Being a mom ain’t easy. Most moms constantly feel as though their brains and hearts are shuffled all over the place. They get forgetful in a life full of chaos. But, what about moms with ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder in kids. Now, many of the first kids diagnosed with the disorder are turning into adults and becoming parents. According to several moms with ADHD, it’s not an easy task to parent with the disorder. ADHD is usually diagnosed in kiddos, but some adults continue to be diagnosed with it, too, into their 40s and beyond.
The mental disorder takes its toll on one’s focus, organization, time management, and more. It might be difficult to imagine being a mom without the ability to stay focused, be on time to things, or remembering even the most basic things. Welcome to the world of an ADHD mom.
These Whisper confessions lay it all out there – the daily struggles, the wishes to just be “normal,” and even wondering just how in the world they’re able to function daily. And, since it can’t always be easy for the kids of ADHD parents, either, some of these confessions represent their most personal thoughts about their moms, too.
15 ‘Basic’ And Insecure
This mom has both ADHD and FAS, which is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Both disorders have similar symptoms, like a short attention span, hyperactivity, and poor judgment. For this mom, every day is likely a struggle, and she makes it clear - even in how she feels about herself - in her Whisper confession. The word ‘basic’ seems to be something she’s heard quite often through her lifetime, possibly because her likes don’t seem to align with others.
One struggle for ADHD people is maintaining meaningful friendships. It can be difficult for them to socialize using proper “norms”. For moms who already find it difficult to keep up with friendships, ADHD may complicate the situation. Hopefully this Mama makes it through the tough times and builds some confidence in knowing that she’s not alone – and that she’s awesome the way she is.
14 Adult Diagnosis
To prove the point that even older adults are getting diagnosed with ADHD, this 44-year-old mom of three gives her Whisper confession to the web. It seems that she’s known she was “different” for a long time but had never had the opportunity to get diagnosed and put some type of name to her differences. This is often the case with children, because many doctors want to make sure their behaviors aren’t typical kid behaviors before giving a diagnosis. And, for girls, ADHD usually goes undetected for longer because they don’t usually exhibit the disorder in the same way as boys do.
But for someone who’s already lived a good portion of her life wondering why she was so different, and even struggling once her kids were born, it has to be a relief to finally have some answers.
13 Single Mom And Struggling
Moms of twins can likely all feel this mom’s pain. Having multiples tends to up the chaos factor by a lot anyway. For a mom with ADHD, twins can almost make it feel as though they’re getting pulled in one too many directions, taking its toll on both mom and babies. We hope this mom has it figured out as best she can for her and her babies’ sakes, but it definitely sounds as though she’s screaming for help inside.
We applaud this mom for following her dreams and going to school to better herself in life. But, between that and two twins and being a single mom with ADHD, it can’t be easy. Twins have an especially chaotic schedule of feeding, sleeping, etc. that could easily send an ADHD person into a frenzy, wondering whether she’s forgetting something important having to do with the babies.
12 Double Whammy
This seems to be all too common for those with ADHD – they struggle to ask for help. Much of that probably stems from the negative attention ADHD gets. Naysayers who don’t “believe” in ADHD tend to think of it as something that’s diagnosed just to excuse bad behaviors or because people just need to have a name for anything.
However, doctors are starting to use brain imaging to detect patterns and structural changes in the brain related to ADHD to better help diagnose the condition. It’s possible that, if and when thorough studies get completed, the results will help prove that ADHD not only exists, but that it does things to the brain that the “normal” brain doesn’t. Until then, many with the condition are left to not talk about it for fear of being judged by others who believe they use ADHD for attention.
11 Every Day Is A Struggle
It’s not uncommon for people with ADHD to also have addiction problems to alcohol, gambling, drugs, or anything else. According to WebMD, about 25% of adults getting treated for alcohol and substance abuse also have an ADHD diagnosis. So, this woman’s confession shouldn’t be too surprising considering she has ADHD. In addition to her admitted gambling addiction, she also has Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Many adults with ADHD have some other mental disorder too, like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.
This mom is young. She’s a single mom and a nursing student. It seems that she’s overcome a lot so far, but still has quite a way to go and she’s obviously struggling. The best thing for her – and her kids – would be to get some help ASAP before she runs herself dry.
10 Loving Being ‘Normal’
Fortunately for this young, single mom with ADHD and other mental health conditions, she’s getting herself help through therapy. As we’ve seen on a few other confessions, it’s common to not get help and continue treating every day as though nothing is wrong. But, trying to hide the problem isn’t helping anyone – including the mom with ADHD and her children.
This confession proves how much just talking to someone can help a mom struggling with ADHD. She’s happy just because she cried for the first time in a long time and was able to experience regular emotions. Although those with ADHD have the same emotions as everyone else, they can feel things more intensely and have difficulty expressing them in the same way as other people do. It must have been relieving for this mom to finally let it all out.
9 But, How?
Not only does this strong mama have ADHD, but she also has dyslexia, which is a learning disability that affects one’s ability to read, usually resulting in jumbled words or sentences that don’t make sense. It’s amazing that with dyslexia alone, this mom is able to keep a 4.0 grade point average in college. Throw in ADHD on top of that, and she really is doing amazing.
It’s crazy what moms can do when they have no other choice. Single moms, especially, don’t always have good support systems to help them with their kids. Yet many of them do whatever it takes to support their children every day. This single mom, despite struggling with two disorders, working full time, and going to school full time, is making things happen, even if she doesn’t know how. The important thing is that she is.
