View Full Version : Moms with ADD
07-01-2008, 01:44 PM
I'm curious. Am I the only mom out there diagnosed with ADD and finding its effects on her parenting skills? I know we all have our moments of being in the middle of a conversation, even in the middle of a sent..."ooohh...look at the pretty kitty!"
But really, I was diagnosed in college after seeing the school psychiatrist thinking I just needed help with some erratic sleeping habits and study skills and in the first appointment he handed me the diagnostic test for adult ADD. I denied it up and down, but then I scored in the 90% range and started the use of ADD meds.
I know my 14 mo. old child needs consistency and stability in her daily schedule. And I do my best to adhere to her needs. But things like her bedtime routine have had some fluctuations, and my patience when I don't feel well or when I'm tired is slim to none. I can look back on instances where I have swatted a hand or butt for something minor and told myself that I need to stop doing that, but the next opportunity to refuse a smack I'm back in the same place. I procrastinate like crazy, leading our financial setting in a bit of disarray, although I'm getting a handle on it. It's like I'm strong and stable for a period of time, then I get tired or feel the need to relax and I stop being productive.
I know some of this may sound like common mom issues, things everyone goes through. But it's the way I handle it in my mind, my reactions, my emotions toward all these situations that I am frustrated by. And I'm not looking for everyone's opinion on the validity of ADD, just some suggestions from those who have experience dealing with it (or with kids dealing with it).
Does anyone have coping skills they have learned to combine the ADD with parenting?
07-01-2008, 02:00 PM
I have ADD and OCD. As far as my parenting goes, both definately affect it... I lose my temper quickly, my attention span is next to nil sometimes and my daughter is left to deal with it. I have to say that she does an exceptional job of it - even though she doesn't have to. It's simple things like reading at night. I can't keep my attention on just one of her books. I tend to jump from book to book and read parts of each. Or at the playground, same kind of thing. I have caught myself yelling at my daughter because she disrupts my "routines" (the OCD routines). Summer time is extra hard because i'm used to being by myself while she's at school and I get embarrassed when my daughter questions why I do things a certain number of times, or why I get really upset if the spoons aren't facing upward in the dishwasher or in the right corner net of the dishwasher - and then I have to take all the dishes out of the dishwasher and redo them... So I yell sometimes, and I feel so horrible afterwards. I feel horrible, because of the OCD, I have a hard time allowing her to do things without me (playdates etc) because I get paranoid and start thinking horrible things will happen to her. Sounds horrible right? I think my OCD affects my parenting more than my ADD, but kind of the same thing, just affects it in different ways. I have attended behaviour therapy once a week for the past 2 years. I've heard the same can be effective for ADD and ADHD. I would suggest that you maybe look down that route. Also, something that my therapist told me that I've found works is to NEVER BE AFRAID TO SAY YOU'RE SORRY TO YOUR CHILD. Alot of parents would turn their nose up at that, saying that a parent should never apologize for disciplining, but if you find that you are punishing only because of YOUR mood and not something that child did to purposely annoy you, say you're sorry - it goes a long way with your kids. Also you could try giving yourself a kind of "timeout". I'm not sure if that would work for someone with ADD exclusively, but it works for me to just step away from the situation for a sec and try to completely make my mind blank. Good Luck!
07-01-2008, 02:24 PM
No, there have been times when I've just plopped her in the playpen and walked away. She's cried and fussed, but I just couldn't handle another minute of whatever she is doing. I give myself timeouts a lot, but a lot of it follows a smacking of her hand or bottom, usually when it's a minor thing.
My biggest problem lands when I get overwhelmed, whether it be bills I can't pay, too many things to accomplish in one day, or just a house that will not stay clean. My husband helps out a lot, but gets a little flabbergasted when I break down over laundry not being done. I can't sort that stuff out in my brain to allow me to see what I have to do first, so I just stand there looking at everything and cry.
And she's gotten plenty of hugs and sorry's over the past two months (I'm a teacher, so it's gotten worse over the summer break where I don't have as much of a schedule). It's so sad that I get so angry toward a 14 mo. old child. I just don't want it to effect her as she gets older...
1st Time Mom - Again
07-01-2008, 03:21 PM
Been there, done that, burnt the T-shirt! :p I too was diagnosed in college by my Special Education instructor. (I was taking a class on how to deal with mainstreaming Special Ed sudents in the General Ed classroom.) She was an analyst for a local intermediate school district and as part of the class she had us all take the Special Ed assessments. It explained so much!
Strategies? Lists! Calendars! Organizers! Anything to put in writing what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. That way I can check it off as it gets done so I know what I've done and what I haven't. My family is used to this and no longer need to be reminded to add it to the list.
