I just want to know if anyone else feels the same way I do and if anyone does...can you give me some advice or tips or point me in the direction of some reading that might help? 

Lately I find every day to be the biggest struggle. I don't know whether it's that school is out and all three of my children are home. We live in the very south-western corner of Louisiana so it's HOT and HUMID all day!!! So, sending the kids outside to play lasts all of maybe 10minutes and then they come back in drenched in sweat and then don't want to go back outside for a few days!  I told myself I was going to give them chores, and I tell them to do them...but then I fail to follow up and make sure they're doing them. My daughter, I'm afraid, has inherited ADHD. I find myself getting so aggravated with her because I ask her to go get something for me and she goes to that room but comes back with something totally different because she forgot I told her to get something. And bless her heart...I can tell myself that she doesn't mean to act that way, but yet I still get frustrated. I constantly blame my two oldest children, who mind you are only 7 and 4, when my 20mo old climbs on top of the table or when they leave the bathroom door open and he goes in and plays in the toilet!
I know that sounds AWFUL and I probably sound like a HORRIBLE Mother. But I'm just trying to be honest so that maybe someone can offer some advice.  I work from home, so I am usually trying to hurry up and get my work done, but there are so many distractions constantly going on that the work that should only take me maybe 3hrs a day ends up taking ALL day. I tried waiting to do it until at night and that just made me stay up late resulting in me sleeping late the next morning, meaning I took my morning dose when it was nearly afternoon and then the afternoon dose later than I should and then I'm up late again!!!! 

I just feel like my children deserve a better mother than me. They deserve a Mom who will take them to the park at 'just the right time of day', who will plan picnics with them, who will call their friends Moms to invite them over (I forget), who will bake cookies with them and let them help even though they may spill sugar and flour everywhere. I feel like they deserve a Mom who will come up with a strict schedule once and for all and they will go to bed at a certain time every night with their teeth adequately brushed and flossed. Their Mom should read stories to them every night at bedtime. Their Mom should fix them a good nutritional breakfast and not forget lunch just because she's not hungry. Their Mom should make the younger two take a nap at a good time of the day so that they're not cranky in the afternoon and end up having a late nap.

I know this has been very long. So I guess I'll sum it up: Trying to the perfect mom to three children as a whole is difficult. Trying to be the perfect Mom to three children individually is even more difficult.  I just wish I could find a way to be better without feeling as though I have to be perfect. I wish I could make my heart and brain understand that I don't have to be perfect, because sometimes I think that is the problem - I'm so overwhelmed with being the perfect Mom that I shut down completely because it's just too difficult to accomplish.


04/09/2013
I'm adding to this post almost three years later. One of the best pieces of advice I have to offer, which I think was offered by some you as well, is to not lose your sense of humor. Three years ago I did lose my sense of humor and I am so glad to have it back. I started seeing a therapist for a while and she gave me another piece of advice, which is to remember Q.T.I.P. - Quit Taking It Personally. The hateful things others can say to us sometimes, because we make easy targets, is often the result of their own unhappiness.

Since my original post, and with the help of the right treatment, I have earned a Bachelor's degree and am almost finished earning my Master's in the Art of Teaching. I was given an opportunity to teach a class specifically for students with autism spectrum disorder. How amazing this job is and I truly feel as though a higher power pointed me down this path. I love working with students with learning needs. So many of their frustrations with adolescence make perfect sense to me. I feel like this is my calling and for the first time in my life I can honestly say that I feel proud to be who I am - even with ADD. I feel like it makes me a better teacher because I can identify with some of the students' struggles. I understand the idea that it's not always that a student "won't do"; rather its that they "can't do" because I had many moments in my youth when I just "couldn't do" an assignment or make 'A's'.

My daughter was finally diagnosed with ADD and given meds. After a few weeks on meds I ran into her pediatrician in town and she asked how everything was going. I gave her a huge hug and became teary-eyed as I told her how wonderful she had been doing. She loves school now, loves to read, and helps out so much more at home. Our relationship has improved so very much because we are both better able to manage our symptoms. My relationship with all three of my kids has improved and not because I am able to accomplish all of the things I said I couldn't in my original post. I have just finally found some peace.

I hope and pray that you all have or will find some peace as well. If you haven't, hang in there. There are so many tools out there to help us, the hard part is finding the ones that fit our lives best. What works for me may not work for someone else. And what works this month may not work next month.

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Tamara, Very well said.  I am exactly the same!  Thank you for taking the words out of my head :).

