Today we are talking about why parenting with ADHD is hard, especially for moms, ways to consider take fewer rides on that struggle bus. We can’t care for others if we are spent. If we want to parent well, then we need to know how to care for ourselves. Moira discusses what helped with how, when and where things were hard for her that led to taking better care of herself and her family. She also reminds those who aren’t tired, exhausted parents what we can do to help all of us suffer less.Welcome to the ADHD Friendly Lifestyle Podcast, for those of us with ADHD, who have had enough of trying harder and want to live a more comfortable, healthy, and happy life with less frustration and overwhelm. It’s time to get rid of guilt and shame–around having ADHD, our needs, and challenges through stories, knowledge, and humor to speak up about the experience of women, moms, and being late diagnosed with ADHD.
- ADHD is highly genetic, if you have ADHD there’s a high likelihood you have children who are neurodiverse
- Parents of kids with ADHD have higher rates of martial tension, feeling a loss of control, stress, anxiety and depression
- Parents with ADHD have challenges with most areas that require any type of management and comorbid issues too
- Exhaustion is a very common experience of women with ADHD, to the point of illness or burnout
- Under-recognized, under-studied, overlooked, and untreated
- Misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and mistreated
- We live in a multicultural, non-binary world
- There is a higher rate of gender diversity in those with ADHD
- Research on women with ADHD is in its infancy, and even further behind for those on the gender identity spectrum
- The DSM: Diagnostic Standards Manual-V (2013) by the American Psychiatric Association has two sentences on gender differences that studies based on their own criteria found no gender differences in symptoms, severity, prevalence, number of symptoms, number of comorbid disorders, or academic achievement, efficacy and tolerable of meds, comorbid disorders
- APA also removed emotional dysregulation from DSM criteria for ADHD as it was difficult to research
- Research shows women suffer much more from eroding quality of life, reduced self-esteem and self- worth.
- gender, societal and cultural assumptions that women or moms will be able to handle parenting better
- assumptions that women are more organized or mysteriously better equipped to be able to take on more responsibility and “handle” it
- both internal (self) and external (society) pressures to keep track of and remember things lead to self and societal judgment and criticism
- Moira acknowledges that individual experiences can widely vary and her goal is that change reality for herself
- We cannot beat or force our ADHD out of us; self-compassion is the only way forward
- We are like canaries in the coal mine—life requires we give ourselves greater care and attention
- Meeting our most basic physiological needs, the first tier on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is paramount
- Bottomline: we can’t care for others if we are spent. If we want to parent well, then we need to know how to care for ourselves
- People with ADHD have heightened Central Nervous Systems and women experience more of these:
- More sensory sensitivities:
- uncomfortable with a lot of different kinds of touches both physical and objects (clothing, lotions)
- sounds like loud music.
- listening to people chew—common complaint: It freaks out a lot of people.
- Forks scraping on plates,
- sensitivity to changes in light.
- sensitivity to odors, like perfume and gasoline
- A lot of headaches, including migraines, stomach aches, nausea
- many women wake up in the morning with bodily discomforts and it is not until their brain engages in something else it really starts resolving.
- More pain reactivity:
- ADHD brains respond to the highest-level stimulation and pain can really distract the brain from other activities.
- Women with ADHD seem to experience pain even more intensely than men
- they have a higher likelihood of fibromyalgia.
- struggling with pain for a lot of their waking hours.
- If we try to ignore these things, they show up in other ways—reduced capacity, our moods, ability to be flexible and it can even show up in our body
- More sensory sensitivities:
- How much of this is due to most women not knowing about or treatment for their ADHD for decades is unclear at this point
- to address this to stop blaming ourselves and then be well is the first step.
- Moira shares share what is working for her,
- She encourages you can take what you need, and leave what you don’t.
- Reminder to Moira: doing the things for our body– movement/rest/hydration are both more important and more rewarding to you and your loved ones than working or any household chore (or scrolling or watching TV because you overdid it).
- 2 part guiding question for potential roadblocks:
- What could get in the way of this?
- How could you plan for this?
- Moira’s answers? Forgetting, getting caught up in the moment; wanting to accommodate others; wanting to help others; acting on spontaneous ideas; the shiny things, feel pressured (externally or internally), pushing back against “limits”; struggling with setting boundaries.
- Her ways to help with that? Have this list somewhere to see as a reminder for when we forget these things.
