I never respond or reply to anything, but today I felt the need. First and foremost, before anyone says that you don’t have to be super mom, let me encourage and tell you that you already are because as a woman with ADHD, the fact that you care enough to even seek help (a lot of is would not) is due to your love and desire to be the best you can be-makes you supermom in my book!
Next, I’ll let you know about me-my story and background may be encouraging to you’d playboy I can tell you what I do and what works for me. You can chew up the meat and spit out the bones.
WARNING-I really have ADHD, combined type. You will be able to tell in my writing, but further, this will be extremely long to read because I’m super detail oriented!!!
So, I am also a mother with ADHD (combined type…like if there was a picture for the description it would be a personified picture of me). I have 4 children, all boys, ages 2,6,9 and 11. I am married to a very stricter NON ADD man, he is a dentist. My 9 yr old is autistic, but he’s not at all intellectually disabled. I have a strong academic background…3 degrees, the highest being a Juris Doctor (my oldest was turning 1 when I graduated from law school-I didn’t go straight to law school after undergrad, too broke). My husband and I are 38 & 39, we will be 39 & 40 in 2018.
I didn’t take advantage of assistance with my diagnoses because I was raised in a time where a lot of minorities were MISdiagnosed as havinf ADD (and given Ritalin), which caused a lot of issues because the problem wasn’t ADD, it was behavioral issues due to a community of educators not properly equipped with dealing with certain races in the public school system. In fact a lot of kids were actually bored and very intelligent, but the educational system failed them because the teachers at that time simply were not prepared to deal with educating young bright minorities in certain areas. But back to the subject at hand, long story short, I was taught to self preserve and figure it out because they refused to allow a diagnoses to be attached. There was good and bad as a result of it, but all in all-especially as a girl who was extremely smart, it seemed like I was one who would be skipped over because it was different to see ADHD in me as a girl, then wamgat was typical in a boy, plus it appeared I didn’t struggle in school (which I did, but I overworked and overdid everything to compete and stay afloat-others didn’t realize the work out in because they only seen the results).
I didn’t start taking advantage of the opportunities and rights afforded to people diagnoses like us, due to the ADA, until I was in my second semester of law school-even then, I only took time and a half on exams.
Never did medication until I sat for the bar exam, and even then, been on and off because I never took medication while pregnant or breastfeeding (and I nursed all my boys until
the age of 1). I’ve been married going on 12 years this upcoming February, and it hasn’t been easy because my husband and I have been through so much due to my issues when I’m symptomatic, I’m medicated, or just general issues that go alongside with ADHD. It seems with every pregnancy it got harder or worse, because your hormones are already or of whack, you can’t be medicated, and your brain is different to begin with. Although we have four kids I have been pregnant 5 times as I was pregnant with a child the year before my youngest was born (unfortunately there was a miscarriage in my 2nd trimester that rocked our world and had me in major depression mode-was working at the time at a university as a supervisor in the admissions and records department as well as an adjunct professor for a writing course in the core humanities department). Safe to say overwhelmed was just the crux of my lifestyle.
Fast forward to present day…I’m on medication (Adderall, 30mg extended release in morning, 10 mg regular release in afternoon), I NEED to get my exercise regiment back (I swear athleticism and exercise is truly the best type of medication that I find an excuse to not do-but it works wonders), 3 of my 4 boys are in school, and currently, I’m trying to start a home based daycare (in the back yard, we have a guest house-too much to be in the main residence and I’m not currently in the financial position to be able to afford a housekeeper or whatever) to help with finances as my husband has had recent health issues and he is the bread winner. I’m an at home mother, who does legal consulting on the side, along with side gig teaching (I teach English as a second language online to kids in China), and when I can (not often), I drive Uber and Lyft-usually late nights because I don’t have a sitter and do this when I need to and my husband is home and kids asleep.
So I spoke a lot about myself not to boost anything about me but to let you know that we all have issues and you are not alone but it is doable.
If you take medication and it works, continue! Exercise or get some type of athletic thing going on in your life, even if it is just walking and (like another reader mentioned) yoga. Meditation and prayer (if you believe in a higher being) does wonders!
