Stay at home moms and procrastination

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    • #58571

      As a stay at home mom, I have an extremely difficult time self motivating and not procrastinating. Most of the tips for offices don’t help. Any ideas?

    • #58630
      Penny Williams

      The structure of making a schedule and routines for yourself could help. Every morning at 9 am you wipe down the kitchen, for example.

      6 Easy Ways to Juggle All Those Balls

      Here’s a great guide for parents who have ADHD themselves:

      Free Parenting Guide for Moms & Dads with ADHD

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

      • #59035

        Thank you. I think these articles will be very helpfhelpful.

    • #58734

      Hi There! You may find the extra support like I did from a dynamite woman who is known as the “Fly Lady”! She especially is good for for folks like us. She has a great website, app, her books are good (I found 2 in my local library), and she is highly motivational! You can find her at the “Flylady.Net”. Just start with the block or tab marked “Getting Started”.

      I would also recommend the 3 books and weekly blog by Jennifer L. Scott, a young mom. She wrote “Lessons from Madam Chic…”‘ “At Home with Madam Chic”, and “Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic”. These books were based on her experiences as an exchange student in Paris, France for one year and what she learned from a European woman/mother in particular about managing home, time, and how to perceive herself. They were very good!

    • #58867

      You need you some FlyLady.

      • #59037

        I used to do flylady, but I never stuck with it because there was no accountability. Maybe I’ll try it again with some of these other suggestions.

    • #58873
      Uncle Dharma

      I am still working on this, but I have some ideas that have worked in the past.
      Get into a daily routine. I am trying to go for a walk every morning, then start my day. This works when I have a walk as I am then awake and have planned my day.

      Have a weekly timetable with a main activity for each day.
      Maybe go to library then shopping on Monday, do all laundry and house cleaning on Wednesday. The idea is that you can look forward to Thursdays when you do gardening.

      My calendar is like a poster and in a place where I cannot miss seeing it, such as above my chest of drawers in my bedroom.
      Also, my calendar has several months at a time on display. This avoids turning to a new page and finding out that you missed something on day one.

      In the past, I have lived with other people and they get me going. At least get me up to join them for breakfast and so on.
      A psychologist friend suggested that as soon as I wake up, I put on music. Something that is lively and motivating.

      Don’t waste time online and ‘screen sucking’. I put on a music CD and when it stops, I logoff and start the next task.

      • #59038

        I’ve had a scheduled routine before, but never stuck to it. I think I scheduled the hard stuff for the morning and that was a bad idea. I’m hoping that all of these responses will inspire me to try again.

    • #58877

      Oh my goodness! You are not alone! I am a stay at home mom too, with ADD, and this is such a huge problem for me!! I can’t say I have made much progress, but the person I love to follow is “a slob comes clean”. She doesn’t say she has add, but it sure sounds like. She has a podcast, and I LOVE IT. I try to do what she suggests and it has worked some. She is super practical and super realistic. I wonder sometimes how she got in my head to know what I was thinking.

      the other person’s comment about playing music in the morning just gave me an idea now…maybe I can wake up and play her podcasts right away. I think that would
      Get me moving!! I love to listen to her podcasts while I do piles of dishes.

      I struggle with fatigue and depression, so for me, she’s a lot more realistic than fly lady. But hey, whatever works, right!!?

      Best wishes.

      • #59372

        I checked out this woman’s website and she seems like my kind of woman! I signed up for her podcasts . I hope she’s helpful to me. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • #62136

        I’ve recently come across her site as well… so many great things. And how DOES she know what we’re thinking? She even eludes to “hyper-focus”.
        My favorite thing she’s said so far is contrary to what we usually hear: Put the little things away, right away. Even if it means going back and forth and back again. -Beeline it there and back, then you don’t have 8 “sorted” piles to put away when your “done” with a cleaning project. (You know those piles never actually get put AWAY)

        A few of her other concepts:
        Containers to contain things (limit your quantities of ribbon, markers, etc)
        If it doesn’t have a home: it’s clutter

    • #58892

      Hi there
      I’m also a SAHM with 2 kids 1 has ADD. I understand you. It’s very hard to get things done. Very importan Don’t give up keep trying different tips. My Quick tip is reward yourself in your mind, tell yourself you’ll watch your favorite movie, do something you really enjoy or go somewhere you like. Anything. Tricking our brains is a must. You’ll be a pro at it with time. Don’t give up!!

