Raising kids and managing a home are two of the most demanding and time-consuming jobs for mothers. Even without ADHD any mother eventually feels overwhelmed, over-extended, and totally exhausted. If you are a mother dealing with ADHD, your challenge is even greater and will require even more determination to keep your family and personal life as healthy as possible.
There are many ways to stay organized despite the chaos of family life. Here are 7 practical ways that can make a big difference:
1. Take Care of Yourself
As caregivers, we forget and erase our own needs all the time. Though every mother should make sure she lives a balanced life, mothers with ADHD need to pay even more attention to that aspect. In order to organize your life, your mind and body need to be sharp and relaxed.
- Take short ‘do nothing’ breaks daily
- Get plenty of sleep and good nutrition
- Physical activity, meditation, and yoga are great ways to relieve stress and stay focused
De-clutter your mind and your home! Clutter has been proven by neuroscientists to affect our concentration, increase our stress level, and reduce our performance. You have enough going on with your busy family life; you don’t need additional visual distractions to drain your energy.
For physical clutter:
- Get rid of the clutter, one room at a time
- Keep every room clutter-free by picking up as you go
For mind clutter:
- Write down everything you have to do
- Organize by priority
- Focus on one task at a time
- Use color-coded calendars for everyone in the family
3. Plan Ahead
Life throws surprise events and activities at us all the time and we can’t avoid it, so when it comes to school, work, and day-to-day stuff, make it as predictable for everyone as possible.
- Morning tasks, such as packing lunches and preparing snacks should be done the night before. This will reduce morning stress and increase your chances of a restful night.
- Notice which part of every day is more chaotic, and make small changes to prepare as many things in advance as possible.
- Establish daily routines anywhere from bedtimes to free time, so they become predictable for every member of the family, and there’s less on your mind.
- Avoid situations that can lead to meltdowns in your children, for example, have someone watch the children while you go grocery shopping.
4. Team Work
In addition to educating yourself and your family about how ADHD works and effects you, you also need to engage everyone in family teamwork, so they all take part in helping you cope with day-to-day life. Delegate as many tasks as possible.
Stop multitasking. Multitasking is a go-crazy habit that is extremely counterproductive. When there is too much going on at once, nothing gets done properly and tension rises.
Another big stressor and attention drainer is electronics. Get rid of all electronics during meals and stay clear of computer screens and phones while doing something else. Set some uninterrupted time each day to catch up on social media and emails.
6. Support System
ADHD is a big challenge in itself; make sure you have a solid support system and professional help for you and your family as needed. They can help you stay focused and organized when all you feel is unraveled.
7. Lighten Things Up
Staying organized does not only mean serious work and planning, it also means a lighter, more joyful mind. Try to turn your own meltdowns into something funny, so everyone can laugh about it with you. Laughter is the ultimate tension diffuser, saving your mind and energy for more important things.
Life can be demanding and stressful. Keeping things clutter-free and organized is extremely important — especially when dealing with ADHD. Take it one day at a time, one task at a time, and ask for help as needed. You can do this!