Alex likes travelling, so when my parents offered to take him with them to Toronto this weekend, we were cautiously optimistic. He would enjoy the trip and we'd have some time to focus on Nathan.
Unfortunately, it's not going to happen.
Alex has been having a really difficult week. Enough complaining to qualify for Parliament. Extremely long time outs. Whining constantly. That's three strikes.
Although we could certainly use the break, we have to think long term. Disney cost us almost three weeks of re-establishing the rules. A weekend away, especially when he's already being difficult, could be another week or two. It's not worth it.
This is something which is often overlooked in respite programs. A break is all and well and good. It's necessary. But sometimes the cost is higher than the benefit, which is why parents don't immediately jump all over these programs when they're offered.
Sometimes it's being unable to find childcare to give you that break. Sometimes it's knowing that even that small disruption of routine will cost you.
It takes me about two months of regular visits to train someone to the point I can trust them to manage the boys at home without me. (Longer if there are any excursions, even outside to the backyard.) That's two months of paying someone to come for several hours at a time, at least once per week. That's a lot of investment before I get even a minute of actual respite. So I understand how some parents are just too exhausted to do it.
I'm lucky at this point. I have two aides I can ask to come and help as well as my parents. But I know that at some point I will have to start the process over. Teens and young adults are a high turnover crowd. And respite is not something that anyone wants to do as their full time job.