When you’re a mom with ADHD, the challenges of parenting a child with ADHD can multiply.
It can seem like the deck is stacked against you some days. Women tend to be diagnosed later in life than men. Girls frequently have the inattentive presentation of ADHD and frequently don’t get diagnosed until adulthood, unlike boys who tend to display more hyperactivity. Many moms discover they have ADHD while having their children evaluated for the disorder. Their child’s symptoms sound all too familiar and they themselves seek an assessment for themselves. Most women with ADHD are diagnosed with another condition before getting the accurate ADHD diagnosis.
Once diagnosed, there are still many obstacles to overcome. Mothers tend to put themselves last when it comes to health care, including mental health services, while often taking on the majority of child care. Women who suffer chronic stress, like that caused by ADHD symptoms, are more at risk for stress-related conditions.
What can you do if you’re a mom with ADHD?
Don’t Go It Alone
Seek out support from your family and friends. Knowing that you don’t have to face parenting challenges alone can help you cope with stress and emotional issues. Carpools, exercise, a friend to talk with, can all ease the stress and chaos in your day-to-day life. CHADD has local support groups where you can connect with people who are struggling with the same issues.
Learn about ADHD
When you understand how your ADHD affects you and your loved ones, you can better address some of your challenges. You can learn more on our website about ADHD and some effective strategies to cope with your symptoms.
Setting up routines that work for you to handle things such as household chores, homework checking and meal planning can help you get organized and reduce the concentration required to get these things done.
Give Yourself More Time
It’s difficult to get everyone where they need to be on time, especially when you have easily distractible family members. One way to help you get to where you or your kids need to go on time is to start earlier. When you need to be somewhere, start getting ready 15 minutes earlier than you think you need to so you aren’t rushing around and possibly getting frantic or forgetting something. Start the kids moving early as well.
Take Care of Yourself
Do you remember that passengers on an airplane are told to put their oxygen mask on first when there is a sudden loss of cabin pressure, and then put on their child’s mask? The same principle holds for treating your ADHD – address your needs first so that you can better address your child’s or family’s needs.
Research shows that the most effective complementary therapies are mindfulness, exercise, and sleep hygiene to help treat the symptoms of ADHD. Taking care of yourself can put you in the right frame of mind to take care of your loved ones.
For more information on women and ADHD, visit Living with ADHD--A Lifespan Disorder for Women and Girls.