07-03-2008, 12:24 AM
I make lists, have a big calendar on my refrigerator...but I guess I need to get on the organizer again. In college (when I actually had free time, I think), I would buy one of those organizers that had a line for every 15 minutes of my day. I would write my class schedule in one color, my practice times/lessons (music major) in another color, then in different colors I would plan when I could do homework, eat meals, and go to work. I had a really busy schedule that was different every day and would've forgotten something every day if I hadn't gone through that process. Now that I have a work schedule (during the school year) that is pretty consistent through the day, I'm not as detailed in writing down EVERYTHING. I just keep track of appointments and such.
And this is probably just a problem I will face in the summer, when I do not have a set schedule. I have gone a second day without a shower, simply b/c I didn't feel like going through all of that just to clean the house, I have spent way too much time on this computer, and despite all the time I have during the day, the laundry piles up. I can let a full day go by where I just watch TV and mess around on the computer (daughter gets taken care of though) and all of a sudden I realize I need to cook dinner and I'm still in my pjs with my glasses on. Or my husband will ask me to go do something for him outside of the house and I have 45 min. of prep to do before I can let myself been seen outside. I had great intentions of going to the library several times a week, taking my daughter to the park a bunch (all walking so I could also lose the chunk that just won't go away), but then I realized the library was over a mile away and I wouldn't get out the door until 9 am when it was just starting to get hot...how I love midsouth summers. I'd be fine (I've mowed the lawn a lot this summer) but I didn't want to overwhelm my daughter with the heat. We've been to the library twice, both by car. I can set a schedule, but it's acting on it that I struggle to begin. Once it's begun, I'm good to go, unless I sit down and get distracted. I guess that's why being a SAHM is just not my cup of tea, because I'd end up really smelly from a lack of showering, pasty white from my lack of sunshine, a bit fatter from sitting around and on the What Not to Wear show b/c I look so frumpy. And I'd have a house filled with half-completed projects. Don't even get me started there.
Are any of you using medication to help stabilize things? Or do you just use different coping strategies?
07-03-2008, 03:32 PM
I was diagnosed with ADD in my senior year of high school. That was 9 years ago; 6 years ago my son was born, and things got about 10 times worse! The best advice I can give you is: give yourself some slack.Start with telling yourself you will finish one project a day; then as you get more projects finished you won't feel so overwhelmed. Then figure out the best way for you to do housework. Me, I do my house one room a night (I work during the day). After that I get my husband and child involved picking up around the house. Anyway you do it, just don't beat yourself up over something not getting done.just resolve to do better next time!
07-03-2008, 04:22 PM
OMG! This all sounds exactly like me, but I wasn't diagnosed with ADD. I would sometimes joke about it (because I have the attention span of a gnat, I am extremely disorganized, and I can't follow a routine for the life of me). I do the lists, the calendars, the planners, the alarms and reminders to try and keep me in line. And I secretly think I am a bad mother because I cannot follow a bedtime routine or do the other things that all the parenting magazines and experts suggest you do. My children seem okay... I do loose my temper quite frequently, and I started seeing a therapist about it. She diagnosed me with anxiety and OCD (I obsess about tiny details and usually miss the big picture). I'm now taking Welbutrin 300mg (I'm pregnant, they may need to max the doseage when I'm not pregnant). I *think* it is helping...maybe? I'm sure my husband begs to differ. Perhaps it isn't anxiety but ADD I am suffering from. I don't know, but whatever it is, I wish I could lead a "normal" productive life!
1st Time Mom - Again
07-04-2008, 04:01 PM
"I can let a full day go by where I just watch TV and mess around on the computer (daughter gets taken care of though) and all of a sudden I realize I need to cook dinner and I'm still in my pjs with my glasses on."
-which I am reading at 4:00 PM while sitting in my pajamas, BF my son, and thinking about starting dinner. LOL. :p
07-05-2008, 09:48 PM
I'm currently 15 weeks pregnant and struggling to keep things in order. I'm torn about nursing because I too have Add and as soon as I have my baby, I want to go back on my meds. I want to be the best Mom I can be. Is taking meds an option for you?
07-06-2008, 09:55 PM
Definitely, but breastfeeding didn't work. She wouldn't latch on, she was in the NICU, so I couldn't get in there soon b/c of a C-section and I was frustrated. I made it through pregnancy, getting up early to go teach. My schedule at school was tight, so I had no room for losing track of time. I did get a warning about tardiness, b/c I had such trouble waking up in the first place. My house was in disorder. Bills were in disorder. And I had gotten pregnant very soon in my relationship with my now husband, and wasn't thinking clearly of whether I wanted to stay with him or face single parenting. I still get embarrassed when I think of my actions during those first few months.