Tamara Hudson said:
Laura, I do exactly the same as you do. I can't sit down and play with my kids, at least not for more than a few minutes and then I am off to something else. Now that my oldest is 9 years old we can still snuggle and laugh A LOT together (we are both goof balls) even about my "ants in my pants". Luckily they know I love them (and I tell them that often) but will never be good at certain things like: playing for hours, sitting still for a movie night, doing homework without getting up several times. We do our best, let them know they are loved and know that we struggle like they may have to if they don't get the toys they want or if they have a bad day at school. We identify with them and they with us. we are not perfect but we can still make the best of it. good luck! T

OMG, You took the words right out of my mouth!  

In addition, scrolling through many of the comments on the first page has brought me to tears to know that there are so many of you who are thinking and feeling the exact same way I am.  I too have had an extremely hard time sitting to play with the kids, I do try.  In regards to chores and even discipline, I forget to follow through ALL OF THE TIME and it drives me insane because I know I am undermining my own authority.  I hate that I can barely remember what I went to get when I get half way to my destination and I hate that the kids are always complaining about my downfalls.  I don't know how to help them become more empathetic and understanding even though they struggle with the same attentional issues, as well as mood dis-regulation, sensory processing problems, and serious anxiety.  We are certainly a twisted bunch of people here, but I do the best I can.  I try to be kind and forgive myself.  The oldest two are 10 and 8.5yrs. while the youngest is three and I often watch my 2yr. old nephew too.  I wrote about "Giving up on Supermom" a few weeks ago if anyone is interested in reading that (just click the colored quotes).  I am a work in progress that's for sure, but it is such a relief to find other Mom's struggling with their AD/HD and parenting at the same time too!  *sigh*

Sooooo glad to have found you!

Melody~

I have wanted to reply to my own discussion for a while now but every time I wanted to, there was always something else that really needed to be done - imagine that. 

 

I must say that over the past year I have come a long way.  I have good days and bad days. But I have finally found an excellent pair between my psychiatrist and therapist. Together they have helped tremendously.  I was put on anxiety meds to help calm me down so that I'm not as obsessed with trying to be perfect. At first I wasn't sure I wanted to be taking them, but then after I gave them time to work I realized how much they did help.  And I was switched from the immediate release Adderall to the extended release. I tried Vyvance but it was NOT good for me. Maybe I had too low of a dose, but when she put me on Adderall XR...I felt normal again without having to take two doses and without being irritable too.  The combination of meds has worked so well, that actually it has helped my relationship with my children but has hurt a relationship with a friend.

 

After being on the 'right' meds, a friend of mine said to me, "What's wrong with you?  You seem miserable and depressed?" At first I was offended and then I was just really confused because I couldn't understand why she thought I was depressed.  I felt fine. I knew I wasn't the same anymore but I didn't think it was a bad thing. I just couldn't put my finger on it though. Then I went to see my psychiatrist early in the day when I normally go in the late afternoon. She said, "Wow...I normally see you late in the day when your meds have begun to wear off.  I like seeing you like this." I asked why and she answered, "Because normally you sit on the edge of the chair picking your cuticles, bouncing at least one knee and you talk so much that I have to cut you off often. But right now you are relaxed and sitting back in the chair, you aren't picking your cuticles and you just seem so peaceful right now." It was amazing to me what she said, especially when I had my friend giving me the opposite observation. I told her about my friend and she explained to me that my friend liked having me be in a hyper mania kind of state. Basically....I am boring to my friend now.

 

I am constantly amazed at how different people react so differently to me.  Some prefer me hyper and some prefer me calm. But I finally realized that I like myself calm. I'm a better mom and wife.  I'm still able to experience pleasure and joy while I'm calm. I'm still happy. But my life has so much less drama.  And on that note...I finally realized something else about drama: life happens - to all of us. Occasionally a car won't start. Occasionally a train will come through five minutes late making us five minutes late. Occasionally you will be on your way out of the door and one of your kids will poop in their pants! ; ) You get my point.  Life happens....but there are SOME who chose to let it be more dramatic than necessary.  I was like that, and now I'm not. And I can't tell you how much that alone, has helped me get through every day. To finally realize that we are all imperfect, ADHD and nonADHD, is a very wonderful realization to have.

 

I have rambled, as usual.  I just felt like I should share anything I had to share. I'm so glad that my moment of madness last summer has led to so many other wonderful, yet scatter-brained, women like myself not feeling so alone. I'm so touched that you all responded with understanding and suggestions and hope. I always get a smile on my face when I get an email telling me someone else responded because I know it means that I have one more person to identify with. This website is truly amazing! 

 

I hope you all have a wonderful summer. I know I am planning to spend today making out a plan for my  summer. I find that if I plan a schedule for the days we stay home...life is much less hectic and more enjoyable.