      • #59373

        Thanks. Good tip.

    • #58894

      I second the advice to check out Fly Lady and also listen to podcasts. I can’t get out of the house and to work on time without listening to podcasts. They somehow distract me enough so I can focus on mundane tasks. I listen to them when I clean the house as well. I find I am able to get more done, more quickly.

      • #59374

        Flylady might work now that my house is mostly decluttered. I got a dumpster and the whole family worked to fill it! I may try that again. Thanks.

    • #58896

      I like to set timers for myself. For instance, 20 mins to clean the kitchen, maybe 30 mins or 45 minsto clean the rest of the house depending hpw bad it is. I find a 45 mins to do a once over is more than enough. Although its not a deep clean, its a vacuum and quick dust.

      • #59375

        Thanks! That might work.

    • #58899

      I do not have ADD/ADHD but Everyone else in my house does so you can imagine how it looks. I am disabled and as I became disabled a lot of things changed. It took a long time to get any sort of routine going and even now I have bad days that just kill that routine so I spend a lot of time starting over. Starting over is ok so First accept that maybe not everything HAS to get done and truly prioritize when you make a to do list. Some day I’ll have enough money to pay someone else to dust until then it’s a low priority. Second, minimize some stuff. Getting rid of stuff means there is less to clean up. No little collectibles means I don’t have to dust them. Lastly and this is a flylady tip. Get dressed, like you are going out somewhere. I Wouldn’t want to get my nice shirt all dusty…in all seriousness though It really does help, I do at least twice the housework if I put my clothes and shoes on instead of staying in PJ’s all day.

      • #59376

        I do make myself get dressed every morning, but it’s just too easy to lay down on the couch and take a nap. See, I sleep there to keep my 10 year old daughter (ADHD, ODD) from sneaking out in the middle of the night. So, my bed is right there.

    • #58905

      A professional organizer who specializes in ADD would able be to help you. Check out for someone close to you.

      My husband has ADD, and I’m an organizer who works with ADD clients. In my experience having someone physically in your space, helping to personalize options and suggestions makes a huge difference. They will help you focus and stay on task, and simplify your routine so that it is manageable on your own. I’ve found many of my clients struggle with motivation, but are inspired to get started once we have a plan in place.

      • #59377

        I wish I could afford that.

    • #58946

      You are most likely bored or you feel like this is something you have to do, but not something you want to do. The task is to make it enjoyable and something that you want to do. Here are some things that work for me.

      1. Listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks while you clean the house. It will keep your wandering mind occupied and interested.

      2. Watch a TV show while you are cooking or Skype a friend.

      3. Have a friend come over once a week and help you clean your house and you’ll go over once a week and help them clean their house. It’s always more fun cleaning other people houses and it’s easier when you have company.

      4. Don’t do all the work yourself. You might be at home while your spouse is away at work, but that doesn’t mean you have to do all the work. Pick some things that your spouse will do, or things that you do together f.ex. cooking and cleaning up after dinner, make a meal plan, fold laundry etc.

      5. Don’t clean up while your baby is asleep (if that’s the case). You should either take a nap or use the time to do something you want.

      6. Turn cleaning, picking up etc. into a game with kids. F.ex. put out a box and count how many toys each of you can put in there, the one who has a higher number wins. Have them help out with laundry etc. Doesn’t matter if they don’t do a good job, when they get older they will be used to doing housework and that will make things easier for you.

      7. Don’t make a schedule just to motivate yourself. Schedules don’t motivate anyone, they are plans to finish and do work that you are already motivated to do. If schedule only makes you feel bad about not sticking to it, don’t do it.

      8. Figure out what time during the day you feel most motivated to do work around the house. Even if it’s at strange hours, use that moment to get something done.