- second most important step is to read it:
- Share the plan with others
- Include others in some part of it—external accountability
- Create built-in pauses/answers like “I need to check my calendar” before committing
- Staying well and rested requires planning some downtime and less social time too
- When uncertain if being sidetracked or sucked in by something shiny, have a trusted person to check in with
- Use as many reminders, timers, post-its, alarms as needed, knowing we’ll need to change them up often
- Practice saying no or setting limits with smaller things
- Have a ready list of multiple ways to say no that you are comfortable with
- Become more aware of the challenging times or situations that happen on repeat
- consider ways to set yourself up for success (or at least an easier time of it)
- know your own tendencies—plan for them
- not when things are challenging but figuring it out when things are not kicking off
- One idea is to write down options for when having a bad day –3 guiding questions are: 1) What would be helpful for me today? 2) what isn’t helpful today–on this bad day, and 3) what has the potential to make the day even worse?
- The things that often help our kids help us. When to do it? Taking care of myself BEFORE we need it.
- Identifying how, when, and where things are harder, allows us to see how to take better care both at the moment AND how to sustain it over the long term.
- Moira shares the two-year journey of figuring out how to know if she has money to spend, and trying to do so with her spouse who didn’t see it the way she did—what she learned about herself, and their relationship
- We try something, and instead of getting the great results we want, it may work a bit or for a while. This doesn’t mean it’s useless. It means we can tweak it, what was worth keeping, what to try different.
- It is also about recognizing what we can change, even in our relationships.
- Each step has helped both in solving the problem and more importantly helped her get better at expressing my needs, what works for her and what doesn’t. It’s also helped her to be able to set boundaries or limits on what she is willing or able to do. This doesn’t come easily or naturally to her.
- In her relationship while they both actively work on recognizing what taxes Moira’s EF or makes her ADHD flare, and they are trying to re-allocate responsibilities based on our strengths but when it comes down it, it still falls to her. If that is going to change, it’s up to her.
- those of us with capacity (that’s not you tired exhausted parent with ADHD) need to, in any way that we can, question and challenge why gender spectrums aren’t represented in funding and research for ADHD.
- more education for health care providers
- end talking about ADHD as simply observable behavior
- not a behavioral disorder and using that model eliminates so many of us, especially women.
- understand how ADHD shows up as complex functional impairments that can up and down over our lifespan.
- This is the most gender inclusive way at this point
- our experiences are not easily articulated, observed, or categorized.
- WE all deserve a lifespan impairment model for diagnosis that leads:
- a well-rounded treatment plan, including how to
- recognize & manage challenges,
- effectively use our own voices
- overcome issues with shame and trust
- We hide in plain sight, internalizing many of the impairments, until a “tipping point” when it is no longer possible to manage, and then are treated for anxiety, depression, and eating disorders, which only deals with part of the problem.
- That won’t happen if our voices are still not being heard.
- a well-rounded treatment plan, including how to
- Being a parent with ADHD is one of the toughest jobs out there—it comes with all of your ADHD challenges and higher rates of stess, anxiety, depression, feeling a loss of control and martial tension—but you are not alone
- What makes it harder for moms is a combination of gender, societal, and cultural assumptions ALONG with having really important physiological needs—we cannot put our own needs for eating, sleeping, moving, resting, hydrating, and pain –essentially our well-being— we can’t care for others if we are spent. If we want to parent well, then we need to know how to care for ourselves
- Knowing that those needs are real—we can stop blaming and judging ourselves for having them
- Some changes we can make small and right away, others are going to take time, effort and kids getting more independent too.
- In the meantime: take what you need and leave what you don’t of the ideas here.
If you are interested in a private FB ADHD FL Group, where you can connect with others in the same boat, sign up on my public page, or dm ADHDFL on Facebook and we will get that started. You are not alone in this!
- 20 Ways to Say No
- Radical Acceptance Meets Executive Function
- Why do I get so angry with the ones I love the most?
- Health Outcomes of ADHD: is there an effect on life expectancy?
- What I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before my Flaming ADHD Burnout
- Motherhood with ADHD
- Overwhelmed Mom Syndrome: It’s a Real Thing
- Coping with Sensory Overload
- Sneaky Sensory Triggers in ADHD that No One Talks About
- ADHD in women and girls overview
- Other Online Resources for Parents
- Binder, S. (2021, April 20) Females, Hormones & ADHD [Webinar presentation]. CADDAC 2021, Virtual Event
- Didier, C., Duryea, K., Hughes, R., Indergaard, J. (2019, Nov. 9). The underdiagnosis of ADHD in Girl’s and Women [Conference presentation]. CHADD 2019, Philadelphia, PA.