I did however, try to pump for the first few weeks, but my child wouldn't stay asleep during the day long enough for me to get hooked up, so after 5 weeks or so, formula became her food. Those first five weeks were hard, but I was ok without the meds. I was on maternity leave that led right into summer, so I had plenty of time to figure out how to work things. And my husband was good about helping out with things. I did have several blow up moments with my mom though, partly due to some baby blues issues and partly due to the ADD (she folded the towels wrong and refused to let me fix it....just stuffed them on the shelf all bunched up b/c they wouldn't fit, you would have thought I was 13 again throwing a tantrum).
I would play the nursing deal by ear. They probably won't put you back on them until your six week checkup after giving birth anyway, so you'll have those six weeks to get the baby on a schedule and see how you'll cope and how well the baby will latch on. Make sure anyone helping you out knows how you might react and be willing to ask for help before you lose your patience or get to your wits end. I had a hard time processing what to do when I became sleep-deprived. Once the baby is on a consistent schedule, you'll know what to expect and it may get easier. If you get to the six week checkup and you just can't make it, consider the formula option so you can get back on meds. They don't recommend medication while breast-feeding just b/c there hasn't been enough research on long term effects on the babies. Know that you have to make the best decision for your family's situation, and if your child takes formula instead of breastmilk so that you can be on meds and give your child a stable, consistent home, that the minor negatives are far outweighed by the positive life you can give your baby.
I know this is long-winded, but the my meds have worn off by now.... :)
07-06-2008, 10:44 PM
I don't have ADD or OCD but I notice myself not keeping organized or a bedtime routine. It is difficult for me also and sometimes I do get down on myself for not being as organized as I would like to be! I keep my daughters schedule on the fridge just in case I am side tracked and we are doing other things. But parents are parents and you always try you best to do the right thing with your child. As far as breastfeeding goes as long as the doctor says it is okay then i'm sure it is, maybe do some research online to see if there has been any complications but if not I dont see any problems with it.
07-07-2008, 10:44 AM
I was told to stay off of meds until I was done breastfeeding b/c the long-term research had not ruled out any problems with it getting into breastmilk. It was a case of better safe than sorry. It may depend on the medication as well, I'm on Concerta.
07-08-2008, 01:39 AM
Wow! I have it also and have had it for years. Adult ADD, except mine is with Hyper activity as well. I can not believe all the other women who have it.
07-08-2008, 12:37 PM
I just know it allows me to act like a nut when entertaining my daughter...I get strange looks in the grocery store, but my daughter just sits and cackles...it's well worth it.
I know the stability of schedule is key, but when I'M the one having to set the schedule I have a hard time following it. That may be why I can get my daughter fed, clothed and basic needs met while I sit in my pjs hungry playing computer games...and why I can't wait to be back at work in a couple of weeks. Somebody else sets that schedule and I thrive on it.
07-08-2008, 03:00 PM
LMAO, Kaiya23! I somehow manage to make sure my kids are always fed, the house is picked up (okay, that is usually a scramble right before my husband gets home, because I realized I am still in my pjs and have been on the computer all day, and I don't want him thinking I didn't do anything). But yes, I will wear my pjs all day if I don't have somewhere I am required to be. I ended up deleting all my computer games because I was spending all of my time on them and not eating. So instead, I am spending all of my time on this forum or pushing the refresh button on my email. I drive myself nuts!
But I don't get to go back to work. I like being a stay-at-home mother, but I think I need a personal assistant or someone that will force me to to follow a routine for my own sake as well as my kids'. Besides my husband, because I'll just bite his head off if he tried it.
I'm hoping after this last baby is born (only 7 more weeks...) that my husband will succumb to that gym membership where I'm required to put in schedule in order to take advantage of the free daycare. I know then I will go, or I will feel bad that I took someone else's spot who would show up and work out. I will plan that for early am, so then I HAVE to get dressed! Otherwise, I'll tote the kids to school in my mini-mumu and a bathrobe. Pretty bad when I have to trick myself into a schedule :)
07-09-2008, 01:23 PM
I guess if I didn't go back to work and did this year-round I'd figure it out. But I'd also have a table setup with scrapbook pages halfway done, and my eyesight would need a new perscription for the amount of time that I look at this computer screen. I have to say though, that it's been good to have a kid around...she still wakes up by 7 am, so at least I'm not sleeping in until noon and staying up past midnight like I did pre baby/marriage. And I've been able to take off some weight b/c I eat breakfast with her at 7, a "healthy" lunch with her at noon and dinner by 6...although there's usually a milkshake or something sweet and/or alcoholic (occasional, I promise) as I hang out with hubby before bed.
It's so good to know that I'm not the only nutty mommy around that occasionally has a dissheveled look about her...it's so sad that my daughter always has her hair done and cute clothing on that matches, yet I hang out in an oversized T-shirt and stretchy pants with the same stink I fell asleep with last night...
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