I have recently been diagnosed with ADD and I strongly suspect my daughter has ADHD as well. I am the inattentive type and seem to need a lot of down time. I do things slowly and get sidetracked very easily. My daughter on the other hand is very active, demanding and wants almost constant attention. She is only 5. She is too young to understand that I have great difficulty doing even 2 things at once. I truly need advice on how to focus on my chores while never forgetting that raising my daughter lovingly is by far my most important goal. Anyway if you have any advice for me I would greatly appreciate it.
Dear Mom with ADD,
You’ve done a great job of describing how AD/HD looks in a hyperactive, demanding girl as well as in her inattentive, slower-paced mother who needs downtime. We suspect you are correct in your assumption that your daughter has AD/HD.
First, you didn’t mention any treatment that you are receiving following your recent diagnosis. Have you considered a trial of stimulant medication? Medication may help you to remain focused better and become sidetracked less often.
Second, you need to take your own needs very seriously in order to be able to better meet your daughter’s needs. Women of your temperament, especially when they have a high need, demanding child, should take great care to get the respite that they need. For your time with your daughter to be enjoyable and positive, you need time off from constant hands-on mothering to recharge your batteries. Many mothers wait far too long before they seek the support they need. Have you considered hiring a mother’s helper several times a week to have someone to entertain and occupy your daughter while you complete housekeeping chores? But you need help not just to get your chores done, but also to have some downtime for yourself. Although a five year old may not still nap, it is a big help to both mother and child if a “nap time” is clearly established and maintained – a time when she must remain in her room and play quietly until “nap time” is over.
Your daughter is a child with a high need for stimulation and attention. It may help to find lots of organized activities to enroll her in so that you don’t remain the primary source of entertainment for her.
And take heart – soon she’ll be in school for long periods during the day – which will automatically allow you more time to complete chores without so many distractions and maybe even have a little time for yourself!
Remember, the better you feel, the better relationship you’ll have with your daughter. So, get the treatment you need, get the support you need, and don’t wait too long to get your daughter assessed for AD/HD – if she has it, she’s much better off getting treatment sooner rather than later.