How to Be a Mother with ADHD?

Due to social demands, it can be frustrating to be a mother with ADHD because of the mental burden and difficulty in getting organized.
How to Be a Mother with ADHD?

Last update: 21 May, 2022

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition of neurobiological origin that manifests itself through an enormous difficulty to concentrate, plan, or organize. However, it’s not always expressed in the same way, and depending on the circumstances, it can cause greater or lesser inconvenience to the sufferer. In this sense, for a mother with ADHD, parenting can be quite a challenge.

In children, the most characteristic sign is movement, and these little ones give the impression that they can never sit still. But adults, who’ve learned certain social norms, show their difficulties in a different way: They often report having the feeling that time is melting away like sand through their fingers.

When we talk about ADHD, we associate it directly with childhood, because for a long time, the focus was there. However, at some point in life, these infants become adults, and the disorder doesn’t disappear by magic. However, the difficulties change.

At the same time, gender is also a determinant that has a differential impact on men and women. In general, men are socialized to “be in movement” and are more likely to be directed toward sports and other physical activities. Meanwhile, women are socialized to be calmer, more “still” and focused on other more static tasks.

Now, we’ve already considered the sex/gender variable, but if we go further and reflect on other life circumstances, what happens during motherhood emerges. Being a mother already brings its own challenges that, in general, require much of what’s difficult for individuals with ADHD. So, what’s it like to be a mother with ADHD? We’ll tell you about it below.

A mother having a hard time concentrating on her work on the computer while her daughters have a pillow fight on the couch.
Dealing with the demands of motherhood is a huge challenge in itself. But moms with ADHD carry a double mental burden.

Mothers with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Why is it important to mention how motherhood is linked to hyperactivity? Because we need to visibilize and understand that moms often deal permanently with feelings of guilt. Not only because of their own self-demand but also because society demands them to be good mothers, successful professionals, impeccable women, with a house that’s always perfect, and be in an excellent mood at all times. All of that together and at the same time.

As you can see, a lot is demanded of women. And when these moms are also living with their ADHD, the experience can be extremely frustrating. In turn, the double mental burden that affects these mothers is a complicating factor in the course of the condition.

In many cases, women are often diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or depression during motherhood. This is a mistake, as ADHD is left untreated. For this reason, it’s crucial that health professionals take gender into account during the exploration of the typical symptoms of this condition.

Recommendations for a mother with ADHD

Here are some useful tips to carry out your role as a mother if you have ADHD.

Share parenting responsibilities

Co-responsibility with your partner is essential for the welfare of all family members at home. It’s important that you’re not the only person who knows your children’s schedules, cooks, or does the shopping.

ADHD is a huge challenge in planning and concentration, so if there are always thousands of activities going on in your head, everything will be doubly difficult and some will fall by the wayside.

Therefore, having a support network goes far beyond the walls of the home. It’s also important to know how to delegate and ask for the help of trusted individuals, whether they be uncles, aunts, or friends.

Take care of yourself

Women are socialized to take care of other people. The message we get from a young age is that we’re valuable as long as we can take care of others. But overlooked in that mandate is the fact that it’s just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of others.

Sometimes it’s necessary to rest, catch up on things, attend medical checkups, or take a moment for personal leisure. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance that you’re able to put yourself first, take care of your health, give yourself time off, and not interrupt your treatment.

ADHD has a high genetic load, so don’t forget to discuss it with your children’s pediatrician so that the necessary studies can be done regarding them as well.

You may be interested in: Co-Responsibility in Parenting

A little girl holding her mother and father's hands while walking.
Raising children together helps to ease the mental, physical, and emotional burden on parents. This is essential when one of the parents is living with ADHD.

Trust yourself and value who you are

It’s very important to address emotions in mothers with ADHD, as sometimes they live with emotional ups and downs, a product of the feeling of not being able to cope with everything and not getting to activities on time.

However, this can’t be attributed solely to ADHD; the demands of daily life are excessive and many times, we try to juggle them. A mother with ADHD can feel doubly burdened.

As difficult as it is, ADHD doesn’t have to be an impediment to a quality life. But it is necessary to give it its place, its care, to work on the emotions it arouses, and especially, to learn to deal with guilt. In addition, self-knowledge and acceptance of who one is helps to identify one’s own strengths and weaknesses, in order to guide the intervention a little better.

Finally, the collaboration of those closest to the mother is very important, and for that, it’s necessary that those who lend a hand are properly informed in order to understand what being a mother with ADHD involves.

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