Debbie Phelps Shares Some of Her Life Lessons
Michael’s swim coach, Bob Bowman, brought his focus to his sport. When Michael was at the pool, one would never know he has ADHD. Michael swam, played baseball, lacrosse, and ran cross-country throughout the year. Basically, Debbie tried to wear him out, she said. She went on to say, “When he came home he was doing his homework, going to bed and starting his cycle all over again. So, putting time management into place at home and having an advocacy for him at school to be able to share with his teachers was critical. As a principal, I know that educators walk a fine line. We can’t diagnose ADHD, but we can provide information and let parents know that it’s a possibility when kids are having trouble in school. The teachers are trying to help you do what’s right for your kids. Trust these people when they come to you, and then find the resources you need to get help. ADHD kids have great passion – it just needs to be funneled”.
Because of Michael’s childhood experience and his Olympic success, Debbie can talk to parents and give them a sense that their child can still be very productive. She added, “We are so caught up in raising our children and protecting them that we often forget about ourselves. I’ve instituted a practice that I have never stopped, I call it having a Debbie Day!”
These “days” are once a month (on a Saturday) depending on her activities work or family. She carves out some “me time” which might only be two hours or could be the whole day. Sometimes it is related to work, and other times it relates to family. But the object of a “Debbie Day” is to be as creative, fun, and relaxed as possible on that day. And, no matter what, make sure to take off your watch so you can’t monitor the time.
So, what does a Debbie Day look like? Well, it could be a manicure/pedicure once a month or, if you’re on a budget, do it yourself. It could be getting your hair done, browsing a bookstore, library or magazine rack for decorating fashion ideas. It could even be staying in your pajamas and watching “Law and Order reruns. The important thing is that you do something for YOU! So, go on now….schedule your own Debbie Day!
Try thinking of this: The children are growing up… what’s next? Think about you in this scenario. Discover things you like to do, then plan it and make it happen!
I know many of us say …
Someday, I’d like to do this…
and Someday I’d like to do that…
But, Someday is NOT a day in the week.
Do something for you!
Photo courtesy IRMC Foundation’s “Her Story” event featuring Debbie Phelps, photographer Michael J. Gallagher
Subscribe to our free email newsletter now to access our free magazine!