Littman, E.B. (2020, Dec,15 ) Why ADHD is Different for Women: Gender Specific Symptoms & Treatments .[adhd experts webinars]. ADDitudemag.com 2020, (Virtual Event)
- Robson, C. (2019, Nov.8) Frenzied, Frazzled and Overwhelmed. [Conference presentation]. CHADD 2019, Philadelphia, PA.
- Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder (ADHD) and Stress: A Mutual Relationship between Children and Mothers
- Annual Research Review: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in girls and women: underrepresentation, longitudinal processes, and key directions
- Girls and Women with ADHD: our missed forgotten and most vulnerable
Moira Maybin 00:00
I acknowledge with gratitude that I’m a settler who lives in creates on the unceded traditional territories of the Semiahmoo First Nation, which lies within the shared territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Tsawwassen and Sto:lo First Nations.
Today we are talking about why parenting with ADHD is hard, especially for moms, ways to consider taking fewer rides on that struggle bus, and what needs to change in our healthcare system.
Welcome to the ADHD Friendly Lifestyle. I’m your host, Moira Maybin a woman, mom, educator and I have late diagnosed ADHD. This is the place to practice getting rid of guilt or shame and spending more time with our strengths and passions. There are things that I wish I had known about my ADHD sooner that are allowing me to make different decisions to make my life more ADHD friendly, and I want to share them with you.
Okay, let’s get started. Parenting is hard, full stop. Parenting kids who are neurodiverse is harder. We know that ADHD is highly genetic. So, chances are if you have ADHD, you may have children who are also neurodiverse. Data shows that those of us who have kids with ADHD experience more challenges with stress, anxiety, and depression. There are higher rates of marital tension and a sense of loss of control. The struggles raising kids with ADHD is comparable to those experienced by parents of children on the autism spectrum. So, if you wondered if this is harder for everyone else, this is really hard. We need ways to mitigate this for our own well-being for our relationships, and our loved ones. We might even be trying to break cycles that have occurred in our lives or families for decades. Now let’s consider adding on what it means to have your own ADHD challenges. Anything that requires managing is impacted by ADHD. And don’t forget ADHD usually comes with friends.
Moira Maybin 05:09
What does this look like as a mom with ADHD? Well, when I am good, I can be a lot of fun, silly and have a great time with my kids. I can problem solve, be creative, and enjoy them immensely. When I am stressed out or overwhelmed, I can be rigid, snap, or lose it completely with my family feeling resentful, and put upon even if on the surface, I look like I’m doing okay. Now I know I was suffering greatly on the inside. Like many of us, if you ever wonder why you’re tired all the time. This is why. Exhaustion is a very common experience of women with ADHD to the point of illness or burnout. Who wants that? I don’t want that again. So let’s find out ways to shorten that ride on the struggle bus and get on one that’s heading in the direction we want to go.
Moira Maybin 05:56
If you’re new to my podcast, or like me, don’t always remember things you hear, I’ll cut to the chase for us all. Know that an early episode I go in depth on how and why ADHD is different for women. In short, women with ADHD are under recognized, under studied, overlooked and untreated. Because of this, we remain misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and mistreated. And come on. That’s just wrong. We also live in a multicultural nonbinary world. In recognizing gender diversity and ADHD our awareness and language is changing. But research is behind. Most of the research still centers on the experience of white males. Research on Women is in its infancy, and there’s even less on the gender identity spectrum. This must also change. Looking at the UK population as a whole 1% Identify on the gender identity spectrum. And for the European population this figure is 4%. When we get to look at gender identification in the United States by age group statistics tell us that 12% of millennials and 20% of Generation Z identify as non-binary. We also know that there’s a higher rate of gender diversity in those with ADHD.
Moira Maybin 07:12
The DSM-V, the diagnostic standards manual put out in 2013. By the American Psychiatric Association outlines criteria for an ADHD diagnosis. They have two complete sentences about gender differences, saying that there are no gender differences in ADHD, when we are evaluated using their current criteria in the DSM-V. This is the same association that removed from the diagnostic criteria, any symptoms related to emotion, not because they are not a part of ADHD, but because emotions were too hard to research. And there certainly is research showing ADHD is different among varying genders.
