chill out.


Then I was thinking about what kind of mother I’d like to make. I’ve heard that I have a natural ‘knack’ with children a few times. That I’d probably be a very relaxed mum. Possibly true.

My own upbringing has more resemblance to Bringing up bebe than the ‘self expressive’  upbringing common in Holland. Despite many things I would want to do differently, I think I owe a lot to my parents for that. Especially considering who I am and what my shortcomings are. I was reading something about the French style, and it reminded me of the way I grew up. I think I want to read one of the books about the French parenting. Imagine how disastrous it would have been if my parents had given in to my whims. If I try to think what I would have been like if I’d been raised like the Dutch, I can’t imagine a functional outcome.

I wouldn’t be so resourceful if my mum didn’t send me back to go amuse myself if I complained about being bored.
I wouldn’t have the frustration tolerance I have -and need- if I hadn’t been told to wait till the grown ups finished talking, or to wait until dinner.
I wouldn’t have my perseverance if my parents didn’t teach me that.
I would have frustrated my parents too much if they didn’t set boundaries like they did. I wouldn’t have learned to make the best out of what I have if they had accepted ‘not in the mood’ or ‘a C is enough, do what you please.’

I fully believe I would have been less creative if the focus had been on self-expression.

It comes down to this: I believe in boundaries for children. I believe that they need to learn that they’re part of this world, and that it’s harmful to them to deny them a safe ‘cadre’. We can be friends when they grow up. They can do as they please when they’re older.

Sorry, Busy Baby, you have an Afrikaner mum.


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Posted by on May 17, 2015 in adult ADHD, Busy Baby, I believe


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My first holiday season as ‘The Mrs’…

My first holiday season as ‘The Mrs’…

Right, so not formally married.

But for some experiences it really doesn’t matter if my name is Miss Darling or Mrs Handsome. Really.

We’ve been living together for 2 months now, and while some things are a mess, other things are going quite all right. The mess being everywhere in the house where I’ve been.

The Season to be Jolly has some challenges for me in general, but I can manage.

Having a man in the picture like this brings it’s own challenges. Some I’ve had to deal with last year, some I’m only experiencing this year.

I think I’m not the only woman facing this problem.

My family is celebrating a pretty traditional Christmas, with presents and church but without the sun, pool and possible braai. Too cold for that! But I really really miss my summer Christmases. TDH’s family is celebrating some cross between Sinterklaas and New Years this year; the concept being basically a ‘secret santa’ with a teasing surprise on New Years Eve. Not quite sure how that developed.

We don’t have any decorations up, except for cards. I couldn’t make my mind up about the tree until now, and I’m not getting a tree 4 days before Christmas. I feel bad for a tree that had to grow 20 years just to dry out in my living room, and since someone pointed out the landfill fake trees create that’s not really an option either. I had a potted tree 2 years ago, managed to allow it to survive through August before it died. I’m thinking a smaller potted tree again. At least it has a chance, you know?

Oh. Cards. Still need to write those.

Holiday season as ‘the Mrs’ consists -and will probably continue to consist- of the following type of scenarios:

The Wish List
He doesn’t know what he wants. I don’t know what he wants because his favourite activities consist of playing tennis, reading free downloads on his e-reader and playing on his computer. TDH is more Spanish than Dutch in the end, except for his love of cheap and/or free things. The ideal gift for him would probably be the gift of not wanting or needing anything and/or being Superman. Kind of hard to wrap that, you know? He also still has a few unused vouchers. (I think we counted the total value to a few hundred euro’s)

Over the past year and a half, Christmas/New Klaas and his birthday invariably had me in the interesting position of my family asking me what he wants, his family asking me what he wants AND having to figure out what to give him myself.

This year he finally succumbed and has a wish list! This really helped when the second round of messages, e-mails and phone calls came in to ask if I’ve figured out what he wants yet.

My advice for other Mrs would actually be to keep track of his wishes throughout the year because men don’t know what they want if you ask them.

The idea of gift-giving is, after all, to pamper the others.

The Making of Plans
Is this one of those automatic female roles you get as a woman? Just curious!
See, I’m not good at making plans. I don’t know what my tomorrow brings, usually. My concept of time has 3 times: now, and now now and incomprehensibly far in the future. South-Africans will understand. Now now is a special kind of not now.

Yet, I find myself being the one approached about the holiday plans.


I don’t know. Will get back to you later.

Shucks. It’s the 20th of December and ‘Incomprehensibly far in the future’ has suddenly dropped into ‘now now’ or even ‘now!’.

Luckily I’ve learned to write things down in a planner, so there are a few things I can look up in order to give an answer to those hard questions!



And then, once we have established the wish lists, it’s time to go shopping. TDH wants to do it ‘together’.

