What is it like being a Mother with ADHD and raising two children with ADHD. Well, let’s be honest, I say it’s a household of fun, lots of movement, and utter chaos. But it’s good chaos.
Except for Stu, the patriarch of the family. The one who was not gifted with ADHD as the rest of his family. When asked what life is like living in a household full of ADHD his response is to laugh and answer “Utterly bizarre”. He then describes it as “being the calm area of a hurricane.” Meaning, his wife and kids are the hurricane, and he is calm eye. It’s fine for him, and we are the lunatics in his calming life. I think he likes his life this way.
However, there are times when utter chaos is not a good way to live. Examples would be being successful in school and work. Being on time to important appointments. Making sure we have enough ingredients in the kitchen to make a meal. That last one is actually more important than most people would realize.
Stu’s answer to most of these problems is to make lists. And then more lists. And then when you are fed up with these lists, make a list to compare the lists together so that you have a complete list of all the lists. Strangely, this seems to work for me.
School and work lists have actually proven to be quite easy. The kids have academic planners to help with their lists. I have a steno pad at work where one side is my list and the other side is the completion of the list. Easy peasy. Appointments are also quite easy with electronic calendars that I can share with Stu. This keeps me up to date on every little and big thing I need to do and the little pings of my phone reminding me to do those things. I even set my alarm for certain daily tasks to I don’t forget them.
The most difficult task for me has been the grocery list. Making sure I have enough ingredients for meals. And then remembering what meals I have ingredients for. This probably seems easy for the non ADHD person out there, but it is a difficult task for me.
The solution – one complicated list. I make a list of all the meals my family would like to eat in a week. I get their input on it to and the kids like to come up with meals for me. I then take that simple list of meals, and then make the list of ingredients I need for those meals. I scratch off the ingredients that I have in my kitchen already and then head to the grocery store to purchase the ingredients I do not have. And then, the final list of what food can be made into what meals goes onto the white board that is on the refrigerator. Now, the kids know what meals we can have and what meals they can complain about on which day. It’s a system that seems to work for us.
This has made my life so much easier. And I’m sure the family enjoys having meals with a main course and not just a bunch of side dishes.