Moira Maybin 07:53
When we compare long term outcomes from men to women, the women suffer much more from eroding quality of life, reduced self-esteem, and self-worth. Until there is very necessary and vital research readily available, for those of us who have been overlooked, we can come together here with our shared experiences, to understand ourselves and each other, know we are not alone, to build acceptance, self-compassion, and try out some new ideas along the way. That is why what I’m sharing today is focus both on my own lived experience and the research on women or moms with ADHD.
Moira Maybin 08:30
There are multiple reasons why ADHD is different for women, such as having a developmental trajectory and risks that are unique to our gender, many diagnostic challenges, pivotal hormonal involvement, and the ever present gender, social and cultural expectations. Don’t forget, we’re also known to have exceptionally high motivation to try and compensate for our challenges. And that leads to an even greater psychological and physical toll on women too. Even when people accept that women have ADHD, just as men do, there remains assumptions that we will be better able to handle it. because we are women, because we are moms. We still live in a culture that assumes women are more organized or mysteriously better equipped to be able to take on more responsibility and handle it. It is still easier for a man to forget to do something or forget to go somewhere, ADHD or not, while women face judgment and criticism from others. And then heap blame on themselves too. A mom with ADHD asked me, “Why does my mother in law always assume that I am the one that knows the plans for my family gatherings and asked me instead of her son, what we are doing?” There are so many variations on that question. That’s the reality we live it. Like most things, this isn’t an all or nothing situation. These assumptions come in many shades of grey, but they are certainly there. I don’t have the time or energy to dismantle the whole system, but I can create a world for myself, where that is not the expectation.
Moira Maybin 10:06
In my next episode on this topic, I am going to be focusing on what I wish I knew when I started out as a parent, back in the day, when we didn’t know any of us had ADHD, and share ideas for those of you with young kids. For today, I’m focusing on how I’ve changed what I expect up. And for myself, what remains true in any way our ADHD struggles show up, is that we can’t beat or force ourselves out of it. Self-Compassion is the only way forward. We all have essential needs. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We start with our physiological needs, nutrition, hydration, air, sleep, shelter, clothing, and even temperature control. I see us with ADHD being like the canaries in the coal mine, who were used to warn miners about rising toxic gases. Their increased sensitivity to toxicity and resulting distress, or even death was because they were in a situation that was more dangerous to them. Living our daily life simply requires more out of us. And we need to acknowledge that and then meet our needs. We require greater attention and care to be well. Bottom lining it, we can’t care for others if we are spent. If we want to parent well, then we need to know how to care for ourselves.
Moira Maybin 11:30
There are also physiological reasons why we need to do this. All of us with ADHD have a heightened Central Nervous System but women experience it more often. We have more tactile sensitivities, including being uncomfortable with different kinds of touch. For me, if you touch me too lightly even if it’s to be affectionate, it can be annoying, shocking, or even jolting. Some of us experience getting hugged, we stiffen up and don’t understand why we’re responding that way. But it really is about the actual sensory overload of the touch itself. We also experienced the more easily known tags in the back of clothes, tight waist bands, hair in the face, wool sweaters, but things like that can extend to lotions, food textures, how someone’s skin feels to you, the list could go on. Anything, Anything that we have to adjust to, can cause overload, and reduces our capacity. Over time, I’ve changed my wardrobe so that any item must feel soft to my skin, I’m removing the things that are okay, and replacing them with better options. I still struggle with how my hair is. I’ve had short hair when I can’t stand the feeling on the back of my neck anymore. When it’s long, If I’m wearing it down, I can get to the point where the actual hair follicles are bugging me, and I have to put it up to change the direction so it changes how it feels. Other common sensory challenges involve music conversations, the sound of people or animals eating dishes, sensitivities to changes in light and temperature. We also tend to have sensitivity to odors to some we love and others we struggle with. Mr. Clean is currently making me very sick to my stomach. It smells so strong; I can’t be around it. And it wasn’t an issue before. But it is now if we try to ignore these things, they show up in other ways, reduced capacity, our moods, ability to be flexible, and it can even show up in our body.
