Hey Samantha!!! Wow! 22 with 3 kids! I'm 29 with 3 kids and I know how hard it is for me!! I hope I offer some helpful advice or if nothing else, some peace knowing someone shares your struggles. I don't have time right now to read other people's posts to you but I definitely wanted to respond...so I'm sorry if my words here are the same as your other responses.
First, when you begin to feel as you say you do...find a doctor who specializes in ADHD to treat you and prescribe medicine. I am not one for taking meds either, but I can tell you that the immediate relief of taking them is SOOO worth it. And I will also tell you that it's been said to me by many medical professionals that just because you need meds now does not always mean that you will always need them. Another note to mention is that even after being on meds...you may reach a point where the progress you've made is no longer enough and you wish to become better! So, the best course of action I can think to tell you is to find a reputable doctor who specializes in ADHD. I have seen general practitioners who specialize in ADHD, although in my area they are not accepting new patients. I was seeing a general practitioner I loved but over time I realized that he was stuck on Adderall and I just didn't feel like my impulsiveness was being helped. Just yesterday I saw a psychiatrist and was prescribed Vyvanse. Today is my first day taking it and already I notice differences. I can tell that it is more time released as I was not taking Adderal XR. Taking the generic Adderall was wearing off after about four hours and my doctor had me taking two doses a day of 20mg. I had an immediate change in my ability to function better, but once it wore off it was horrible! I'd get very agitated with my children for distracting me. So, I am hoping and praying that since this Vyvance will not have that affect, I will not experience the agitation I did on Adderall.
Also, the psychiatrist (in about 20min mind you) told me she suspected I had OCD as well or at least tendencies. The OCD creates this strong urge and desire within myself for me to have things "just so" while the ADHD and the impulsiveness that goes along with it are almost counteracting my OCD which leaves me feeling emotional turmoil. Once she explained this to me it made so much sense and after reading about OCD, I recognized things I never believed were associated - picking my cuticles til they bleed and my nails have become traumatized and look disgusting, picking pimples until they bleed, and not being able to tear myself away from the mirror because my eyebrows are uneven ( i have blond eyebrows and have to color them in). It's just crazy!
Anyway, continuing with advice... I know I have always read and learned that when people have children later in life they tend to be more calm parents and have more patience with their kids. Well, I don't know about you, but I fully intended to have children later and it just didn't happen that way. Here I am, 29, with three kids. And here you are, 22, with three kids. We had them, and we suffer from ADHD and possibly other disorders. And it's very likely that some or all three of your kids will share this with you making life even more difficult. But what I'm getting at is that, and this is very hard to actually do, you have GOT to tell yourself you are not perfect, will never be perfect, and are doing all you can as best you can. And I have come to discover that, at least for me, the reason why lists and planners do not work is because we're not really using them correctly or effectively. We have to remember not to overload those planners. And maybe get the help of someone who understands you. For me, my husband can look at my list or planner and say, "Babe....now you KNOW...it's going to take you WAY longer to do ____." I would have never noticed it on my own b/c I have serious problems with time management. So, my husband looking things over helps me to put things in perspective. This helps me get ordinary simple things done. As for the bigger tasks...I try to take them one day at a time. I try to tell myself, today I will do 'this'. Tomorrow I will do "that". So I guess my suggestion is to assign each and every thing you want to accomplish a priority: what things are daily goals, short-term goals, long-term goals, etc. For example: my daily goals are to be on time to class, to get home on time so my kids' bus driver doesn't have to hang onto my kids b/c I haven't made it home yet, to fix dinner on time...basically to manage my time better!!! My short-term goals are to make sure that I stay on top of my laundry by assigning certain days that I WILL do my laundry and the other days....I know it's ok to not touch it b/c it wasn't laundry day (which takes the stress off of the situation). Another short-term goal is to make sure my daughter is reading enough - her school participates in the Accelerated Reader program and she has to make a certain amount of points every six weeks. She shares my struggles and so I have to work hard to try to help her achieve her goals. My long term goals are that I want to be the best Mom I can be and the tasks I feel I need to accomplish in order to reach that goal change all the time.....and that's o.k. The most important thing to me is that certain areas of my kids' lives need to be scheduled - meals, homework, bath and bed! Everything else has room for spontaneity and will depend on what each day has in store for us.
So....that's how I deal. And as for meds....like I said, I did not like Adderall for me but because I didn't feel it helped my impulsiveness. For someone who does not have my issues with impulsiveness...it may work great! So far today, I feel like Vyvanse is helping more....but half a day certainly isn't enough to say. So that is why I tried to give you other suggestions to try in addition to medication. I realized about six months ago, that meds were only going to help me so far....I've also got to try to change my behavior or at least make a conscious effort without obsessing over it.
And your husband needs to get on board. My husband was skeptical about my diagnosis at first, but after I had him sit in and speak with a psychologist and I had an actual CPT test done that said I was ADHD, he came around a lot more. He now tries his best to help me out and to help me stay on task and to help me realize that I cannot conquer the world no matter how much i may so desire! I hope you can get your husband to understand you better! That really will help you a lot!
Good advice given to you but can I add something? I found it very stressful to stay at home with 1 child - can't imagine 3. Can you get some regular time off like a babysitter a couple afternoons a week? Or an exercise class that has babysitting? Or a housekeeper? I know it's a lot of money but your sanity is worth it! Good luck!!!
When my sister children were younger she had someone come in while she was still hope and help with the kids, a Mothers helper. Do you know of a teen that's good with kids to hire for something like that a few days a week or even one. Marr