Parenting with ADHD
Parenthood can be challenging, but for those parenting with ADHD, it can be especially difficult. ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurotype that affects attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity.
Symptoms of ADHD include:
- difficulty focusing
These make it hard to manage the demands of parenthood. With many women now being diagnosed with ADHD in their 30’s, 40’s these mothers are finding a new piece of identity as they’re navigating their new role as parent. Celebrities in the headlines who have been diagnosed with ADHD include Olympian Simone Biles, Solange Knowles, actor Michelle Bridges amongst countless others.
Parents with ADHD may struggle with organisation and time management, making daily tasks a challenge. They may struggle with impulsivity and struggles controlling emotions, which can increase conflicts with children and partners. These difficulties can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem, which negatively impacts their mental health. Add to this sleep deprivation, feelings of being touched out, and sensory challenges it’s no wonder that this group is at risk of serious struggles.
Women who have ADHD report having a poorer self-image or lower self-esteem than their peers (CHADD)
How to support your mental health as a Mother with ADHD
There are serval ways for mothers with ADHD to support their mental health. One important step is to seek professional help. A therapist or counsellor who is familiar with ADHD can help develop strategies for managing their symptoms and coping with challenges of parenthood.
Medication can also be an effective treatment for ADHD. Stimulant medications, have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms however, it’s important to work closely with a healthcare professional to find the right regime.
Another way to support mental health is to establish a routine and structure. Having a consistent schedule can help mothers stay organised and manage their time effectively. This can include highlighting times for tasks such as meal preparation, cleaning, and spending time with children.
Exercise and ADHD
Mother’s with ADHD that I have worked with have been eager to get back into exercise and a routine but that’s tough! However, one mother told me that the updates and reminders in our chat group are so useful.
It’s important for mothers to take care of their physical health. Regular exercise suited to their changing body, and healthy eating can help reduce symptoms of ADHD, as well as improve overall mental health.
Self-care practices like meditation and journaling can also be helpful in managing stress and improving mood.
Support for women parenting with ADHD
Lastly, it’s important to reach out. Connect with other parents with ADHD who can understand the unique challenges faced. Joining a support group or online community provides opportunities to share experiences and offer support.
Motherhood can be challenging but with the right strategies, mental health will shine. Remember that every mother’s experience is unique and seeking help is a sign of strength.
Anita is a Mum, certified pregnancy and post-birth fitness trainer, accredited Safe Return to Exercise trainer, and qualified Midwife of 11 years. Anita is the founder of Fit For 2 & Fit for 2 PRO practising Melbourne’s East.