Guest Blogs

“Housekeeping Is Not Motherhood.”

“Your housekeeping is not your motherhood, and you’re giving away power when you combine the two and judge one against the other. ⁣You are a good mom because you love your child. And that is more than enough.”

housework is not motherhood - swiffer mop

Domesticity does not equal motherhood. ⁣

I once sat in a class where teenage girls said they needed to learn how to cook, do laundry, and clean if they wanted to one day be good moms.⁣

I stopped and told them that cooking, doing laundry, and cleaning are part of being an adult. Those are not the things that make up motherhood. ⁣

But I get where they got that conclusion.⁣

You always hear women (particularly those of us with ADHD) say they aren’t good moms when they don’t make homemade lunches, prepare cupcakes for the bake sale, show up to the doctor with kids who have brushed hair, or get the laundry put away in a decent time. ⁣

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“I’m such a bad mom. I sent store-bought valentines to school with my kid.”⁣

“Mom fail. I didn’t get the laundry done.”⁣

“I’m a failure as a mom. I don’t make homemade bread/cookies/whatever.”⁣


Your “success” as a mother is not defined by domestic duties. Domestic duties are part of being an adult — and they are particularly onerous for moms with ADHD due to biology, not some personal failing.⁣

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While your children do need to be changed and fed, that’s not the summation of MOTHERHOOD. Anyone can change and feed children, including dads. You can hire someone to clean your house and feed your kids, and you’ll still be a mom. ⁣

And if you weren’t a mom, you’d still have to clean your house, cook food, and do laundry. ⁣

You’re not a bad mom because you didn’t do laundry in time. Let’s stop combining domestic duties with motherhood, because they just aren’t the same. Yes, moms do domestic things. And they raise children. These are two separate things. ⁣

Your housekeeping is not your motherhood, and you’re giving away power when you combine the two and judge one against the other. ⁣

You ask yourself how to be a good mom? You already are one –  because you love your child, and you try to help them learn the things they need to learn. You worry about your kids, you spend time with them, you plan for their future, and so much more.⁣

You might be terrible at domestic duties (I don’t know) or you might be the best housekeeper in the world. But neither end of the spectrum — or anything in between — determines if you’re a good mom or not.⁣

Housekeeping is NOT motherhood.⁣

[Read This Next: Overwhelmed Mom Syndrome — It Is a Real Thing]

This blog post was originally published on, “Hey Mama, You’re Doing Better Than You Think”

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4 Comments & Reviews

  1. I felt like crying when i read this! I’m 63 years old, and have felt guilty for most of my adult life because of the PREVAILING attitude that Motherhood EQUALS “Good Housekeeper” ( i.e., professional “Domestic Engineer”) . We have been ingrained to believe that Motherhood is synonymous with all the other “Adulting” things that most adults (should) do in life. When we can’t keep up, we are BAD.
    It is a MORAL condition.
    Thank you SO MUCH for pointing out that Motherhood is NOT THE SAME as doing laundry, waxing floors, doing everything from scratch, and being a horrible MOTHER if everything isn’t homemade.
    If we decide to “stay at home” (especially when not TRYING to earn extra money), and we fail at housekeeping, the stigma is even greater. And a woman who does earn an income from home is Lauded as an even better “Mother” because she can do that, too.
    I am thankful that we have started to understand how much of an impact ADHD has on all areas of life, and how many adults still struggle with ADHD.
    The older we are, the worse the struggle may be: As children we didn’t have any of the learning modifications we may use with our own kids. We grew up being told we were lazy, stupid, weird, wrong, retarded, losers. We were also told we would “grow out of it”, and when we didn’t, it reaffirmed all the pronouncements we were bombarded with as kids.
    I am thankful for the resources that are available now, including ADDitude Magazine, and all the contributors that bring so much information and HOPE, to those of us who live with ADHD and its’ effects on a daily basis, both with ourselves and others.
    Again, Thank You.

  2. OMG I wish I had this perspective when I became a sudden step-mom, and was completely overwhelmed with performing “domestic duties” along with my job. Sometimes – thank god – i went with my gut and did fun things – – and sometimes my total anxiety over not being what I was “supposed” to be made me a witch, I’m afraid.

    Now I only remember the stuff that had nothing to do with keeping up the house ( I was clean but as messy as the boys were). So much unhappiness wasted on the wrong stuff.

    If you have kids, love them, do things with them, enjpy the time – – and figure out how to keep house without making it the center of your life!

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