I hated being a stay at home mom and homemaker.
In fact I wrote an article about it for Huffington Post a while back. While I stand by what I wrote in that article, I will admit I have softened a little. Gone are the days of me feeling resentful of my husband going off to work.
The Hubs now works at home. So even though I work part-time out of the house, I feel like I see him all the time. My son is in school now, so you’d think I could get a handle on my house. Not so much.
You see, I have what ADDitude Magazine calls Overwhelmed Mom Syndrome, and I am not alone. So many of us struggle with keeping our homes in order and our children fed and clothed.
If you are having a tough time creating the peaceful, organized and attractive home that you dreamed of you are not alone.
Forgive yourself and realize you cannot and should not try to do it all on your own.
the naked Truth About how adhd
affects women in the home
As if the piles of laundry, dishes and dog hair weren’t reminder enough, at least once per day I do something, or catch myself doing something absolutely ridiculous. Generally the distracted things I do are not dangerous. But when you consider that I drive a car and operate home appliances on a daily basis, it is frightening.
How have I lived this long without losing a limb?
Procrastinating on organizational tasks
In October of 2015 I cleaned out my 5 year-old’s underwear and clothing drawers. The same weekend I cleaned out my own closet and that of my husband. After creating these three separate piles I combined them into one big ugly heap at the end of my bed, semi-hidden by a cedar chest.
Today is March 1, 2017 and the heap is still there. Luckily my husband has not complained about it this week. I have had quite a few opportunities to sort through this pile and then either donate/consign/ or toss this stuff.
If you have ever started some type of organizational project in your house and then failed to finish it you are not alone.
poor short-term memory
While driving to school one morning my son pointed out that I had again forgotten to pack his favorite dinosaur water bottle. As I guiltily contemplated what kind of meltdown this might cause, my child sighed heavily. A few moments later he said, “Mommy, why are you so forgetful?”
I stumbled over my response for a second, and finally told him that mommy has trouble remembering things sometimes. My sweet boy then said, “Mommy, you should take more naps so you can remember things.” He was very accepting of my response, but I wanted to cry. It is pretty bad when your 4 year old points out your issues.
Our children often make us feel more guilt than anything else. We want to be the best possible mothers we can, and every little forgotten item or misplaced school project feels like a punch in the gut.
avoidance of tasks deemed unpleasant
I have a small pile of “fuzzy clothes” sitting in front on my washing machine. When I refer to fuzzy clothes I mean clothing that attracts a shit-ton of fuzz all over it.
The idea of using a lint brush/roller/comb and spending hours cleaning off the bits of fuzz has prevented me from wearing not one, but two different cardigans that I actually love. At this point they have been lying in a pile for so long they are most likely not salvageable.
***update as of March 2017 these sweaters are still in a pile on the floor of my laundry room. If you don’t believe me see my post on laundry.
We moved into this house in January of 2014. There is framed artwork that we paid money for still sitting in the storage area in the basement. In this same storage area are boxes of both opened and un-opened liquor.
I have been unable to motivate myself to go through all of these boxes. I cannot explain why but every time I walk in that room and look at those boxes I become immediately agitated and overwhelmed.
Motivating ourselves is one thing, planning out the necessary steps to get something done is another issue all together. So we just ignore things and hope they will go away. If you happen to have found a cure for this let me know.
general lack of awareness
At any given time you enter my kitchen you will find at least 2 open cupboard doors. I might open the big cupboard for a spice. I might then open another cupboard for a mixing bowl, and then a drawer for a big wooden spoon.
As I do these things I think** I am focused on the task at hand,… umm cooking. But anyone that knows me knows that I am usually doing several things at once. More than likely I am on the phone with my mother, getting my son a drink, and trying to gather supplies to complete a recipe I printed off of a healthy eating blog.
I can promise you that my version of multi-tasking almost never ends well. And the cupboard doors will be open until my husband walks through the kitchen and closes them. He tells me that when we renovate the kitchen we are going to get those doors that close automatically. (If that is a real product then it will be well worth the money.)
These are just a few examples of how my symptoms affect my behavior and my ability to be the CEO Of My House. You are not alone in your desire to feel more in control of your home and parenting.
Part of the solution is forgiving ourselves and accepting that we do not have to do and be everything to everybody. This is a tough concept for most of us, but if you think about it you will realize it is 100% true.
You do not have to do all of the cleaning on your own. Try delegating some tasks to other family members. If you are having a tough time motivating yourself, arrange some time to work alongside a friend. “Body doubling” is a remarkably effective way to get things done.
Every woman with or without ADHD struggles on some level with Overwhelmed Mom Syndrome. The best thing we can do for ourselves is share our stories and support each other.
Tell me your ADHD at home stories in the comments!