No one is perfect, even those that seem to have it altogether, do not have ADHD and are super organized! The grass always looks greener on the other side-people are not as open as yourself, a lot more people that appear to have it altogether really don’t, so please do NOT compare yourself to any of them.
You see my son is autistic, but again, not intellectually disabled. He needs a strict routine (where I feel like I thrive and even enjoy a bit of chaos) and thrives so much better in a very structured environment. This is a crazy thing for me because I’m not the best at the structure thing, but the reality is that ALL of the children, and especially me, need structure. I too thrive in it but my brain goes against the grain. If it’s not something I feel like doing it is so hard to be motivated. This has caused issues in my marriage, career, and even some decisions I’ve made and make as a mother. But you know what, we deal and I’m dealing with it. I’m getting better each da but I can’t lie and say I don’t have my setbacks.
I’m an Aries so I’m already too stubborn. But guess what, I’ve finally came to realize something very profound my husband told me. Being stubborn is synomous to being stupid. See none wants to say that they are stupid but everyone can admit to being stubborn. But if you think about the times in life (for anyone, regardless of their brain functionality) that someone was being stubborn, typically that is when their decisions, mindset, and or actions were that of one who is being stupid. My point-be humble and open enough to realize when you are being stubborn and take a different route-whether that is asking for help, listening to someone else (like your husband who is not like you but seems to maybe not always understand because he’s not you-although he knows, loves and deals with you and your symptoms better than anyone), and being okay to learn from even your children. Anyone can teach, regardless of age.
Take advantage of all the free resources that you can. ADHD COACHING IS EXPENSIVE and we can’t all jump on board. But every year there are free coaching resource stuff online in October (during ADHD awareness month); there are free podcast; and free articles and tools-offered by the top ADHD coaches in the world-many who are also women with ADHD themselves, so they have quite a bit of guidance that you can learn and benefit from.
Another person wrote something about tlakj faith your husband and discussing things on parenting with him. That is an excellent idea. However, for someone like me, my husband would complain about talking things out with me just for me to do something else. So like in my situation, talking is fine-but it’s like he waste time and energy having long conversations with resolutions, unless I WRITE IT DOWN! That may sound silly, but I have a long term memeory that is jumbled. My short term memory is the same. Everything you tell me is in there somewhere, but my executive function skills do not always recall the info as quick as I would like. So when we are dealing with important matters with the kids-it’s easy for me to not be reliable on the things discussed unless I write it down and out it in a place where I will remember to look.
Life is what you make it and help is not always available (like what if you don’t live close to family and friends, can’t afford to hire assistance)but, if you take advantage of the free resources you come across, try to follow a routine (try-not saying it will always go smooth-and don’t reinvent the wheel, too hard, adapt one that is already available or aka for advice on putting one together-maybe your husband would like to assist) & stay positive in spite of your situation, you will be fine.
As a mother of girls, remember that sometimes yo and your daughters will not see eye to eye, if ever, until after she has grown to have children of their own. I have all boys, but I am a daughter, sister, neice, Soror, cousin, etc. It was not until I had my first child that I began to understand and appreciate the Awesomeness of my mother (and although she doesn’t have ADD, she is a human woman like everyone else-there are no perfect people, period).
I love you for reaching out-I love you for loving your family enough to want to be better-but SFOP MAKING YOURSELF TO BE THE WORSE MOTHER EVER! There are women who kill their children, abandon them, mentally and physically abuse them-and based upon what you wrote, your biggest issue is that your symptoms from ADHD trigger issues that ALL WOMEN HAVE big seem more prevalent with those like you and I.
You will be fine and you keep on doing your best. Take advantage of the assistance that may be available and remember, although we want to be friends with our children, we are their mothers. They will not always like or agree with our decisions, but no book or catalogue exist that can dictate your exact life. Be encouraged, Be positive, be loving and do not act like ADHD is the worse thing to ever happen to you and your family.
Now go be great…if you read this entire post you are already a determined Diva who is an inspiration to her babies (no matter their age).
I hope this helped a little. Feel free to reach out and maybe we can keep in touch and communicate-you don’t have to feel alone.