Moira Maybin 13:36
A lot of women with ADHD also struggle with pain for many of their waking hours. And our ADHD brains respond to the highest level of stimulation. Meaning if you are in pain, it really will distract you from other activities. Women with ADHD suffer from more headaches, including migraines, stomach aches, and nausea. Many women with ADHD wake up in the morning in discomfort. And it’s not until our brain engages in something else that it really starts resolving. I hope you’re taking this in. What I’m trying to say is not to dishearten you. But for us to realize to give ourselves the best chance at being a parent, we must take care of ourselves. If you’re recognizing yourself in any of these descriptions and want to know more. I will be exploring all of these ideas further, is just too much to unpack in a single episode. I spent the last number of years of dealing with most of these things, especially pain. And it’s been a lot of work figuring out what works for me and why I experienced these things. But that has helped me deal with them and reduce their frequency, duration, and impact incredibly.
Moira Maybin 14:49
How much of this is due to most of us not knowing about ADHD or having treatment for decades is unclear at this point. What is clear is that the first step in all of this is to stop blaming ourselves, just stop. The deck was stacked against us. And most of us were given the wrong how-to manual. The next step is to figure out how to make it easier to take care of ourselves. I’ll share what is working for me, you can take what you need, and leave what you don’t. We all suffer from CRS can’t remember shit. So I have given up trying to do that on my own. My days of mentally rehearsing over and over, are long behind me now. And I write everything down. Here’s one way that I remind myself that I am important. And I need to be on the list too.
Moira Maybin 15:47
It starts with: Reminder to Moira, doing the things for our body movement, rest, hydration, are both more important and more rewarding to you and your loved ones than working or any other household chore, or scrolling or watching TV, because you’re cooked. Whenever I created this reminder, and I have no idea. I also included a two-part guiding question for potential roadblocks. Kind of like when I was writing this episode without a break for two hours and passed me even included some answers. The first part of the question is what could get in the way of this? And the second part is, how could you plan for this? Honestly, the thing that gets in the way the most? Me? How do I get in the way? Let me count the ways for getting caught up in the moment, wanting to accommodate others, wanting to help others acting on a spontaneous idea. shiny thing in front of me feeling pressured either externally or internally, pushing back against some limit I’m feeling and struggling with setting boundaries. What to do about these challenges of me? How can I plan for this? The most important thing is to have this list somewhere that will actually see it as a reminder for when I forget these things. The other important thing for me to remember is that after a while, I’m not going to want to see it anymore, so I’ll take it down. But fortunately, another copy lives in my binder that’s recently been named my tools. And on my desktop folder entitled things I forget how to do, there will be something new that I want to try instead. But since all of these are repeating the same idea, it’s okay. That’s how our brains like to work. So after actually having the list, the second most important thing is to read it. My own advice to myself is that I will be more likely to do the things I need to for myself, if I share my plan with others. I include others in some part of it having some sort of external accountability. I create built in pauses and have answers like I have to check my calendar before I commit to something. The good news is now that I don’t try to remember anything more, I have no idea even what I’m doing an hour from now. So, I can’t commit to anything without checking my calendar. Another one was staying well. And resting requires that I planned some downtime, and some less social time to like it’s not going to magically happen on so when uncertain. If I’m being sidetracked or sucked in by something shiny, having a trusted person to check in with is something that’s helped me. Then I also suggested to myself that I use many reminders, timers posted and alarms as I need, knowing that I’ll need to change them up often. And when I look at my desk, I actually have three clocks on my desk, one beside my desk, my watch, and my phone and my computer. So yeah, I use a lot of those. This is an important one. Practice saying no, or setting limits. With smaller things. The things that we find hard to do, are hard to do. So I spend a lot of time practicing with things that are less hard. So that makes it easier when I want to do the really hard things and having a list of multiple ways to say no that I am comfortable with. And I will post a link to 20 ways to say no that was actually written for women with ADHD. Having that list doesn’t always help. Nothing always helps. But it definitely helps having it and it increases my chance that I’m not going to get in the way of what I want.