      9. Divide the housework into cleaning and clutter control. Most people deal with the clutter before getting to the cleaning. The danger of that for ADHD people is that all the stuff they have to put away will either make them tired because they are not sure where to put it and are overwhelmed, or it will get their minds racing about interior design or things that need to be replaced or they find their lipstick at last and they have to try it on etc.

      9. Clutter control. Get a lot of beautiful boxes and baskets, small and large and place them all over your home, in every room. Throw all the stuff that needs to be put away in those baskets until there is no clutter on counters, tables, beds, floor, around the sink, etc. Now clean.

      10. Clean first, then deal with the clutter in the baskets. Once you’re done cleaning you are basically done, because you cleared all the clutter by throwing the stuff into baskets. That means the clutter wont wear you down before you get to the cleaning, resulting in an incomplete project, that will make you feel bad and not wanting to do this ever again and you lose all motivation. If you are energised after the cleaning, you can pick one baskets and put stuff into it’s right place, like clothes etc.

      11. If you have a to do list. Write the next thing you are going to do on a post it note and put it somewhere where you see it. Keep the to do list out of sight. When you are done, cross over the post it note and the task on the to do list and put the next one up. ADHD people tend to think about all their projects at one. A bright colored post it note with one task, makes things easier to focus just on one task at a time. You will feel great about yourself when you see all the post it notes at the end of the day with all the stuff you got done.

      12. Talk to Siri. If you are forgetful have your phone remind you to do stuff like make a doctors appointment or have the car cleaned.

      13. Pick a small task and turn it into a habit. F.ex. put your shoes in the same place every time you take them off. Concentrate on practicing that until you just do it without thinking. Then pick another task.

      14. Throw stuff in the washing machine every morning.

      15. Listen to your thoughts. What are you thinking when you procrastinate? Do you feel overwhelmed? Is the task at hand difficult, boring, or do you need something to finish it and you don’t have it? What is stopping you? Do you feel you are not doing a good job and that’s why you are not doing it? It’s OK if you don’t know.

      16. Are there times when you find yourself motivated? Figure out where that motivation comes from and use it.

      17. Dress up for the task. Pick an outfit that you are comfortable in and treat it as your work-clothes and you are doing housework. Take them off at the end of the workday, and change to “at-home-mode”. It’s hard when the same place is your workplace and home.

      18. Don’t be to hard on yourself. My aunt once gave me the advice to stress less about the mess, just dim the lights and light candles and read a book or chat with your loved ones.

      • #59378

        Thanks! Some great ideas here.

      • #59575

        @krevus these are some really great ideas! Even for those of us who don’t stay at home that struggle with housework!!!!

      • #62140

        Amazing advice! I love all of it, especially #11. (Post it note on top of your ToDos)
        I want to add something to your bit about schedules. You’re right, they don’t motivate. I have my daily schedule written as blocks of time.
        Example: 8-10am Something laundry related & 10 minutes in the kitchen
        10-12pm Errands or Yardwork
        12-1pm Lunch/iPad
        1-3pm Three things from ToDo list

    • #58974

      I found it very hard to motivate until I got on the right medication. No amount of caffeine would give me energy and drive. Wellbutrin has helped immensely and when necessary, concerta (Ritalin). Then all the guidelines and tricks making lists or whatever really make sense!
      Don’t give up reading and looking for the solution for your particular brain type, and definitely ask your doctor for help adjusting medication. There are lots of natural supplements too but they only work for the milder ADD symptoms.

      On another note, I found it motivating to have friends over on the weekends and I got the adrenaline rush to clean up 😉

      Hope you find your solutions!

      • #59379

        Thanks! I also have Bipolar I and my medication cocktail is still under construction.

