Tips for Parenting with ADHD — Because It's Already Tough Enough Being a Mom

May 15, 2018 at 9:15 a.m. ET
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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.

More: Here's What It's Really Like to Be a Mom With ADHD

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.

Don't be ashamed to seek treatment

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.

More: 8 Tips to Help People With ADHD Make It Through the Workday

Change your expectations

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).

Get outside help

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.

More: 9 Ways Having ADHD Affects Relationships (for Better & for Worse!)

Join a support network

Find other moms with ADHD so you don’t feel so alone. The annual CHADD conference takes place every November in Atlanta, Georgia (this year, it's Nov. 8-11). You’d meet a lot of moms with ADHD there and also learn from top experts in the field.

This post is part of a sponsored advertising collaboration. A version of this article was originally published in September 2017.

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