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What it means to be a Mom with ADD

Updated on April 5, 2012

I am a mom. And I have ADD. One of these things significantly makes the other worse. I just can’t figure out which one.

This is the first of a series of hubs I intend to write on adult ADHD (used interchangeably with ADD), and more specifically, ADHD moms. They have been inspired by a lot of different things and have a lot of different messages. Sometimes things will make sense. And sometimes they (the things, to be technical) will go off in long and winding trajectories, flights of fantasy and adjunctive commentaries that never seem to come back the original point. But always they will end with a point of some sort, I hope.

Did I mention the ADD?

On Being a Mom, Of Any Kind

Moms are gods, at least to their kids they are. They are the gods of etiquette, of housework, of safety and responsibility. They are the gods of time keeping and hygiene and emotionality and esteem. They are the all-seeing, all-knowing gods with eyes in the backs of their heads, the seers of future consequences, and the enforcers of said consequences. They are, at times, even the gods of war. They have a lot of power, and an even greater amount of responsibility.

No one wants to follow a false god, especially none who revere the existence one, superior, higher being. For kids, that notion of a “higher being” starts with their moms and dads, at least until dogma enters their lives. All good moms will question their ability to fulfill these demands at least once in awhile. But for moms who live with ADD, this question occurs daily, if not hourly:

“Who the he!! put me in charge?”

We try not to ask it out loud too often, lest we give ourselves (our incompetence as we see it) away. We struggle silently, hoping that we never get “found out”, sensing that somehow our resumes don't quite match up to the job. We suspect all the others moms, the ones who have their you-know-what together, have had some secret tuition on proper parenting that we weren’t privy to. Or maybe we were, but just weren`t listening.

We are the moms who, on top of chasing our kids, work doubly hard chasing our own tails. We are those moms who never get to the bottom of the pile, or who can't find where they put the pile in the first place. Despite our sincerest efforts, we just can`t get our you-know-what together.

We don’t keep a tidy house, remember appointments, or cope easily with things like paying bills on time or brushing our kids` hair every day. We miss important chunks of information laden with detail; we are impatient and impulsive, restless. We constantly teeter between the two worlds of under and overstimulation. You may think we talk a lot, but we know the words that escape our mouths are really only a fraction of what runs through our minds each millisecond. And no, we don’t know where you put x, y, or z because we don’t know where we put x, y, or z either.

If we were honest with ourselves, we would notice how much we really relate to every high and low, every mess, every oversight, every impulsive, bounce-off-the-walls show of character our little ones bestow upon our household. The outer two year old is not so different to the inner mom we know. Neither is the fourteen year old. The only real difference is we know better. We are the moms. The “gods” of order and family functionality.

Who am I kidding?

We are the moms on the fringe of this parenthood clique: the ones who get by - just barely – but we do it. If we saw our strengths for what they are, instead of what they appear to be against some imaginary barometer of parental competence, we would see that EVERY MOM has struggles and that we shine in spite of ours. Those other moms, the ones who run a tight ship, parent their children with courage, wisdom and serenity, and do so gracefully and adoringly – don’t exist outside our imagination.

All these quirks we judge as incompetence are really the flecks of imperfection that make us sparkle if we shine the right light on them. And if we could stop wishing we were “normal” moms, we would learn to bask in the glory of unconventional mothering and in that, be happier being ourselves. Happier moms make a happier world. After all, ``when momma aint happy aint nobody happy`(Tracy Byrd).

There is only one underlying philosophy that underpins and unifies all that I write about: Be the kind of mom you want to be. Now. In fact, be the kind of person you want to be. Now! Never before has now been more important than this exact moment in time. And the best way to become the kind of person or mother you want to be, is to first start embracing the one you are - ADD and all.


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    • Nordy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Canada

      Welcome to the club, glad to have you on board! Thanks for taking a break from your spinning to gift me your gracious accolades. The ride is fun though, hey?

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I live this life! My husband shakes his head as I spin around him like a whirlwiind cleaning, cooking, and whatever else I put my hand to do around the home. I was greatly amused with your wit in writing this hub and enjoyed the read. Voted funny and interesting.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Well it's always good to know you're not alone:) haha! I think that it's one of those method to the madness things - disorganized organization!! Lol. I'm so glad to see you back here!

    • Nordy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks steph- wow, four kids! Eek! I can barely cope with 2 let alone plus a cat and a dog. And don`t even get me started on the husband ;) Thanks for the comments!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great hub! I don't have ADD, but I definitely feel scattered at times, running the household for 4 children, a husband, cat and dog..... Who put me in charge? Right on - great discussion about not comparing yourself to other moms because you don't know what is going on behind closed doors. Rated up!

    • Nordy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Canada

      RealHousewife - Its been a long time since I`ve been on hubpages, but its good to hear from you. Somehow I just knew you were dancing from the same drumbeat as me ;) I adhere to the same style of house cleaning as you, but lately I have been experiment with `sprinting` - mad dashes around the house trying to beat the time. The kids think I am mental, its great!

      Thanks tsarnaudova for your comments, just keeping on doing the best we can is all we can really do. The kids will never remember us for the state of the house will they?

      ALUR, even though you don't have ADD it sounds as if you have experienced similar struggles. What a beautiful statement - "gift them with the power of kindness and an open mind for exploration". I love it. I need helping finding balance with the exploration part - how to let them "explore" but also maintain the integrity of at least some of our belongings. Any tips?

    • ALUR profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Though I don't struggle with ADD I have had my own life struggles and an injury that affected my frontal lobe. Often I think this life I lead is too much to bear but for my children I have chosen(it's a choice you know) to gift them with the power of kindness and an open mind for exploration.

      Motherhood in of itself is a challenge. But we've made the decision to have these kids and they owe us nothing. Once we know that and give them a solid foundation, off they shall go to the abyss of discovery.

      Check out my various hubs, you may like them.

    • tsarnaudova profile image

      Tsvetana Kodjabasheva 

      6 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      I am a mom of two and I have struggles every day. I don't have ADD but I also happen to forget appointments and to reschedule, and to fail in house cleaning, in mastering all things. I'm not a god. I think this is what we all do - we try to be the best mom every day, no matter what. Thank you for reminding me that.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Nordy!! Man oh man - who told you I had that? LOL. It was never so obvious to me until my uncle had a car accident and had to live with me for a few months. I am aware that I do things a little differently - like I might start cleaning in one room - then I'll see something out of place in another room and go fix that - and I sort of trail all over. He pointed out that I do "get it all done" but he said it's weird how I don't just focus on one thing.....oh well? I'd catch him watching me and he'd be saying nothing and just shaking his head! Lol

      I think my kids don't mind tho - because I do always know where everything is and I call myself a YES mom! It just means I say no a lot but in a yes kinda way:) "yes you can't walk around the block alone!" ha!

      Up and everything!


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