Hi Stephanie,

 

I need some of what you have. In Germany, it's just difficult getting the right meds or the right help. I take Medikinet and it helps, although only for a few hours at a time, but then in the evening when I pick up my kids I get SO irritable. Especially with my ADHD son and I know that is something I want to avoid. I'm driving home, the radio is on, both of them are yacking or fighting or trying to ask me questions or talk to me while I'm trying to concentrate on the road. This drives me INSANE and I really start yelling. Then I feel so bad about it, but can't seem to get in under control.

 

At home my son will do something out of impulse that will send me right through the roof....like hurt his sister for the umpteenth time, or swing our lamp that's hanging from the ceiling. Things like that. I don't want to explode and afterwards I can tell that I totally overreacted, but I can't seem to help myself in that particular moment...and this is a daily thing. I feel so guilty and awful. I feel like an ungrateful and cranky mother and wish I wouldn't be so darned uptight. I need to find the right help.

 

Thanks for posting Steph.... it made me think!

 

Jackie

Uggggg, I feel your pAin
And I know just what you mean, I thinkits soooo easy to get overly stressed , being ADD, having a bunch of kids going crazy all day long, let alone trying to WORK
I blow up way more than I want to, and soooo wish I was just a calm always even keeled mom
I am always worrying about ,,are they ok, did I do this wrong, what does this mean,
Becoming a parent, I feel my ADD has become worse then ever
Because I can never focus
I'm always being interrupted
In the car, trying to accomplish any kind of task,talking on the phone..forget it
It's hard
I feel like I'm juggling 100 balls in the air all the time
And I only have two....and no job
Hang in there and know that you are not alone
And I am sure that your kids know how much you love them


Oh jackie, you are sooo not alone!!!
Jacqueline Schimmel said:

Hi Stephanie,

 

I need some of what you have. In Germany, it's just difficult getting the right meds or the right help. I take Medikinet and it helps, although only for a few hours at a time, but then in the evening when I pick up my kids I get SO irritable. Especially with my ADHD son and I know that is something I want to avoid. I'm driving home, the radio is on, both of them are yacking or fighting or trying to ask me questions or talk to me while I'm trying to concentrate on the road. This drives me INSANE and I really start yelling. Then I feel so bad about it, but can't seem to get in under control.

 

At home my son will do something out of impulse that will send me right through the roof....like hurt his sister for the umpteenth time, or swing our lamp that's hanging from the ceiling. Things like that. I don't want to explode and afterwards I can tell that I totally overreacted, but I can't seem to help myself in that particular moment...and this is a daily thing. I feel so guilty and awful. I feel like an ungrateful and cranky mother and wish I wouldn't be so darned uptight. I need to find the right help.

 

Thanks for posting Steph.... it made me think!

 

Jackie

I think you now know...You are not alone! Two things I have done is get a good electronic planner  (mine's a Samsung Galaxy Tab, a smaller "Smart Phone" may work too), with lots of alarms and a good Calendar, and set it up with Alarms for those things you tend to forget, like making lunch, or for me picking up the kids from school, and keep it up-dated with all your dates and appointments and reminders for those too. The other I have done (before the planner)  is get lots of alarm clocks, and set them for various times during the day. For example I had one set for the time the kids needed to be putting on shoes and jackets for school, and for bed-time. Lastly in you case I would try to find a good babysitter to watch your kids at least part of the time when you need to work.  That way you will always have a time without distractions do do your work.  Good luck to you.  It is hard to be an ADD mom, but by being ourselves, and being honest and forthcoming about our mistakes and shortcomings, it frees us to be loving, and it teaches our kids to accept less than perfection from themselves and others. That is a real treasure!

 

hi.

im new here. is there a chat room for moms with add?

thanks! :)

Hi ladies,

It's my first time here.First I apologize for any mistake in English, because my mother tongue is arabic second is french ans then English.I was so Happy to find this forum and read all your feeling and you're how copping with ADD. I am my self ADD, but by self diagnostic :), I read so much about that topic That I am more than sure that I have ADD .I didn't take yet the step to go to the  Dr, because  I discovered that since 2 years, I wanted to try to organise my self without medication, before considering Aderall, Ritalin. But Honestly, It's a real struggle. I have one 2 years old kid, I feel like I have 2 or 3, always late (BUT not for my angel, always in time for his picking up, from daycare, his feeding , his bathing), disorganised,no sens of time,Often no sens of priority, slow in finishing my tasks. By the way  I am late sometimes also, because I play a lot with my Kid, seek and hide, dancing with him :)  whatever  the time, the time is when when my little boy needs me

