How an ADHD Mom Cleans

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I try to set small, easily attainable goals (generally cleaning) for myself to accomplish throughout the day. Today, they were:

  1. Make the kitchen look better–not clean necessarily, just make an improvement
  2. Spend 5 minutes each cleaning 2 rooms
  3. Wash the diapers–I know using cloth diapers is kind of ridiculous for a laundry hater like myself but they are cheaper, greener, and cuter. And they don’t require folding.
Pretty simple, right? Nothing serious like “reorganize master shoebox closet” or “wash all the walls” or “scrub the trashcans and sew new drapes while brushing the tile grout with an old toothbrush,” all of which certainly could use doing. I try to keep it realistic as this week my motivation is running on empty.
Most days I’m just proud that the kids are dressed and almost always fed.
Which leads me to what I’ve been attempting to talk around:
how an ADHD mom cleans. Just what did I do all day?
Let me think for a second here, okay?
Okay, I got it:
First, I started to clean the kitchen. I unload the dishes, and stopped my 18 month old from closing the dishwasher while I did so 27 times. Then I went on to loading the dishwasher. We had cousins over playing, so I was interrupted a couple of times to take “problematic toys” away, and start a movie, and turn the movie back on when one of them accidentally turned it off. Gathered the breakfast dishes from the table and finished loading the dishes, again with the “help” of my toddler. Ooh, then it was nap time!
I fought the urge to take a nap along side my daughter (pretty sure the rules of watching someone else’s kids include “don’t fall asleep”), so I… hmm. What was next?
Well, there were some very important things I just needed to get done on the computer, okay? Like Facebook and Twitter and editing some photos on Photoshop…
Whoops, kids started fighting about then! Must be time for lunch. Heat up the chicken nuggets, divvy up the fruit, make sure everyone gets the correct color of plate for their liking, and gets seated in favored chair.
This is exhausting, so I make myself a sandwich, grab a Diet Coke, and watched TV for a few minutes. Maybe the Diet Coke will inspire me to get back to the cleaning I somehow forgot about, eh?
Kids are done with lunch, so I send them downstairs to play. What was it I needed to do? Well, I never did wipe off the counters, so I did that next. The cousins started arguing so I broke out the Do-A-Dot markers. Have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love those! Abigail woke up, changed her diapers.
Diapers! Oh yeah. I throw a load of dirty diapers in the washer while telling the youngest cousin to go potty.
Time to take the kids home! I needed to go get my kids from school, so we rounded up shoes and pants and ponytails and children and I buckled them into the car and run the rounds of dropping off and picking up.
Finally, back home, ready to do homework.
I looked around…
the kitchen is messy…
the dining room still has lunch mess out…
 the school room is a disaster…
the family room is torn apart…
and I forgot to start the washer, so I have no clean diapers.
No wonder my motivation is shot. I spend all day running after little kids (and trust me, the quanity of children doesn’t change the amount of work I accomplish), I’m exhausted by the end of the day, and nothing is clean!
Review of Daily Goals:
  1. Kitchen clean: fail
  2. 5 minutes cleaning 2 rooms: (I tried!) fail
  3. Wash the diapers: fail
Do you have days, months, weeks, or years like this? How do you handle it? How do you keep yourself going, even when it feels like you’re going uphill?
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9 Responses to How an ADHD Mom Cleans

  1. heather says:

    Ok so I feel like you just described my day everyday. Except I don’t do cloth diapers…I just know if I can’t stay on top of the laundry the seven of us already make I was not about to add more no matter how much money it would save me :). Anyway…I’m just happy to know I’m not alone in the ADHD mommy land. I just found your blog today and I’m loving it

    • You are DEFINITELY not alone in ADHD mommy land. There is like, two of us! Hahah… it can feel lonely. I do/did cloth diapers because I didn’t have to fold, I just dumped them in a drawer. of course there were many, many days of “Shoot, she has one clean diaper left!!” And currently I have a big pile to sanitize after a yeast infection. So naturally I bought disposables. I’m really annoyed with myself but what can you do? And I’m no where near caught up on laundry for our six–it’s more like the laundry: “Oh you have NO clean clothes? I better do a load!” Seriously, when will disposable kid clothes be a thing?? Sign me up.

