7 Tips for Moms With Adult ADHD

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Susan Fishman, APC, CRC on September 24, 2021
  • mother with young daughter in park
    Focus on Mom
    Being a mom requires focus, organization and good time management, especially in our connected, go-go-go world. Most moms these days would agree—it’s a constant juggling act. And if you have adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it’s even more of a challenge. It’s not easy to keep everything running smoothly when you’re dealing with persistent problems, such as restlessness, impulsiveness and trouble paying attention. In fact, it can be overwhelming. But take heart: there are many things you can do to better manage your mom duties and help keep your sanity.
  • woman writing in journal
    1. Take some organizing steps.
    With your busy life as a mom, getting and staying organized may be one of your biggest challenges. People with ADHD don’t make enough chemicals in the organizing centers of the brain, making it hard to organize things, listen to instructions and remember details. Find a good calendar and reminder system, whether on your phone or with a date book. Place a basket with must-remember items for the day at the door. If you have a partner at home, spend a few minutes each evening to discuss the day ahead and sync your calendars. You can also share shopping lists with an app like Our Groceries that allows each of you to add items as needed, making it easier to keep on top of errands. An organizational or life coach can also provide some great tips tailored to your lifestyle.
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    2. Pause before big decisions.
    With ADHD, you may have a tendency to think and act impulsively. This can sometimes have negative consequences, especially when it comes to making significant or emotional parenting decisions. When you have an important decision to make, take a pause. Find a quiet place, away from the kids and the phone, to do some deep breathing and think through all the positive and negative consequences. You may also want to lean on a spouse, trusted friend or counselor for advice with certain decisions.
  • Worried Woman Waiting
    3. Take it one step, and one emotion, at a time.
    Everyday tasks can be a challenge for moms with ADHD. When it’s hard to focus and prioritize, you may find you’re always missing deadlines or forgetting to be somewhere. It’s no wonder many moms find themselves more impatient, or have mood swings and angry outbursts. Try to be patient with yourself, and explain how your ADHD affects you to your family. Ask for their patience and understanding. It can also help to take daily tasks one step at a time, focusing on one item before moving on to another.
  • Woman staring out window
    4. Create a wellness routine.
    A good wellness routine can help all moms stay focused and energized, but especially moms with ADHD. Research suggests that people living with ADHD are more likely to have sleep problems, eat impulsively and not exercise routinely. Take some time to think about how you can improve each of these areas of your life. Start with small steps, like cutting back on sugar and alcohol, and going to bed at a decent hour. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier each morning for some “me” time, whether it’s to meditate or just to have a little extra quiet time to plan for the day.
  • mother having breakfast with children
    5. Relax at mealtime.
    Many moms with ADHD have children with ADHD; it tends to run in families. Mealtime can be especially challenging for these families, with kids who can’t sit still or focus on eating. If they want to get up from the table, let them. Sit on the floor? So be it. You may be happier doing this, too. Getting kids to simply eat can be hard enough for many parents. Try to relax and be flexible, and everyone will have a more enjoyable meal.
  • mother handing child off to babysitter
    6. Get help.
    Sometimes all the organizing and focusing in the world just isn’t enough when it comes to raising kids. We all need help from time to time, and this is especially true for moms with ADHD. Schedule a regular babysitter to come in and watch the kids, even when you are home, so you can focus on your to-dos. Hire a tutor or college student to help your child with homework if you find it to be a challenge. If this is not cost-effective, ask friends and family to pitch in as needed.
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    7. Ask for social support.
    Because of the behaviors and challenges of living with ADHD, many people find they have difficulty with self-esteem, social skills or relationships. If you find you are struggling with these issues, or if it’s affecting your family or home life, talk to your doctor about individual counseling or support groups. Talking with someone who understands what you’re going through, and hearing about how others deal with it, can make a big difference in how well you cope with your condition.
7 Tips for Moms With Adult ADHD

About The Author

Susan Fishman, APC, CRC is a veteran freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience in health education. She is also an Associate Professional Counselor and Clinical Rehabilitation Counselor, adding mental health and wellness to her area of expertise.

You can follow Susan’s work at http://www.writingbyfishman.com/ or https://twitter.com/@fishmanwriting on Twitter.
  1. Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adult-adhd/home/ovc-20198864
  2. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. FamilyDoctor.org. American Academy of Family Physicians. https://familydoctor.org/condition/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/
  3. Not Just a Chilhood Disorder: How ADHD Affects Adults. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/June-2016/Not-Just-a-Childhood-Disorder-How-ADHD-Affects-Ad
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Last Review Date: 2021 Sep 24
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