Moira Maybin 19:33
Before I knew I had ADHD, I was going to organize and problem solve my way to serenity or lose my mind and health trying. Thankfully no more. What really did help was to become more aware of the challenging times or situations that happen on repeat. The next step was to consider ways to set myself up for success, or at least to give ourselves an easier time of it, maybe even a fighting chance like we often do as parents have teachers, which for me meant more guiding questions to come up with answers to help me. Not when things are challenging but figuring it out when I’m not in the middle of a shitstorm. I have a list titled Taking Care of me. And on it, I have three sections, small things that make me happy and don’t take long, like using a nice soap, having a favorite hand lotion, going outside, doing nothing for a few minutes doing wordles on there now to the next section has three guiding questions for when I’m having a bad day. Question number one, what would be helpful for me today? Question two, what isn’t helpful today? On this bad day? And number three, what has the potential to make today even worse? Essentially, what would help? What won’t? And what will make it even worse? Having those questions and being able to pre think the answers before I need them, made me better equipped to avoid certain situations and be better equipped to express my needs to others? I’m having a bad day to day. And the sound of that thing is harder for me today. Is there a way that we can change something? So, I’m okay, and you get to do your thing? Question number three, what has the potential to make today even worse, helped me figure out times that I often could use some extra attention for my own well-being. After I get up between after school and dinner, and before bed, mornings would either be too busy for me or I was being too busy to do what I actually needed to do. After school time, I was often in an energy and brain-dead space. I used to go too long without eating. Because you know, I would forget to eat. And that really impacts my thinking and coping. I also wasn’t very good at taking breaks. And those of you who are parents will know the times identified are also the times that kids have the hardest time, not ideal to show up on my own struggled last when they needed the most from me what to do, the things that often help them helped me to when to do it, taking care of myself, before I needed it. identifying how and when and where things are harder for me, I could take care of myself better, both in those times. And what I could do to arrive there in a better state.
Moira Maybin 22:22
It’s continuing to have curiosity that helps when considering ways to meet our needs over the long term with bigger things too. My example isn’t even directly related to parenting but it shows how this is often not an overnight process. We try something and instead of getting the great results we want; it may work a bit or for a little while. That doesn’t mean it’s useless. It means we can tweak it, what was worth keeping what to try different. It’s also about recognizing what we can change, even our relationship. This one has taken a few years. But each step has helped in solving the problem. And more importantly, I think it’s helped me get better at expressing my needs. And there’s been a lot of practice a lot of trial and error about what works for me, and what doesn’t, and sharing it in a way that I take ownership for my mistakes but also gain skill at expressing myself in a genuinely honest way that doesn’t include setting myself up for something I struggle with. It’s also helped me to be able to set boundaries or limit on what I’m willing or able to do. This doesn’t come easily or naturally to me.
Moira Maybin 23:33
Here’s the backstory. I need to have an up to date and visible way of knowing how much I spend so I don’t overspend, especially from the beginning to the end of the month. If one of my kids need shoes, I would think to myself, well, we have a budget for that. So sure. But then at the end of the month, the kid who is growing also needs some new pants. I forgotten that I already spent the clothing budget for the shoes, and my kid needs it right? This is most certainly a recipe for overspending. Over the years, my husband and I have developed budgets and spending limits, but he struggled to understand when I tell him that having it written down is enough for me to be successful. I need a way to know in the moment, if I can buy or do the thing. The solution I came up with was to gather everything into a spreadsheet weekly and categorize it. Then I can see in real time what our spending was like. I’m good with math. But you know, it’s so easy to miss type. get confused, do the reverse. In short, there’s so many freaking details to keep on top of it’s insane. I found doing tracking really hard. It takes a long time and a lot of energy to do this every week on Excel spreadsheets. Guess what? I’m also married to an accountant. And you think that he could do this easily? Yeah, no, he wasn’t taking that on. He did his part by creating a budget with me and setting limits. He just didn’t understand my struggle or need. Two years go by of me doing weekly detailed tracking of all our finances. Something I’m actually very proud of, because it’s really helped us to anticipate costs too. A year ago, I asked him to investigate apps that we could use instead, after frequent reminders, he did and wasn’t happy with any of them. A month ago, I asked him, what would he do, if he didn’t have the monthly reports on our spending that I created? He said he would do it. But we both know, that means it will land on his dreaded and enternal to do list. At this point, I want to share that my husband works extremely long hours, so I get not wanting to do more accounting. And this is how some ADHD tendencies can certainly show up in people who have learning disabilities and not be ADHD. I’d had it, I told him, I wasn’t going to do it anymore. And we were finding a different way. At the same time, I also needed a bookkeeper to do my books for work. And that’s how I got to see QuickBooks fell in love. And that led to Mint. That was exactly what I was looking for. Now at the final stage, after I linked accounts, we watched YouTubes together on it. My husband was game to input our budget, small win. Interim challeng? Turns out that setting up Mint isn’t ADHD friendly, and it wasn’t friendly for either of us. But after many hours over two weekends, we think we have it set up to work the way we want it. And for it to tell us what we want is the big win–that time will be very well spent at the front end, I have the information I need for a fraction of the time and energy and for free. The time, effort and struggle it has taken to get here for one part of my life has been immense. But my main point here getting back to how I approach things as a mom and a partner. Well, we both actively work on recognizing what taxes my EF or makes my ADHD flare. And we are trying to reallocate responsibilities based on our strengths. But when it comes down to it, it’s still falls to me. If that is going to change, it is up to me. I now feel strong enough in my ADHD journey to also know that I can do this. I wasn’t there before.
