ADHD Moms Managing ADHD Children

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    • #67322

      My son and I both have ADHD. I have found some ways to cope that work well when I’m on my own, but I get very overwhelmed when my son is home from school and awake, and weekends are exhausting. I feel like I should be helping him but I cant even get myself together and the general aura of chaos he brings home with him makes me feel like I’m going crazy. I hide in the bathroom for a few minutes sometimes just to have a moment to regroup. Then I feel guilty because I want to have a good relationship with him and have fun with him but some of his behaviors make it seem impossible. I got yet another message from his teacher today that he was acting out and disrupting class and I just felt like crying. Are there any other ADHD moms who have ADHD kids? How do you cope?

    • #67328

      I too have ADD and 4 children (ages 2,4,6&8). My 8 year old is currently on medication for ADHD and I’m trying to get my 6 year old started.
      To say I “get” what you’re saying is an understatement. Let me tell ya…
      You’re completely “normal”. I’ve been hiding from my kids since it was just 2 of them LOL… It’s overwhelming!! Their loud, needy, whiny, and at any given time some or all of them will be demanding my full undivided Attention (for no other reason other then THEY got my attention and not their sibling).
      Yet, in the same breath I love them more then I ever knew I could love another being. Nothing beats when we’re all in a pile on the floor wrestling and giggling or playing outside, but, realistically life gets in the way. The laundry has to get done the dishes need to get cleaned, then there’s the friggin homework from hell or important phone calls you need to make and when your kid(s) are in your ear while you’re trying to use all five of your brain cells it’s maddening!!
      The best advise I can give ANY parent is…
      *Get good at letting people help you.*
      If someone wants to take your kid for the day for a playdate or a sleep over to give you a break don’t try to be polite and say “no you don’t have to do that, I’m fine”….
      Screw that!! Say “thank you, that would be amazing!” Then go do some stuff you’ve been putting off because you’re too busy being a parent.
      Hang tough Mama! You got this!

    • #67353

      Unfortunately in my experience most ADHD kids don’t get invited over to other people’s homes for play dates for obvious reasons and it would be rare that someone (other than possibly another ADHD parent) would offer to take your children for a few hours much less a day. My suggestion is to get the professional help you need, to include medications if appropriate, so you can be more effective in managing life for the sake of your children. My ADHD son is now 20 and fortunately we did get him the help he needed but unfortunately I did not and I was you! Please don’t hesitate to get the help you need to cope with your own ADHD so you can more effectively parent your children. We cannot change the past but we can certainly do something today.

    • #67362

      Thanks for the replies. My son was with his grandpa today and I was able to take a break and recenter myself. I love my son more than anything and want to be a good mom. I just get a little worn out sometimes. It’s nice to know I’m not alone!

    • #67400
      Penny Williams

      It’s common for parents and kids to both have ADHD, since it’s genetic. You certainly aren’t alone.

      Terry Matlen’s book, “The Queen of Distraction” is packed full of simple tips and strategies for moms with ADHD.

      There’s more in these articles:

      What to Do When SuperMom Has ADHD

      Like Mother, Like Child: When ADHD Is a Family Affair

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #68375

      You’re definitely not alone! Lately I’ve just been working on my own brain health and stress response so that I can be my best self to approach the chaos in the most calm manner possible. I’m finding meditation and deep breathing to be a game changer. It’s giving me the peace and mental clarity I need! Not every day is perfect and I still get overwhelmed by my son, but things are SO much better!

    • #68412

      I have inattentive add, my seven year old is adhd, twelve year old has high functioning autism, and husband displays some characteristics of both. I joke that I am the captian of our spaceship. People lose stuff, forget what they are doing, lose track of time constantly. And because I’m the mom, I feel like I am responsible for managing them all. Lately I’ve been trying to focus on my own issues (you know, putting on my own oxygen mask first), so that I will be able to better care for others. I know the answers are different for everyone, but you are definitely not alone.

    • #68433

      I have ADHD and so does my son. Mine is a recent diagnosis however, and I didn’t know about it when he was littler. (He’s 13 now.)

      The first thing I’d tell you is to drop the rope about behavior in school. Let the teacher handle it. You can’t fix his behavior there. You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but consequences at home or talking at home is simply too far removed from the moment that he’s having at school. So, just let the school behavior go. Don’t let it impact you.

      As for the rest, I do recommend learning a variety of breathing exercises to help you calm down. There’s box breathing, 7-1-8 breathing, belly breathing, etc. Learn them and mix them up to help you calm down so you react to his behavior from a point of wanting to train him into better behaviors rather than reacting to how he’s making you feel.

