Parenting

What to Do When SuperMom Has ADHD

Some say being a mom is the most important job in the world. When ADHD gets involved — yours or your child’s — it’s also one of the toughest! Make it a little easier with these tips to relieve the stress.

A mother with ADHD hugging her daughter and smiling
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Manage Your ADHD Household

Feel like your parenting skills are less than perfect? You’re not alone. When moms with ADHD are also parents to children with ADHD, keeping the family organized can be especially challenging. Here are helpful tips to help you organize your household, support your kids, and make motherhood a wonderful, manageable experience.

A mom with ADHD at a doctor's appointment to discuss treatment
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Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First

If you don’t address and manage your own ADHD first, your attempts to help your children manage theirs will be all the more challenging. To be as efficient and supportive as possible in the worlds of work and parenting, you need to get a handle on your own condition first. In the long run, everyone will benefit.

A mom of two children with ADHD arguing in the grocery store
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Anticipate Problems — and Find Solutions

As a mom with ADHD, learn to maneuver around tense situations. If your child has frequent meltdowns when running errands, for example, think about having a caregiver stay at home with your child when you're out.

[Free Download: Parenting Guide for Moms and Dads with ADHD]

A mom with ADHD checking her grocery list in the store
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Simplify Grocery Shopping

Moms with ADHD often have trouble planning meals because they forget what to buy or feel overwhelmed by all the choices at the store. Create index cards of meals you'd like to prepare that include a list of the ingredients. Keep the cards in your purse so they're handy when you get to the store. When you shop, stay focused — and save money on impulse buys — by only purchasing what's on the cards.

Mom with ADHD smiling at the camera
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Get Outside Help

Don't feel guilty about asking for outside help. Think about hiring a professional organizer to help you clean up the clutter around your home and organize your office. It can make a world of difference.

Mom with ADHD holding hands with her child
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Connect with Your Partner

It's easy to get swept up into the ADHD tornado at home. Try to get away with your partner or a friend for a couple of hours for a dinner or a movie. It helps reduce stress, and it can make all of the difference in your attitude toward life — and your child — when you return!

A mom with ADHD helping her family prepare dinner
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Change Your Expectations

Don't try to fit your family into the cookie-cutter mold. It would be great if your family could sit down together at dinner to discuss your day, but it might not be feasible and you shouldn't force it. If your child does better eating earlier in the kitchen, let her do this. Go with what makes mealtime happy for all of you.

[Five Ways for Moms to Grab Some Me-Time]

A mom with ADHD feeding her young child frozen yogurt
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Think About Your Sanity

When you need time and space away from mothering to recharge your batteries or pursue other interests, do it! Think about paying a high school student or a college student to help take care of your kids during the day, even if you're home. Taking time for yourself is a must.

Mom with ADHD being scolded by her mother
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Get Rid of Guilt

Don't allow your relatives or neighbors to judge your parenting skills. What worked for them raising a child without ADHD won't necessarily work for you. Raising your child may be a different ballgame — because of her ADHD and because of yours.

A mom with ADHD playing with her young daughter
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Don't Take Every Mistake Too Seriously

Laugh at the ADHD gremlins. If you burn dinner and forget to bake brownies for your child's homeroom classmates, don't beat yourself up over it. Learn to put your lapses in perspective. Whenever you screw up, make light of the situation by saying, “Guess my ADHD is kicking in again.”

[Not Neurotypical: A Survival Kit for ADHD Moms]

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  1. I would imagine low income families struggling with ADD have the most at stake so why do so many solutions involve paying sitters just to complete essential weekly errands or hiring life coaches? That’s extravagant even for middle class families. This article feels incredibly out of touch with the average family. We need real solutions not unaffordable means of avoiding them.

    1. Thank you for your reply…I was thinking the same thing and find this across the board in most books and published resources. It’s funny because women diagnosed with ADHD later in life are generally more likely to be underachieving, and not earn as much as her peers. I’m one of these women. I was diagnosed this year, at 33, after almost dropping out of college before graduating, then getting pregnant before I made it to grad school, followed by destroying my marriage, and now…living with my mom and nine year old son AND autistic brother. I make what is considered to be about poverty level income as a child care provider, and can’t afford my own apartment much less a personal organizer! LOL! Luckily, one of the only blessings that come with my ADHD is creativity so I devised a LOT of cheap/free hacks before being diagnosed. It sure would be nice to have the money to have those options though.

    2. I agree.
      I can’t seem to get close to other people and my AD/HD costs me every month a lot of money because of medication and damages that I caused.
      Getting personal organizers, baby sitters and cleaning services is not really an option for me.

    3. I 100% agree with your comment. It’s not only out of touch with anyone who isn’t wealthy, it also makes incredibly gendered assumptions about what women are doing with their days. There’s one quick mention of “work” but everything else seems to be geared toward a stereotypical upper middle-class stay-at-home mother.

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