8 Relatable, But Tough
This confession is probably relatable to many moms with ADHD. According to ADDitudeMag.org, there has been scientific evidence over recent years suggesting that ADHD may have underlying genetic factors. Many parents, when getting their children diagnosed, may notice that they exhibit many of the symptoms for ADHD that doctors ask about in their kids. That’s actually how a lot of adult ADHD diagnoses come about. Some doctors may even suggest that the parents of a child with a new diagnosis gets evaluated, too.
When you suffer from the condition yourself and also have a child with it, it can begin to become hard to navigate it all. Moms with ADHD need to take care of themselves and their needs, but they also need to do the same with their children with ADHD, and a healthy balance may not always be easy to find.
7 Survival Of The Fittest
This mom has no problem telling it like it is. These feelings seem to be quite normal for moms with ADHD. One mom named Emily wrote an article for Cosmopolitan.com that outlined some of her innermost thoughts about being a mom with ADHD. Like this mom behind the Whisper confession, Emily often feels like she has so much on her plate that she doesn't know how to quite handle it all:
"Kids come with a whole slew of additional responsibilities, and my systems and workarounds began to show strain and then collapsed under the pressure of parenthood. I walked around in a state of permanent anxiety, waiting to realize I had screwed up again. I dreaded having to say the words "I forgot" for the millionth time. I knew deep down inside that I wasn't being deliberately irresponsible or lazy, but try as I might, I could not make myself see that mess that needed to be cleaned up or remember where I had put that vaccination form."
6 ADHD Distractions
One of the most common parts of ADHD are the distractions. This mom pokes a little bit of fun at herself while showing a very real side of being a mom with ADHD. Like this mom, Emily also gave some insight into this part of her life in her Cosmopolitan article:
"My life as a mom can sometimes feel like one long, panicky internal monologue punctuated by moments of shame when I inevitably drop the ball on something. Did I remember to give him his allergy medication? Put sunscreen on him when it's a sprinkler day? Is his water bottle in his bag? Do we have his bag, and will I remember to leave it with him or walk all the way back home still wearing it over my shoulder like I did last week?"
5 Lazy Or Struggling?
ADHD for anyone can be overwhelming, but when you're a mom without a good support system of people who want to understand your struggles and find ways to help, it can seem impossible. This mom doesn't seem to have a supportive boyfriend, which can make her daily problems even more stressful for her. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the world who see ADHD as an excuse for certain behaviors, both in kids and adults. It seems that this mom's boyfriend - someone who should be by her side - is one of them.
If you're a mom who has ADHD and hasn't yet found a good support system, it's time to do some research. Check the resources at ADD.org. The site even has a listing of ADHD support groups specifically for adults with the disorder.
4 Triple Duty
"Mom Brain" is totally a thing, even though we joke around about it a lot. Having kids causes changes to the brain that can make you more forgetful, distracted, and just feel all over the place - and they can last for the rest of your life. But, ADHD also causes similar problems, so ADHD moms may be getting a double dose of the Mom Brain. Or, as this mom feels, maybe even a triple dose.
Moms with ADHD feel and think things to a greater degree than other moms. They might become more emotional about things their kids do and say. "Normal" mom thoughts - like worrying about everything you have to do this week - may nag them until they can't take it anymore. It's a lot of work that can be draining physically and mentally, so it's no wonder that ADHD moms feel that they have a lot of ground to make up for to be a great mom.
3 To Medicate Or Not To Medicate
Many children and adults with ADD or ADHD take medications to help them with several aspects of their lives. Most of the time, they take a stimulant drug that's meant to help manage common ADHD symptoms, like hyperactivity, impulsivity, and attention span. According to WebMD, they help about 70% of adults with ADHD and 70% to 80% of children with the disorder.
This confessor says that both she and her mom stopped taking their medications, although she doesn't explain why. But, it's clear that they enjoyed relating to each other in a way that most others can't since they both have similar disorders. But, once people with ADD or ADHD stop taking their medications, they may quickly start to experience the symptoms that get in the way of their everyday lives - and it may just be too much to handle for too long.
2 Unmedicated Mom
This child is clearly having a rough time with her mom's ADHD. The mom is choosing not to use medication, which is something each person with the disorder has the right to refuse. Some people choose not to use them for fear of becoming addicted, or even because they feel that taking a medication will alter their personalities in a negative way. And, some medications have side effects, like suppressed appetite, upset stomach, headaches, restlessness, extreme fatigue, and more. As with any medication, the decision isn't one that should be taken lightly.
But, unmedicated people with ADHD, according to those who have to live with them, can be difficult to relate to. Although this child doesn't go into details as to what bothers her about her mom's ADHD, it's obvious that it's rough to deal with and shows a good perspective from someone on the other end of the line.
1 What A Relief
Knowing someone else with ADHD can absolutely help those with the disorder get through the tough times they experience daily. It can't be easy going through the symptoms and struggles alone, so having someone to talk to about it who understands is sometimes the best way to cope. This child found some relief when her mother admitted to her that she also has ADHD and can totally understand what she's going through.
According to the CDC, 11% of American children between ages 4 and 17 have ADHD. That's an astonishingly high number. And, when you consider that ADHD may be a genetic disorder, it's possible that many of the parents of those children have it, too. Like this family, the children may not know it until later on. But, when they discover it, they'll know they always have someone they can relate to.
Sources: ADDitudeMag.org, ADHDAdulthood.com, CDC.gov, ChildMind.org, Cosmopolitan.com, Healthline.com, WebMD.com