Some days I am consistent and most of the days insconsitent :( Forgetful eg one recipe, I wil got it perfect, if i just re-do it another day it would be bad). I wanted to mention, that my husband is  helpful, he cooks well, he knows how to take care of the kid, he is well organised, but he is getting frustrated most of the time with my behavior and he does not believe in ADD , for him it' s about willing and  doing more efforts..... (by the way How your husbands react to your ADD). In fact, he can't realize how much struggling is to be in the track..I think no body can really understand that except an ADD person..,

I wanted to Suggest that every one write one DAY when everything or almost  went fine;), meaning one Day where everything done as planned,with mentioning  what exactly motivated you that day, to encourage each other, to remember that we are able to manage some days , so we have just to repeat this cycle. I don't know you but me, I get discouraged easily (lack of self confidence), if something I didn't well, I will hesitate so much to redo it, because worring of the failure) and I remember more my mistakes that my success.

I still have so much to say, but I will stop here and waiting for your replies...and take it from there

Lilia from Canada

Your strong desire to be a a good mother for your children clearly shows what a great mother you are. They don't need a perfect mother.  They need you - a mother that loves them with her whole heart and soul (which you obviously do) and everything else is just details.

 

That said, I do know exactly how you feel. I too feel like I fail my kids on a regular basis. My youngest has been on the same soccer team for the past 4 seasons - all her friends are on it and she loves it. I failed to register her on time for this fall and she was put on a different team - the only kid from her old team moved because of her late registration. I feel like I really suck. But she'll survive and I'll feel better eventually.... :-) Hang in there!

 

  It's so great to read all of these messages and for us to help each other feel better.  My therapist constantly reminds me that I am loving, encouraging and actually listen and respect my child - which is much more important than the structure and chore lists and reward charts and schedules etc. that I constantly try and fail at. 

 

I am trying to work with my gifts and not have to be the perfect anything,  Right now I'm loving that I hired a weekly cleaning service - it feels wonderful and is worth the money.  Whoever said we were supposed to do it all ourselves???  My friend (non-ADHD) confided in me that she hired a culinary student for a few hours a few days a week to do all her grocery shopping and cook meals for her and her husband (she doesn't have kids, is definitely not rich and works outside the home but not excessively).  This works for her and she is eating healthy - she is embarassed to tell people and I understand why but what freedom that is to decide what you want to do and hire someone for the things you don't.  I know that is the luxury of money but it's also about choices of how we spend it.  Just some food for thought for all of us great moms out there. 

-Lisa

Your not a horrible mom, but along with your ADHD will come a sense of failure in achieving goals. This disappointment is commonly what brings Adults with ADHD to seek help along with recognizing their own symptoms when their child is brought to an evaluation. Who can not feel let down after having 500 ideas all day and not acomplishing a thing!

Not only do I have ADHD I have Fibromyalgia and Psoriatic Arthritis.  Talk about being in la la land. I do take Adderall and it does help a lot.  Both my oldest and middle child now 23 and 17 have ADHD. They create a lot of work by being inattentive.  The youngest is 16 and very typical.

 I get excited thee days when I can say I accomplished three things.  That might be a trip to the store, dinner and wiping down the counters for the bazillionth time. Dinner might be spaghetti and meatballs (gosh those frozen store bought ones aren't bad at all!) or something else quick. Many times its the most nutritious take out I can think of.

Perfect will get you into trouble. Trust me. I was raised by German woman, in whos houses you could literally eat off the floors. They had plenty of time in those days to be"perfect" These days are not so uncomplicated. There are just too many choices to have to make everyday.

Try to keep life as simple as possible for the kids.  Have them in only one activity at a time.  Overscheduled is to be avoided.

Keep your sense of humor and FORGIVE YOURSELF! Re-read this daily!

If budget allows, hire a older teeen to take the kids for a few hours a few times a week while you do what ever. You'd be surprized at what they won't do to impress an older teen. You can fix diner with the kids too if you had some extra hands and it will be a lot more fun. It helps to start seeing the kids as the investments in your future...they pick out your nursing home so be nice to them...lol

Make your older kids your "administrative assistants."For instance if you "deputize" the 4 year old to check doors, and the 7 year old to start dinner (fill a pot with water) you gain some serious allies. Here you can say to yourself we are focusing today on the process of learning and not the outcomes. That is in it of itself an accomplishment. 

Take your meds by alarm clock every morning.  Even if you go back to sleep, its a must to be consistant with the medication time, least you want to be up all night.

Last but not least, my final advice to you is, don't ever play "Tea Time" with your 20 month old, and if you do question where he gets the water!

 

 

 

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