Moira Maybin 27:00 It’s up to me because women with ADHD have been invisible for so long. Often, we can look around and find no support for people with ADHD. I am still waiting for medication adjustment appointment that we’re going on two and a half years now that can and needs to change. There are five vital things to be considered. Despite more information being available about ADHD, the study of ADHD in women is still in its infancy. And there’s even less on gender diversity. We remain overlooked, under researched, which perpetuates being misunderstood and suffering in silence. Those five things first, those of us with capacity, and that’s not you tired and exhausted parent with ADHD. The rest of us need to in any way we can question and challenge why gender spectrums aren’t represented in funding and research for ADHD. There’s still so much uncertainty about ADHD. And I think we can agree, we’re not big fans of uncertainty. Second, there needs to be more education for health care providers. They’re well trained in mood disorders in depression and anxiety. And that’s why they see our ADHD is that as it is now, most clinicians don’t know what to ask. We can find ways to include clinicians with ADHD to be part of the process in shifting how we go about diagnosis. Once I knew I had ADHD and the struggles both my kids and I faced, I was so much better as an educator, being able to ask key questions to find out what was going on for my students. Third, we need to put to bed talking about ADHD as simply an observable behavior. It is not a behavior disorder. And using that model, eliminate so many of us, especially women, we must understand how ADHD shows up as complex functional impairments that can go up and down over our lifespan. This is the most gender inclusive way at this point. Our experiences are not easily articulated, observed or categorized. Fourth, we all deserve a lifespan impairment model for diagnosis that leads to a well rounded treatment plan. That includes how to recognize and manage challenges, how to effectively use our own voices, and overcome issues with shame and trust. This won’t happen if our voices are still not being heard. But, and here’s another one of my big butts. When we are in the parenting trenches, we are often trying to get through the day. If we share this podcast with people who care, and they can understand our experiences, that’s a win. We cannot ask more of the people who are already giving the most. And parents with their own disabilities and challenges parenting kids with similar challenges are deep in the trenches.
Moira Maybin 30:27
So parents with ADHD, let’s go back to the beginning, eating, sleeping, hydrating, calming our nervous systems, reducing pain, comfortable clothing for ourselves, and then our loved ones, adding kindness, and curiosity about what you do. And if you’re ready, maybe consider a guiding question or two. We want it all now. The good news is if we tweak it, or adjust one thing, it can make all the difference in the world.
Moira Maybin 31:09
Okay, you’ve done the hard work by saying to the end, your reward. Here are the main takeaways from today’s episode. Number one, being a parent with ADHD is one of the toughest jobs out there, but you are not alone. Number two, what makes it harder for moms is a combination of assumptions, Along with having really important physiological needs. We cannot put our own needs aside and care for others if we are spent. Number three, knowing that those needs are real, we can stop blaming and judging ourselves for having them. Number four, some changes we can make small and right away. Others are going to take time and effort and maybe kids getting a little bit more independent too in the meantime, take what you need, and leave what you don’t have the ideas here. All the guiding questions from today’s episode will be on the show notes for ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com. And if you’re interested in a private Facebook, ADHD Friendly Lifestyle group, where you can connect with others in the same boat, sign up on my public page or DM me on the ADHD Friendly Lifestyle Facebook page and we’ll get that started. You are not alone in this.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s show. And we’d love to hear your thoughts. To get in touch you can write me an email at ask at ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com. Connect with me on my website, Instagram and Facebook at ADHD Friendly Lifestyle or Twitter at ADHDFL every episode has a website page was show notes transcripts next steps resources and articles related to the topic. To get these visit ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com. If you’d like to support the podcast, the best way is to subscribe on the podcast player of your choice and by taking the time to rate and review it there. Theare are other podcasts for your listening pleasure. On Hacking your ADHD Will Curb gives Tips Tools and insights. Brendon Mahan hosts ADHD Essentials focusing on parenting and education. Thanks for listening. See you later.