    • #62260

      a 35 year-old mom of 2 small boys. I was diagnosed with ADD in grade 7. Ive been on ritalin until 29 then Vyvance since then. Just moved provinces in June from AB to BC with husband and boys. My older son (4yrs old) was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 15 months ago. It’s currently considered fatal. He is expected to be confined to wheelchair by about 11 years old. Most boys with DMD die in their 20s from heart failure. My other son is 18m we have not had him tested for DMD yet. Both my boys are smart, active and generally happy. We moved to Vancouver island so we could have a better quality more outdoorsy lifestyle especially while my 4yr old is still really able and active. He was cooped up for 6 months last year because he cannot walk on ice and snow without falling. My husband works 10-12 hrs a day as a HDmechanic and I am a stay at home mom. My 4yr old is also in an experimental drug trial out of calgary childrens that has us flying to Calgary and back twice a month. I am very worried I am failing my boys, my family and myself and I don’t know where or how to find the help and support I need. Between my 4yr olds medical needs, my 18yr old regular ol baby needs and just the day to day running of the household I am not managing very well. I have no family in the area to help and I am with my boys literally 100% of the time. I have no childcare relief and I rarely even have a quiet hour to sit down to the mountain of paperwork I need to attend too. I am letting the ball drop in almost every area of my life I mean, we have been here 4 months our Alberta vehicle registration has expired and we still have not managed to switch it or inurance, i still have an Alberta phone number, the person who bought our home in AB sends us laaarge packets of mail we have not changed address on with angry notes on a somewhat regular basis, most days i forget to feed my kids lunch until im trying to make dinner and they are crying and raiding the cupboard (then i realized we skipped lunch… AGAIN)… I FORGET to do my son’s stretches at least half the time, we forget to do teeth at least half the time, we still havnt looked into a family dentist, we still have almost zero contacts in our new town, I havnt gotten a work out in since I left Alberta… and every night after I get the kids to bed instead of being productive I eat a shit load of junk food and either play a stupid cell phone game for hours, watch Netflix, or online shop until like 1am… then I wake up the next day tired and already defeated… My husband (who I love dearly) and I cannot seem to get along and after the day of being pretty much a slave to my little guys I feel like I have nothing left (attention-wise) for my Husband. I do not know how to get back on track or where to turn. I feel I need some mental health support and some ADHD coaching/support but I do not know where to find those and even of I did I have no one to watch my kids. I’m not suicidal or anything like that and I love my family dearly but I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders and my mind/attention is so blocked up that I can never seem to fix any one things or figure anything out… sometimes I get really great ideas of systems/charts data bases, lists, that could help my get on track and start being consistent but since I never have an opportunity to follow through with my inspiration/motivation when it strikes (while my medication is working) it never ever gets done because you know, diaper changing, juice getting, playground, grocery shopping… Lord I’ve had a plan to make a laminated master list for camping for about 3 yrs now… then in the evening when I finally do get some time to do things… how do I put this nicely… I no longer give a f$%k… I’m feeling so lost and discouraged now… like I am never ever going to get my shit together and thrive not just survive and therefore never really provide my kids with the best care and solid consistent home life that they need… 😣😣😢😢

      • #62278
        Penny Williams

        Hi @elisvan!

        You certainly have a lot on your plate. It’s completely natural to emotional about your son’s diagnosis and the amount of care he needs. You will feel much better if you banish the guilt of what you haven’t accomplished, validate and work through your feelings, and make every effort to maintain a positive outlook as much as possible (Of course, there will be days when you just need to grieve).

        It would be helpful if you could come up with a daily system for managing all your to-dos. While there are fancy planners and never-ending possibilities in apps for to-do and time management, it could be as simple as a spiral notebook with an ongoing list (I had a boss years ago that used this system — she kept a running bulleted list in a simple, cheap spiral notebook. She carried it with her everywhere. Everything went on this list. When completed, she struck through it. Every morning and the beginning of every afternoon, she’d run through what was left to be done and prioritize and tackle one at a time. When she started a new page, any lingering to-dos on the prior page were copied to the top of the new page, so all items were always visible.) You could accomplish the same thing with a dry-erase board too.

        The two articles I posted higher up in this thread are really helpful too.

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

    • #109544

      Hi, for you to be self motivated, I suggest you may start making a list of schedule of your housekeeping for your daily routine.
      Another one that I may suggest is try to get some part time job while at home. Try the freelancing career.
      I am a solo parent and SAHM,I took up the course for me to have financial income while at home together with my son.
      I really enjoy being a freelancer, you will gain knowledge and skills while earning from home, you will have flexible working hours, time freedom ,get paid at higher rate,and no age discrimination, these are some benefits that you will get from it. I’m sure you will like it.

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