  2. Anita says:

    I became interested in your preschool materials on pintrest and repined it to my education board, even though all of my children are no longer in preschool. I thought I might be able to use it at sometime. I then became interested in your FHE Made Easy after noticing the link to ADHD. I have a son, fourteen years of age who has ADHD and is homeschooled. And of coarse I am always on the lookout for anything ADHD. I do not know what Heavenly Father was thinking when he chose to put my son & I together in one family. I too have ADD. In fact I would not hesitate to say it runs in the family. I have a daughter now 22 serving a mission in NJ. & a daughter now 19 going to school while working at a veterinary clinic & training dogs. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you to you for being brave and having the courage create this blog and share the messages that you are sharing. When my children were young, I would have loved knowing & benefiting from reading a blog of another ADHD/ADD mom. I would not have been so lost and discouraged. My oldest also ADD with Learning Challenges….I am enjoying reading your blog now as I am remembering that season of my life. That the things that happended were the norm for a person who has this illness. And that I am not so different. And I am okay. I have enjoyed your writings very much and empathize with you in your struggles. I wish I could take it away and make it all better. I know this blog you are writing and the things you are doing will be of great benefit to many other moms. And you will bless their lives & you will be richly blessed also.

    • It’s encouraging to ME to hear from a mother who has ADHD, raised an ADHD child(ren)… and survived!! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. I used to search and search for stories and blogs from ADHD mothers, but they seem few and far between. And of course, the majority of them died off after only a few months! Lol. I am also *very* thankful that you posted as an adhd mother who homeschools!! I have often wondered and doubted about my abilities to teach my children with my own personal issues. Is it fair to them to put their education in the hands of a mother who loses her cell phone fifteen times a day, despite it being glued to her hip?? Am I putting my children at a disadvantage by giving them my own personal brand of education: steam rolling ahead here, burning out there? I can’t tell you how many times I have asked myself these questions. I do know this: Heavenly Father wants me to homeschool, and Anita, He WANTS me to write this blog. Often I’m not sure why I’m here or what is the point but time and time again I’ve been given strength to continue when ADHD pushes me to fail. He wants other mothers like us to know that we don’t have to be perfect. As you said, we are not so different. We ARE okay. We are enough for Him and He loves us so very much!! Thank you again for your wonderfully kind words!

  3. Allison Woolard says:

    Thank you for this blog. It was not an accident that I found it today. I am praying about home schooling my 4 children and I battle ADD. Today was an exceptionally bad day and I prayed to God that “surely you aren’t asking me, a mom who can’t conquer her own laundry, to be responsible for her children’s educational future.” I had wished I knew another mom who homeschooled and battles with add. Thank you for your honesty and advice that you give in this blog. You are an answered prayer.

    • AHH!! Homeschool/ADD club! (Seriously, can we start a club?? So far it’s you and… me!) I have also prayed to find other adhd homeschoolers… and my answer was “start a blog.” (Okay, that wasn’t exactly the answer, but slowly I’m seeing it for what it is!) :D I do believe that homeschooling and *well-managed* ADHD is a possibility. I am taking it one day, one week, one school year at a time. I am trying not to build it up to be a standard. It’s not failing if I ultimately enroll my children in school. For now, I will plan to homeschool as long as God and my medication will help me out! Best of luck to you!!

  4. Stacey says:

    I just found your site for the first time today and have LOVED every post I have read, which is actually a few so far while my 4 year old watches Deigo and I’m supposed to be vacuuming, but wanting to take a nap……and the list goes on and on. So thank you for letting us all know that we aren’t alone and sharing your great ideas with us!!!

  5. Emilia says:

    I can not describe to you how grateful I was to find your website. So many times I look at my home and am overly hard and judgmental on my self. I too have ADHD and am trying to do the whole stay at home/ homeschooling mom thing. To find a preschool curriculum that is centered around the LDS faith made my day but then to see that you as well had ADHD and wrote about handling life with it was a blessing for me. Thank you for all that you do.

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