Reply To: Frustrated I can’t do the most simple things as a mum. Any advice please?

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First, remember you are doing the best you can with what you have. Getting control of ADHD can be really challenging. It takes time and patience to figure out your systems and routines that work best for you. You are a good mom because you are worried about your behaviors and how they could affect her so that is important to remember. You are a good mom. To note, I have been diagnosed and I worked with a coach and read a lot on ADHD. I have found systems that work for me so I will share some with you. To note, some of this may be repetitive, I didn’t have time to read everyone else’s’ post.

1. Food: some good websites and tips
Minimalist baker: I like her recipes and find them fairly easy healthy too. most recipes are one bowl, minimal ingredient and usually done in 30 minutes or less.
Cookie & Kate:

When it comes to food, I look for recipes that work well for freezing. I.E. I make a batch of muffins that can be frozen, that way for breakfast I can just thaw one or two out as needed in the microwave or toaster and top with things like Almond Butter for a quick and healthier breakfast. Same thing with dinner. This means I am cooking once but getting multiple days out of the food. I label every container that goes in the freezer with the date and what the item is, so it makes it easy to find what I am looking for. Once a week I take inventory of what I have so I can plan my meals out and know what I need to cook and what I have. Allowing one night ever week or every two weeks for leftovers really helps to clean out excess food.

Don’t beat yourself up over the pizza. If you do frozen pizza, just add a bunch of veggies and some hearty good cheese on top before baking in the over to give it more substance. Or add a salad on the side. Over time you will learn hacks and routines that will make it easier to get healthier meals. Years before I had kids I was the worst about eating healthy, over time I found ways to improve my eating habits and now I am often complimented by how healthy I have become.

2. Cleaning:
• Routine is key for this. For example if you know you need to clean your bathroom plan it out, perhaps it is every Thursday, or every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. Be consistent.
• Get a calendar you can find them at the dollar store, and different colored pens.
• On Sunday or whatever day, you can carve out 15 minutes plan out and review your schedule.
• While it might not look pretty put it in a visible spot. your fridge etc. Wherever you will see it daily.
• Assign each item a color, cleaning=blue, bills=red, meals=green etc. So that way when you eyeball the calendar you know exactly what you’re looking at. Map out what you need to be doing each day. This will help you to focus.
• Use timers: I did this for a long time until I could on my own remember things. For example, if I was doing laundry I would set the timer on the washing machine or my stovetop so that when it buzzed I could think of a buzzer is going off what was that for, oh yes laundry I need to switch it over. DON’T WAIT, get up and change the laundry over right away. This is the demise is sometimes we procrastinate and say oh I will get it in a minute. Don’t allow yourself to turn off that buzzer until you flipped the laundry.
• Breakup the tasks: I do this in two ways.
o One is sometimes I find it easier to alternate between two projects to keep me motivated. I can be cleaning my dining room and doing dishes. For example, I will unload the dishwasher and I put a timer on to keep me focused and motivated to beat the clock it is a game. Once I get through unloading I go into the dining room and clean the table and sweep the floor. Then I go back and load the dishwasher. It just lets me refresh and not get so bored with things.
o When you can, bring things halfway. For example, when I am cleaning and find items I need to bring upstairs I will bring it to my banister and leave the item there. Then the next time I go upstairs I take it with me. This way I keep on the original task at hand and don’t get distracted.

• Stimulate yourself: For all of my cleaning, I listen to audiobooks, it makes me feel like I am accomplishing something I want. Cleaning has to get done but it is BORING to me. So, I listen to audiobooks (to note I get them for free from my local library and use the app Overdrive). You could also listen to Podcast etc. The idea is that we basically have two brains going so if you can burn off the excess energy by focusing on thing, and then the other energy by focusing on another task you can complete your task more easily.

I am not sure if this information is helpful, but I hope it is a start. Remember being patient with yourself is important. It is hard to be a parent, working full-time and take care of everything we have to do. I find having systems in place and keeping up with routines has helped me keep my life organized.

When you get overwhelmed remember to think of something you are grateful for. Janice Kaplan author of Gratitude Diaries discovered in her research that focusing on what you are grateful for is more valuable for calming ourselves than any other technique including breathing exercises.

I apologize for typos and grammar errors I have to limit my time for this post. Best of luck and share with us what techniques you use that do work.

Best of luck!

Nicole L.

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