Motherhood-induced ADD

27 Sep

Once upon a time, while in therapy, my therapist asked if I thought I had ADD.  I said “I don’t know if I have it, or I’ve been hanging around it too much and it’s rubbed off.”

(Note, my husband is the poster boy for ADHD.  It frolics happily through our family, it’s part of our quirky charm.)

Now I’ve realized that I do have a form of ADD, but you won’t find listed in any medical diagnostic books.  What I have is motherhood-induced ADD.

Before children, I could finish projects, tasks…phone calls…sentences…thoughts.  Heck, while typing that sentence, my daughter chatted to me about bow-tie shaped ice cube trays, I was asked about Xbox, told someone to shut the door, and now am wondering what Maura’s up to in the kitchen.

My life is one of constant interruptions, of going upstairs to get laundry only to realize that something else needs to be done along the way, and then that something gets put aside to go close the door again or wonder why the dishwasher’s flashing a red light or take a phone call.  Next to me is my coffee mug from this morning – half full.  Or half empty, depending on how you want to look at things.

My life is a cornucopia of chaos, set to circus music. I blame the children, for the basket of laundry waiting to be done, for the fact that I forget to use the toilet, or can’t find the car keys.  It all ties back to them.  Seventeen years of “Mommy, help me!” and “What’s for dinner?” and “Is that WATER coming out of the ceiling?” will make anyone look a bit ADD when subjected to this daily.

I’m not alone in this.  Anyone who has cared for children have this to some degree.  The length of exposure to children will determine the level of motherhood-induced ADD you have – mild, moderate, severe, and “wine me” level.

You can guess what level I’m at.

wine me!

wine me!

So what can be done about this condition?

Well, there will be those over-achievers who’ll spot phrases like “get organized” and “if you kept to a schedule” and other such nonsense that you have already actually tried (4-time FlyLady drop-out myself here!)  Others will say “And that’s why I never want kids!” – because that’s so helpful.

But really, all you can do is carry on.  Eventually, one day, you may see a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s probably your book light, that someone has used as a flashlight and now is flickering in its death throes.

My advice?  Go with the flow.  Enjoy the crazy.  Have a glass of wine. Be thankful for the person who invented the DVR and pausing live tv.

And if water does pour through your ceiling, that’s a free pass to order pizza for dinner!


3 Responses to “Motherhood-induced ADD”

  1. itsybitsymom September 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    Giggled my way through the first half of this and then saw the dreaded “What can be done…” and though I might hurl if you said “get organized” or worse, “take care of yourself,” or the unacceptable “take a child-free vacation with your spouse!”. Was SO relieved you didn’t go there – because if we could get organized, take better care of ourselves, dump our kids with grandmom and flee the country, we WOULD but many of us CAN’T and some of us actually don’t want to really when it comes down to it! Just about fell off the chair with the book light reference…. can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me! Thanks for a good late night laugh!

  2. franhunne4u September 28, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    I can assure you, you can get this kind of ADD without children, too – all it takes is a busy job. Or too many interests to be acted upon in your spare time. Not having children does not solve the problem! Organisation? Nope –
    we say here, in Germany: The human thinks, God steers
    There are all the plans – and there is life happening. You cannot stop life from f***ing up your plans.

  3. Jessica September 29, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Sounds somewhat normal though when you have four children…

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