    • #68437

      I FEEEEEEEEL YOU! I generally feel so alone with this general feeling of overwhelm. My favorite day is Monday, because I’ve been unemployed for 5 years, or the reluctant SAHM, I get the house back to myself on Monday. I dread the weekend and long holidays. Here in GA they only get a 2 month summer and lots of 1-2 week breaks all year! The break throughs my daughter off, who has anxiety, OCD and if I have ADHD she probably has it. She likes being hoe from school but the change in routine makes her bored and cranky at the same time! She doesn’t play with toys and likes direct one on one attention for 18 hours a day. LOL. I hide in my closet, or bathroom or go outside. I’m considering building my own tiny house and calling it “Mommy’s Time-Out”. When I’m PMSing I have this overwhelming desire to get in my car and drive until I reach the wilderness, there I will live in solitude and survive off the land. I dream of hiking the AT for 6 months, or at the very least running an Ultra 100 mile though the wilderness. I long for the quiet and solitude of nature. I just recently was able to run more than 30 seconds and built up to 30 minutes. Running brought me the solitude and peace I craved. Then I sprained my f*&%@# knee! Why God, why?! We live in a small 1000sqft home, when we are all home the cacophony of my husbands guitar ramblings, and my daughters annoying YouTube videos has me wanting to run out of the house screaming. This gives me insights into my own mother’s crankyness, and her mother, and her mother. We have generational ADHD, I can trace it back. I think my husband has it too, but the inattentive type. He forgets/misplaces stuff and has lots of accidents. I have the driven by a motor type. My husband also has OCD which I think was so prominent that they over looked the ADHD. But hey, Howie Mandel has both.
      I cope with prayer, and music, whine is great too, if you don’t have any addiction issues. Like Whine BEFORE dinner, on an empty stomach, lol. It’s just we are trying to fit into an unnatural “perfect” world, it doesn’t work for us, we are NOT linear! My mom never got on me for my grades, she knew I was smart and school is just a fucked up institution. My dad on the other hand, felt it reflected poorly and must of had issues with how he felt about himself. He would punish me. Stand by your kid, make sure he gets what he needs to be able to navigate this messed up world, and build up his confidence so he will be able to strike out on his own. If school isn’t his jam, as it’s only s good fit for like 5% of the population, encourage creative out of the box thinking. Remind him, and yourself that he can do anything he can put his mind to. Don’t base your self image or intelligence on that report card. Find your strengths and passions and do the hell out of them! We ADHD people can be so high energy and passionate once our skills and interests find a good match. It’s called Flow Psychology.
      Don’t bow down to this world and it’s slim pickings! I’ve only just recently made peace with my lack of higher education. I had to separate it from my self image. I feel so free now. God Bless you. You’re not alone, email me if you ever want to talk or vent!

    • #68477

      For a natural couch potato like me, it sounds disingenuous to recommend exercise, but here it is: get you and get your son some exercise. Not the team sport variety, but the individual kind like swimming, running, tennis, etc. You’re looking for highly aerobic, highly sensory (for some kids) and with sustained intensity. In other words, get him and his senses tired and saturated. We picked swimming for my daughter, running for my son, hockey turned to biking for my husband. I run / walk/run when I can. Coming home, snacks. We have an expression: “Hangry”, meaning hungry and angry. Whenever someone walks in the door after school / work, hand them a cheese stick. Don’t try to argue with a mentally wiped out, physically underexercised preteen: feed them and send them to walk on an errand.
      Managing wakeup time is also a key in our home. Sleeping late makes my 12 yo girl a cranky child for the remaining of the daylight on the day! Sleeping in means sugar low means sleeping even later, meaning even low blood sugar, and when she wakes up she’s a dragon. Nothing gets done, friends are called with haphazard requests for plans together, homework does not get touched, little brothers are tweaked moms (moi!) are told off. organizing Friday night so that she can wake up at a reasonable time on Saturday morning is a must, if we are ever going to deal with each other in any kind of civilized way. Beside all the other great recommendations that you have, here’s mine: look at sleep patterns and feed yourself and your sun at the right time.

    • #68580


      I to get what you are feeling. I have a house full of ADHD brains. My husband, eldest and I all have inattentive type which allows us all to “satellite” around each other, as we live in our own little world of thought. Occasionally we bump into each other, “oh hey, you’re here”.

      Then there is my youngest, hyperactive and in need of constant sensory input. Life at our house drives him, this drives me, beyond nuts. He is constantly seeking attention and we love to spend time daydreaming.

      As I write this we are in a relative calm place, but it hasn’t always been like that. It took a big mind shift, some behavioral parenting interventions (self directed because honestly, when do ADHD brains do things other people tell them), forgiveness, ADHD education, and a really really really amazing group of teaches and staff at my kids school.

      I was only able to do this after I had to leave my job because things at home were so nuts. Here are a few tips, but remember, you are the captain of your own ship, and only you know what the solution truly is.

      Acceptance: your family is different then most others. But it sounds to me like it is the same as many of the families on this sight! Your not alone

      Small steps. Change one thing at a time. Our brains allow us to do amazing things, but you have to let the idea that you can solve it all right now. Big change, takes small moves.

      Build your tolerance. Stimulate your vagal nerve by doing deep breathing. (If You don’t know what this is, start your research here).

      Forgiveness. When things do get nuts and you don’t handle things the way you wanted, let your kid (your spouse, well anyone really) know that. It goes along way to improving your long term relationship. It also starts the process towards self forgivenes.

      Find community! Like one of the other parents states above. Our kids don’t get asked out to places. Chances are, there is another kid in your child’s class in the same situation. Find out who that is and find out who their parents are. There might be a kindred spirit could use you just as much as you could use them!

      Finally, do not accept blame. Other parents and teachers (and yes sometimes is as parents) seek to find blame for your child’s behavior. This can be directed at your child or it can be directed at you. “No Way” you take that incoming blame and you hit that sucker back over the wall. Are kids are not intentally acting out or choosing theor behavior. This is how our brains work, like it our not. When their behavior is seen as a problem, stop and ask yourself, is this behavior really a problem for my kid? The reaction might be, but the behavior is really a problem for the teacher. It is up to them to figure out how to teach with an ADHD brain in the room. Honestly, we would never label symptoms of other learning differences a problem. Think about it…

      Also, age 9 seems to be a bit easier then age 8. You might just need to hold on until tight until next development milestone is reached. In that case, the bathroom seems like a good place to hide for a while. Ha ha, good luck! You got this!

    • #69028

      Tessm, is there a way to get in touch with you directly? Email perhaps? I’d love to talk to you about your post, I could have written it myself.
      Please let me know. Thanks

      • #69033

        me too

        • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by fuscia.
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