Reply To: How do you manage to run a household & family without going crazy!!

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michelle thompson

I have had the same experience with overwhelm and the article on Overwhelmed Mom Syndrome (mentioned above) both made me cry and gave me a sense of relief. I felt relief in acknowledging that running a neat and tidy busy household is really hard without ADHD and near impossible with it.

Much to my chagrin, I learned of my ADHD just last year (just went on medication two weeks ago) and I am 51 running a household of seven while trying to build my life coaching business and being a writer. Soooo… when I read that article, first I sobbed then I used it in my work with women experiencing overwhelm by looking back at how I survived the last 23 years of homemaking and childrearing without the help of medication or knowing what my issue was.

This is what I remembered: Early on, when I had two children, I was depressed and run down. A psychiatrist treated me for depression but also prescribed household help. So I got some support for keeping up with the house, the kids, and my mover-and-shaker executive husband (who also has ADD).

Another thing that helped me was knowing that I was a non-linear thinker and that I needed support and structure to help me focus (return to tasks that I inevitably got distracted from). After struggling to adhere to systems designed for linear brains, I began meeting with the executive functioning coach that previously had worked with my daughter who has ADHD. She helped me create a time management system that has multiple checks and balances and speaks to my visual learning needs. She also helped me create a mind map using the Simplemind App. It is a visual diagram of ALL the things for which I am are responsible in taking care of my home. With that visual (not just an endless list) I felt a sense of compassion for myself and began to face reality a little more. I was doing too much for ME, including many things I was not really very good at. It gave me a map for how to pare down my responsibilities.

I did this a few years ago and forgot about it (of course) before I was really finished but was reminded of it when I read the article on overwhelm. So I revisited and started working with it again and began teaching my clients how to use it to redesign work environments to reflect who we are and how we function best. Would be happy to share the recording of the “class” I just did introducing this process. Let me know if you are interested. Or happy to chat some more here about what has and has not worked for me….