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Monday, March 16, 2015

12 Tips for Moms with A.D.D. (Part 3)

Continued from Part 2:

9.  Harness Structuring Tools

I struggle to even use tools like planners, lists, recipe schedules and the like.  But I still try and go back to them and start all over.  Especially when I lose the list I once had.  I often forget that I even have a list.  This is what it is like to have A.D.D.  Lists and planners sound like great tools, but they don't work if you don't use them - or if you forget to.  I have only had a cell phone for just over a year now and am beginning to see what a great tool it is!  Now I can put in reminders and calendar events and it will ding me when I need to know!  I'm sure this is news to no-one.  But it is exciting to me!  Maybe in time I will learn other tools that can help - but I put this in my list because someday I'll come back to this and I'll need the reminder. ('Cuz I'll forget there were tools - just call me Dorie).

Some other tools are: Make a School Lunch plan - stick it on the fridge.  Keep a post-it pad in the car with a pen.  When you remember something while you're out and about you can jot it there and stick it on the dashboard.  Have a list on your fridge of three main food categories: Protein, Veggie, Starch.  Underneath each have a list of the things your family likes.  This provides many quick meal ideas for me.

10.  Tell People Around You: "I Forget Things A Lot."

The friends you want in your life will be forgiving and patient.  But it is probably helpful for those you are around frequently to know what you're like.  That way when you're late or forget something they know you are just like this and won't take it personally.  And if they do, well, that's another situation.  I tell people all the time, "I have A.D.D."  Probably half of those have no idea what I mean by this and some of the rest don't believe it exists.  That's okay.  They've been forewarned.

I also tell them that I'm always learning and growing and seeking to become the person God wants me to be.  I don't ever want A.D.D. to be an excuse.  But I know my brain does seem to short-out sometimes.  And we wouldn't condemn a dementia patient for forgetting things - we wouldn't judge them for their lack of responsibility.  But because A.D.D. is some other kind of thing others may think it is okay to judge it.  That's their choice I suppose.  But I would avoid such people.

11.  Continue to Re-Start

It goes without saying that a chaotic interior life can often lead to a chaotic exterior life.  I don't count the number of times I've embarked on some self-clean-up mission.  It's just a part of my life - this starting of things and forming goals only to have them vanish somehow and then I wonder if I had any goals?  When a new year begins I often think, "Oh yeah!  I should think up some great accomplishments I want to do or some way I want to work on myself."  And I take so long trying to think of these things that by the time I'm done thinking up something, it's March and I forgot where I was at the beginning.  So then I think, maybe next year I'll apply these things!!  Yeah, whatever.

I love hearing about famous people who failed and kept trying - like Einstein, Lincoln and Edison.  So what that what they set out to do didn't work the first time.  They didn't give up.  So I won't either.  So what that I'm forgetful!  I'll keep learning new things to help myself!  Do I need guilt to weigh me down?  No, I just need to pick up and re-start.  This is a way of life for me.

"Never give up."  I tell myself this over and over.  My family needs me and loves me, in spite of my quirks.  So I will continue to plod along.

12.  Receive ALL the Help Offered to You

I have been the recipient of immense support and help.  I have borne five children and run them to school and back, packed lunches, helped them grow and develop.  But I have not done this alone.  Yes, Sam has been a super-supportive husband and Dad.  But beyond that, I have been blessed with others who have served, assisted, helped and supported me.

One Mom drove my kids to school every morning for three years!  That's a LOT!  I was so humbled by such kindness - I know I didn't 'deserve' it.  But she was available and willing.

Every time I had a baby my Mom came from out of town (I'm talking, from Hong Kong out of town - that's way farther than anyone I know!)  She didn't just come for a week - usually a month or more.  She did school runs, lunches, took the kids on outings, bought them stuff, made most of our meals, babysat, did laundry and much more.  I needed that help.  May God bless you with such a serving Mother.

Sam's sister has homeschooled two of our kids.  She has come when I've been sick.  She takes the kids on extra outings and fieldtrips.  May your kids be blessed with such an Aunt.

You get the picture - be willing to receive help.  Don't feel you have to prove yourself capable of being a super-woman.  If someone is out there offering help - take it.  It is such a relief to me when someone offers to help me.

I'll take all the help I can get :)





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