Not sure how that works. He was present, true, and he did the clicking and typing for one of the online orders, after I had to think of the text and such. And he helped pick one other gift, while another wasn’t available when we went. Effectively. I’m not complaining, just evaluating. Without me, I think everyone would be getting vouchers.

So I bought our gifts, went shopping with my mum for his gift from them, and just now got phoned by my sister trying to buy him a gift. And the Christmas cards, but that was my idea anyway.

All in all I’m not mad or frustrated, just amused.

Can’t say I’m doing ‘nothing’ you know?

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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in ADHD and relationships, Dear Diary


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In other news… Moving In Together!

I’ll be doing a new theme on this blog: relationship(s) and adult ADHD. My aim of this blog still is to give a reflection of my life, me and my ADHD. You could say it’s an ADHD ‘lifestyle’ blog but what bothers me is that a lifestyle is something that you choose. ADHD is not something I chose, it’s just the way I’m wired. If 90% of the people were wired that way, this blog would have no reason to exist as it is. But given the fact that 95-99% of people are NOT wired this way, it makes things a bit more, er, interesting. I enjoy writing, and I hope people enjoy reading. I even have a small bit of hope that it can mean a bit more sometimes. 

As you all know, I’m in a long term relationship with Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome, aka TDH. Things are going well between us. Really well. He’s my pull and I’m his push, except early in the morning when I can not be moved in any direction at all. We love each other. 

We will be moving in together. A massive step. 

He must be nuts to want to live with me. Seriously. This blog isn’t called ‘A Devastatingly Heavenly Darling’ for nothing. 

This is going to be a very exciting time, possibly somewhat trying every now and again. 

A period in which I think we both will learn a lot, about each other, about ourselves, about simply making it work. 

We’re not going into this as a ‘test run’ to ‘see if it works out’. We’re committed to each other, and we’re both motivated to see how it works out. Look, every relationship may fail, even after many years. The plan is not to let it fail, the plan is to let it work and to have an amazing life together. We are figuring out how to do that. So far, so good. 

We’re both new to this, but so far we’ve learned that it’s important to keep communicating… and as Kelly Flaningan points out in his Marriage Manifesto, it’s not about our own selfish needs. It’s about us, it’s about loving the other. It’s about, you know, being a couple.

I’m a big girl, I can take care of myself. I can live without TDH. 

But I don’t want to. I want to be with him. 

He makes me so much better, he says I do the same to him. Life is just so much better when we’re together. Even if it’s not always like that. 

I mean, he still won’t let me paint every room a different colour… and I still won’t let him hang his ‘portal’ canvas in the living room. (No, darling, REALLY…)


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Temper? Me? Nah……

Or, the story of how my iPhone ended up like this:




One of the problems of living with ADHD is the intensity of emotions. Great fun in a relationship!!!
Under normal circumstances I am pretty fiesty, impulsive and capable of doing things I regret later on. Though, I’ve come a long way since being a frustrated, overly explosive young girl. It’s been years since I caused actual damage during rage. I’ve learned to walk away, to run it out, to cool down, to punch a pillow or throw against a wall. Arguments remain verbal, and I may still say some things I will regret later on.

Lately I’ve been struggling with the asthma, I’ve been limited in my ability to function and for obvious reasons I can’t ‘run it out’. My frustration level is on average higher, because I can’t do the things I need to help myself remain calm and relaxed… and the limitations also lead to other frustrating factors. (Public transport anyone??) So, it’s harder for me. It’s harder for me to manage my ADHD anyway when I’m also dealing with physical limitations always. Add to that that I’ve been taking Montelukast, side effects apparently include agitation, irritability, depressive symptoms and an increase in agression in SOME cases. I suspect it did in my case.

TDH and I have had two fights in three days, really with no apparent cause. Small things. A not-so-funny joke. Miscommunication. And true, there are always two people involved in a fight, but my heightened agitation and irritation doesn’t help in handling things smoothly. The first time I had trouble deciding wether I should sleep on the sofa or walk home in the middle of the night.

The second time we were arguing over Whatsapp. I snapped and flung my iPhone on the floor. I heard glass shattering. And then I was mad at myself. (and I phoned him, on my landline, screaming because he went on and on and I needed to know wether he was coming here or not.) To be honest, he expected a subtle crack in the screen or something and was very irritated himself, so he WOULD go on and on and on. I was rather startled at the level of ‘shattered’ my iPhone had reached: I couldn’t find pictures of iphones in worse states!. I am not very proud of myself.

Luckily the iPhone situation was easily sorted out, and I’ve stopped taking the Montelukast just to be sure (and am feeling less agitated). Now I remember why I use pillows and walls: despite my thin physique I’m capable of causing serious damage when I’m mad. And I’m glad that I’ve managed to learn to control it to some level.

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Posted by on September 1, 2013 in ADHD, Dear Diary


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