8 Things All Moms With ADHD Understand

8 Things All Moms With ADHD Understand

Girls and women with ADHD are getting more press than ever before.

There have been some really good articles written, all of which I have pinned. I mean, we all use Pinterest right? You can save things to read later for God sake!

Women with ADHD are getting some serious street cred. People are finally paying attention.

Check out my post on Wonderful Website for Women with ADHD.

Even with all of this new-found acknowledgement, moms with ADHD don’t get much support. I am working to change that.

8 things all moms with ADHD understand


Total Overwhelm

Let me clarify, most women and mothers feel overwhelmed at some point in their lives. But for those of us struggling with ADHD every day, overwhelm is a constant companion. No matter how hard we try we can never get on top of everything.

Parenting effectively seems impossible. Sorting through mail and paperwork is daunting. Even talking on the phone can seem like a chore. Taking care of a home and a family while holding down a day job is a major challenge for me. My guess is that it is equally trying for my readers.

We are chronically overwhelmed. See my post on The disease of busy.


This is going to sound totally crazy but I have always had what I call “spidey senses.” When it comes to meeting new people I can almost always get a read on them.  And my first impression is correct 99% of the time. Other ADHD women have confirmed that they too experience this.

It seems that we make up for our lack of self-regulation by reading between the lines and noticing details that others do not. We can read body language and voice intonation.  Many women with ADHD are also empaths – meaning they can literally feel the emotions of other people.

Mommy Guilt

All moms have some level of mommy guilt. But when you have ADHD the actual act of parenting takes on a whole different meaning. So many people think** ADHD is caused by poor parenting that you feel like you have to do a better job just to compensate for your own diagnosis.

The organizational skills required to raise children are enormous. You will use every single one of your executive functions. Sometimes you will function well, other times not so much.

No matter how hard we try, we still feel guilty. For having ADHD, for passing on the ADHD genes, and probably for things that haven’t even happened yet.


Not that men can never be forgetful. But it seems like something happens to our brains as we go through puberty and then have children. Estrogen is actually helpful when it comes to ADHD – see my article on women’s hormones and ADHD.

I swear I cannot leave the house without forgetting something. My snack, my sons backpack…whatever.  It is always something.

At least once per week I forget where I put down my phone and cannot find it. I once ran around my fitness center in a panic for 20 minutes thinking I lost my phone. Turns out I never grabbed it when I left the house.

We lose years of our lives backtracking for forgotten items. (or people.)

Being Socially Awkward

Maybe it’s just me, but I have the hardest time joining a conversation that is already underway.  Introducing myself to new people is painful.

If you happen to be an introvert like me, too much social interaction is exhausting. It’s hard work to be social and pretend I care about other people’s conversations. For me to really participate I have to feel comfortable. And that rarely happens.

I can’t even talk about this website without being awkward. No prepared elevator pitch here, just me being awkward trying to describe my writing.


Gonna get super honest here. I am really jealous of the non-ADHD mommies out there. Actually, I am jealous of the non-ADHD women in general.

If I could keep my house clean and decluttered while providing educational activities to my child all day I would. But I can’t.  Some women can, and they look fabulous while they do it.

I am totally jealous. Not afraid to admit it.

Being Perceived as Lazy

One of my biggest fears is that the people close to me will start to think I am some kind of loser. I have two degrees I don’t use. And I have a website that is a fairly new venture.

Up to this point in my life everyone has been supportive. But I need to have a real, big girl career. I need to make enough money that if my husband were to become disabled we could survive on my income.

Do people think I am lazy because I only work part time in my office job? And then spend all my time on this website?

I’m not sure. If they do think I’m lazy, they don’t say it to my face. If somebody called me lazy to my face I would cry for days.

Emotional Volatility

Because of my hormones and my ADHD status I can have some errrrr… mood swings. If you don’t know what I mean, email the Hubs, he will fill you in.

