There are days where I feel like a complete failure. I can’t focus at work and don’t feel like I got enough done, only to go home and feel too tired to nag to get my daughter to clean her room, and everyone gets chips for dinner. This happens way more than i would like to admit. But there are shinning moments where all is well, and I am organized and everything is clean and I was super productive. I remember those times and ride them like a bull at a cowboy competition.
My daughter craves structure as I do, even though we have ADHD. I am a single mother and often call on my “village” to help me through. Her school and daycare provide the most structure because she is with them all day long. When we get home:
I made index cards with instructions on how to do stuff in the places you would do them. (how to rinse your dishes, bedtime routine, down time activity suggestions)
I created more cards for chores with step by step instructions, so I don’t have to stand there everyday and explain it AGAIN or ask 15 times if something has been done.
I have made tracking sheets. But usually fail to maintain or keep track.
I have a physical planner to write important dates down. I literally carry it EVERYWHERE with me…even to the bathroom (ya never know when you’re going to remember something) and I write down things as soon as I remember them, am informed, or even if I want to plan something in the future, I write that down too.
I have a clock in every room. They are all set at different times and “fast”. (this is true in the car as well)And I have an alarm that goes off every 10 minutes in the morning.
I have bins in the refrigerator, and on good weeks I prep all sides and snacks and sometimes the main courses of our meals and put them neatly into the fridge. Other times I make breakfast and lunch in 10 minutes right before walking out the door. But I know I can do the other, because I have done it. I was successful. It was not impossible for me.
I have veggies delivered to our door so I don’t impulse buy or forget to feed us balanced meals.
Sometimes we throw all rules out and do whatever and just act crazy for a day or two.
I have many other coping mechanisms. What people don’t see is the hundreds of failed trials at other options, or these very options, to solve my own problems. We have tried and failed at many many things. It has taken us YEARS to get to this point and it’s still flawed. But sometimes, it sticks, or lasts just long enough. Don’t give up. Keep looking for ways to structure yourself and for your children. And ask them what works best for them. When I started doing this I stopped banging my head against the wall so much. Now I know that written instructions everywhere help my daughter, because she told me so, and we tried it, and it worked.