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A Day in the Life of a Mom with ADHD

Take a whirlwind tour through my mind and life as I try to meet my family’s needs while staying sane and happy.

7:00 a.m.: My six-year-old, Max, wakes me up because he has to go to school. “Five more minutes,” I moan from under the pillow.

7:15: “Oh, my God!” I leap out of bed and hit the ground running. We have to be out of the house in 20 minutes, and I have to make breakfast and be sure my son has all of his books, folders, lunch, and the papers that should have been signed yesterday. I put them down somewhere, and now I can’t find them. I do, however, find the paper that reminded parents about Pajama Day, which was yesterday. Shoot! I look over at my son to see if I can spot any signs of damage that I’ve caused the poor kid. He is sitting at the table, eating his cereal, unaffected by the repercussions of having me as a mother.

7:35: I’m about to walk out the door when my oldest daughter, Zoe, jumps in front of us, blocking the door. “Wait! Mom! Do not forget that I have a game tonight! Can you please make sure to wash my cheer uniform?” Ah, yes, it’s Friday again, isn’t it?

“Sure, honey, but this is a little last minute, don’t you think? You’ve known about this game all week, and you certainly could have washed your uniform yourself.” She lets out a sigh of disgust before snapping, “Yes, and I would have, but we are out of laundry detergent. I told you this two days ago, and you said you would take care of it!”

Sounds familiar. I study her facial expression-a mix of frustration and anxiety … and a hint of resentment, too? It’s too late for this one. The damage is done already. But I do intend on making it up to her. “Oh, right. And I will. Your uniform will be ready to go by the time you get home from school.” I kiss the top of her head as I grab Max and run to the car.

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8:00: I walk back into the house after dropping Max off, and I’m greeted by the dirty cheer uniform on top of the washing machine. I slap my head. Why didn’t I stop at the grocery store across the street from the elementary school?

Back to the car I go…but wait — I should take a quick look to see if we need anything else while I’m at the store. I open the refrigerator. We are almost out of milk, out of eggs, and the unopened carton of apple juice reminds me that it is our turn to bring juice boxes to the boys’ game tomorrow.

Proud of myself for catching that before it was too late, I sprint to the drawer to grab a pen, so I can write down the items while they’re still in my head. No pen. I open the drawer next to that. Nope. Next drawer. Bingo! I should declutter these drawers—later. I start to write a list and realize that the pen has no ink left in the cartridge. I put the pen back in the drawer and add pens to the list that I am going to have to memorize. I jump in the shower, and I’ll be on my way.

9:00: I am blow-drying my hair and wondering if there is a faster way to get the job done. When I get a blowout at the salon, it takes half the time and looks twice as good. Their hair-dryers must be more powerful. I wonder if the grocery store has a good hair dryer. Probably not. I’ll find out. I grab my phone and Google “best hair dryer ever.” Who knew there were so many kinds of hair dryers — some of them over $300. Yikes. Maybe it’s the special attachment they use. I bet if I got myself an attachment for my existing hair dryer, I could get my hair to look like my stylist does. I look those up. They are much more reasonable.

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I’m going to have to order the attachment on Amazon. I pull up my Amazon account, and I see that I have two items in my shopping cart. Huh? Oh, my goodness! I never checked out after I ordered the boys’ baseball pants, and we need them tomorrow. I’m going to have to run out and buy some after I go to the grocery store. I think the coach e-mailed me with suggestions on where to get some baseball pants for a good price. I click on my e-mail. Oh, look! Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale is going on…and it ends today. I’m going to have to get my order in quick, while I have the website pulled up.

11:00: The good news is that I will be receiving three beautiful bras and five new pairs of panties within the next three to five business days. I also came across a website that had some great cleaning tips I am going to try when I get home. But first, I am going to sort through my coupons to see if I can be an extreme coupon shopper today at the grocery store.

12:30: Wow, I better get going. I couldn’t find any coupons for the things I need, but I found some pretty good deals that I can get at the drug store by combining the manufacturers’ coupons I found, with the store coupons, plus a 25-percent-off-everything store coupon and my loyalty card. If I am figuring this correctly, I can get four tubes of toothpaste, an eye shadow, men’s body wash and deodorant, and disposable razors for about $3.75. I am going to stop there on the way to the grocery store.

1:30: I did not figure it correctly because I guess the 25-percent-off-everything coupon does not apply to everything. And the two-for-one deal on the toothpaste ended yesterday, but I did get all of the aforementioned items for under $10. Not too bad! Next stop — baseball pants.

2:00: I was able to get in and out. Both boys will be properly dressed for their game tomorrow, and I am on my way to get the juice boxes they need, so they will be all set, and all possibilities of any embarrassing or awkward moments will be eliminated.

2:30: I enter the grocery store and make a beeline to the juice boxes. I am so proud of myself, and my husband will be too when he sees that I am prepared for tomorrow’s game. There will be no late-night convenience store stops. I recall the items from the grocery list in my mind, and gather the eggs, milk, and even the pens. I also grab a pad of paper with a pen attached to keep on the refrigerator for future list making. I walk out feeling proud and accomplished and free from the anxiety of being unprepared. Wow, this is what it feels like to be “normal.” How nice. I can get used to this.

3:15: I pull into the garage. I’m home minutes before the rest of my brood walks in the door. I grab the bags from each of my stops and I’m feeling so organized and decluttered that I grab the empty Styrofoam cup that the old me would have left in the cup holder. I skip in to the house, and I am greeted by the dirty cheer uniform sitting on top of the washing machine.

[Not Neurotypical: A Survival Kit for ADHD Moms]