Let's get really real for a minute. Being a mom is hard. You know those people who say it's the toughest job in the world? Well, they're right. In fact, most days just making it through one entire adult conversation without losing your train of thought is pretty much a win — and that's without the added challenge of being a mom with ADHD.
I have a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old, and even without ADHD, every day is a struggle to maintain my focus long enough to handle the barrage of responsibility flying at me from every angle... including shaping the lives of two tiny humans.
Yep, motherhood is basically just one big pressure cooker.
So you, Mama? You're a rock star in my book. A warrior. And likely a woman who could stand for life to cut her a little slack. To help you get a beat on some much-needed peace of mind, I tapped Terry Matlen, an expert in the field of ADHD with a focus on women and moms. In addition to serving as the director of ADD Consults, Matlen is the author of two ADHD-related books: The Queen of Distraction, and Survival Tips for Women with ADHD.
Here's what she had to say about making things easier on yourself as a mom with ADHD.
Make sure your ADHD is adequately treated. Being a mom with ADHD adds many layers of difficulties for women with ADHD and without getting the help you need, it will make parenting much, much harder.
Don’t compare your home, your family with your sister, girlfriend or neighbor — the challenges are very real and often debilitating. So stop trying to keep your home as clutter-free as them, especially since we know that when a parent has ADHD, there a good chance one or more of their children will have ADHD (it’s highly genetic).
Women are notoriously hard on themselves about reaching out for help. We have this mindset that we should be able to juggle everything on our own, but with ADHD in the mix, it’s a necessity, not a luxury, to get help such as house cleaning, tutoring for the kids (even if just helping them get their homework done), etc.
Find other moms with ADHD so you don’t feel so alone. The big CHADD conference is coming to Atlanta, Georgia, in November. You’d meet a lot of moms with ADHD there and also learn from top experts in the field. [Note: Matlen will be one of the experts presenting at the 2017 Annual International Conference on ADHD, aka CHADD, in Atlanta, Georgia to be held between Nov. 9 and 12.]
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