In the course of two hours I can go from content, to stressed out and then back to calm and rational.  My mood swings happen mostly under stress at work, but I also get a little whacky at home sometimes.

Lately I have been trying to practice mindfulness more often. Just 5 minutes of guided meditation really helps.  As do some of the calming techniques I talk about in my emotional management.

For so long ADHD was thought of as a condition that only affected little boys. Recently there has been more awareness of the fact that there are women and girls with ADHD.


How does having ADHD affecting your parenting?


What else don’t others understand about being a mom with ADHD?





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  • This is a great post Liz! I think many people don’t realize how ADHD can impact the already challenging job of parenting.

  • Liz

    Hi Natasha! I’m so happy you stopped by. You are correct, parenting is hard enough. When you throw adult ADHD into the mix it gets more than a little crazy. I just emailed you!

  • Lee G V

    Can totally relate! Especially to the feeling of constantly being overwhelmed with the most simple tasks that ‘a normal person’ and ‘every other mom’ seems to handle easily. And I like your writing style – I subscribed to your newsletter and am curious to see what it will be like.

    • Liz

      Thank you so much for commenting and subscribing. I try to email consistently. 😉
      Overwhelm is the story of my life.
      If you want to meet some more wonderful ladies check out our Facebook group.
      Hope to see you around.

  • Kelsey

    I may not be a parent but all these things your saying you go through, I have always feared if I become a parent. I know parenting is a huge joy and I love kids but becoming overwhelmed quickly and putting myself down because I look at non ADHD women and am so jealous they are able to perform tasks that seem easy but hard for me makes me sad. No one in my family understands my fears and understands my mood swings and why I am awkward or can’t pay attention. It’s difficult I can’t relate to others in my family but I’m so grateful for this website because I don’t feel alone anymore. I wish my family could understand me better. Your so brave and an inspiration to us all.

    • Liz

      Hi Kelsey,
      thank you for commenting. I am glad that my website makes you feel less alone.
      Would you want to join our Facebook group? In there, you get some privacy to discuss these issues with other women. Let me know, I can send you an invite.

      • Rebecca Myers

        I would like to join, please!

  • Jennifer

    Yes!!! All of this! I’ve learned that no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to keep up with everything like other nonADHD moms do. Even with medication (which honestly only helps me stay calm and feel less overwhelmed) I cannot keep up. I’ve also learned to accept it for what it is and I’ve stopped comparing myself to other nonADHD moms. I have fun with my kids! We are not perfect and never will be but we will always have fun being who we are! I work full time so I really cannot keep up with their school work along with my work. I’ve taught them to be responsible for their school work and as long as they can do that and do good they won’t have any other responsibilities at this time. That’s my way of compensating for me not being able to keep up with all their school work. I’m proud to say they have done really good. They arnt perfect straight A students but they are perfect to me!

    • Liz

      Thank you so much for your comment, Jennifer!
      You are right, you will never be just like someone without ADHD. It’s so much better to be who you are and share that with your children, than to try to be something you are not. Welcome to the ADHD moms club! Glad to have you. 🙂

  • Amanda

    Just came across this blog as I sit in my children’s room listening to a guided meditation while they fall to sleep and I plan out the rest of my evening in my head because you know I have 75 things on my to do list! I also think I can get them all done between now (9 pm) and midnight or 1 am (when I typically head to sleep). But I should just go to sleep now because I know my brain will work better with more sleep, yet, I can’t go to sleep without at least crossing off 5 of the 75 things on my list. I try to turn my ADHD into my super power for getting so much done. I just wish my super power did not have a kryptonite-TOTAL EXHAUSTION! lol Thanks for sharing and helping me feel less alone, less guilty and less awkward:)

    • liz lewis

      Hi Amanda!
      I too have a loooong to do list in my head. Meditation does help!
      To be honest, I have never considered ADHD a superpower. For me it creates more barriers than benefits. But we all need to live in the positive.
      You are certainly not alone. Let me know if you are interested in any of our online communities!