My husband and I managed to go away for a night on Saturday to a very nice boutique hotel on the water in a quaint little town in the country about 40 minutes from our home. Great accommodations, restaurant, views. The only problem was our decision to farm out our kids to four different locations before we left. Big mistake. We spent three hours before we actually left our house driving our kids to this place and that, and driving back to this place and that when they had forgotten some important item. By the time we actually left town we were exhausted and very late. Then we had to drive back by about 12:30 the next day. So while we had a nice time when we got there, the time was too short to make any big dent in our need for time away. And add to this the fact that Caroline forgot to take her morning meds until late in the afternoon the day we were to leave! So she was all out of sorts for the next 24 hours, leading to her calling us the next morning while we were trying to have a nice breakfast, very upset over this and that. Ughh!! Seems like we were thwarted at every turn! We have decided that in the future we will just try to have someone come over to stay with all of our kids, giving us more time together instead of playing taxi, and also that we need two nights away, or at least a full 24 hours, to make it worth the effort.
We are very convinced that the strength of one's marriage is dependent upon nurturing this bond through time spent together apart from the kids. Being intentional about focusing on our relationship has taken on new importance. We have made this a big priority after seeing so many of our friend's marriages fail because their focus was only on raising their children together, not on intimacy with each other. And when you have a special needs child, this becomes even more imperative! We will try this again sometime around our anniversary. Weekly date nights have become a regular event for us in the meantime. I highly recommend this even if it is just coffee at McDonald's!
About our Daughter
I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 17, 19, 21, and 23, and wife to the greatest husband on earth. God has given us a special child to raise one who was diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder at the age of seven, though she showed signs of it from the age of fifteen months. She also has ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder (sensory seeking), Dyslexia, and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder-NOS, all typical comorbidities for a bipolar child. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running (finished her first marathon in October of 2014!), and reading and writing her own books. I will share with you the many joys and sorrows we have faced and will face in the future with the hope that you may find better understanding about this mental illness caused by both chemical and structural abnormalities in the brain. I desire that you will be encouraged by this blog if you are also dealing with a bipolar child. Thank you for reading and sharing in our journey.
How Did You Know She Was Bipolar So Young?
I wrote a long explanation of how we came to this bipolar diagnosis in a child so young under my post of March 19th of 2009. If your child or a child you know bears similarities, please seek out a good psychiatrist and don't wait for "things to get better." Often they will simply get worse, and the longer a child is unmedicated, the more damage their brain can accrue. Early diagnoses and treatment are key to providing these children with a chance at a successful life later as a teen and an adult.