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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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.
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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.
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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.”