Monday, March 18, 2013

ADHD parenting

Raising kids is hard.  Raising parents is worse.  My poor kids have a mom who has ADHD.  What does that mean?

Well, first of all it means that routines don't really exist.  You've heard the saying that if you do something for 3 weeks it becomes a habit, right?
Not for me.  I've heard that from a lot of other people who have ADHD.  We can easily do something for 3 weeks, or even 3 months, and still quit doing it at the drop of a hat.  It takes great concerted effort for us to add something - especially if it is something we don't like.  Most of my habits that Ive been able to keep have to be piggybacked on some biological need (eat, sleep, play video games). 
Kids need routines.  I don't do that well.

Kids need order.  Have you seen hoarders?  Me too.  I like it 'cause it makes me feel better.  I can still see all most some of my floor.  But there is clutter everywhere.  And there is a lot of stuff on the floors.  It's not neat, it's not pretty, and ALL the toys are in one big box (sometimes).  A lot of the stuff around the house are duplicates because we failed to find the original in time.

Kids need food.  Yeah, before you freak out, I still feed them.  But it's not the June Cleaver meals, it's whatever I can whip up in 5 minutes.  Seriously, anything longer requires planning, and I forget to do that until my tummy grumbles - or my kids do.  So we eat a lot of cereal and sandwiches.  Good thing we like both.

Kids need patience.  So do I.  Unfortunately they seem to have used up all of mine.

There are lots of other things I do wrong, but here are some things that my ADHD help me do well.

My constantly flitting attention (when I'm not hyperfocusing) helps me track them.  They're quite shiny.  And sticky.  And covered in.. What the??? Get out of there!!

I'm quite flexible.  That's easy when you can't remember what plans you had in the first place.   Ice cream with the kids is more important that some stupid city council meeting about a proposed highway going through your house.  Right?  Right?!?

I can find things.  I'm good at that because I always lose things, so I've had LOTS of practice finding everything.  And my kids have learned this invaluable skill, because I have painstakingly instilled it in them by losing my keys, purse, mind, shoes, (not necessarily in that order, or individually) and then recruiting the children in locating these things.  I suspect the children may have occasionally relocated the items in question, but I know myself better than to assume that the children are the primary culprits.

I provide wonderful humor for my children.  "Silly Mama!  You put the keys in the fridge.  AGAIN!"

Most of all, I love my children.   I tell them so often (usually accompanied by an apology for my latest gaff), and I can do it with a straight face!  I always mean it, even (or especially) when I can't feel it.  Love is a verb, and I do try hard to show it.

I guess most moms mess up occasionally.  I just feel like one constant failure.  But, if I'm a failure, I'm a loving, funny one at least.  :D

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