Mommy ADHD is a serious problem, affecting up to 100% of mothers. Ok, I don't really know that, but I'm just guessing because every mom I talk to knows what I'm talking about.
Mommy ADHD is commonly noticed when trying to accomplish an insurmountable number of tasks in an unreasonably short period of time. For example, prepping for and cooking Thanksgiving dinner. With young children around. While working.
For those 0.0001% of you not familiar with Mommy ADHD, here is a typical (and pretty true) case study.
- Task: Clean off the dining room table (45% covered with miscellaneous items) to be used for Thanksgiving dinner (or actually any meal, for that matter).
- Estimated time start to completion: 30 minutes
- Actual time start to completion: 4 days
- Task analysis for catastrophic time failure: Walk into dining room. Notice cat vomit on floor. Clean up. While throwing out paper towels, realize garbage is overflowing. Empty garbage. While taking garbage out, notice that kids coats and shoes are all over the floor. Pick those up. Return to dining room. Hear the kids wrestling and screaming in the next room. Go in, break up the fight. See husband's socks on living room floor. Pick up and bring upstairs to laundry. Go back downstairs. Remove first item from table. Elapsed time, 10 minutes. Bring first item (and the only item that actually belongs to you) from dining room table to your room. Notice computer, check e-mail, Facebook, harvest my farm. Elapsed time, 45 minutes. Notice more screaming/wrestling/thudding from living room. Go downstairs, break up fight. Herd children into kitchen for lunch. Make 2 separate lunches, because we can't agree on anything. Take plates out of dishwasher to save a step. Realize that the dishes are overwhelming the sink. Start to unload the dishwasher. Phone rings. Go to get the cordless phone. Discuss with friend latest school crisis/husband idiot-ness/hottest gossip. Retrieve items 2 and 3 off dining room table and put away while talking on phone. Elapsed time, 65 minutes. Walk back into kitchen, notice 1/2 unloaded dishwasher still open. Take 3 dishes out and put away. Stop and clean up spilled orange juice. Remind child to be careful with cup. Refill cup. End conversation with friend, hang up phone in living room. Notice candy wrappers on end table from husband. Pick up to throw out. Hear child ask for a paper towel. Go in to kitchen, clean up spill #2. Finish unloading dishwasher. Begin loading dishwasher. Stop and get dessert for children. Finish loading dishwasher and hand washing dishes. Bring dishtowels up to laundry room. Realize that clothes are still in the washer. Put clothes in dryer. Go back to the dining room. Put away items 4-6. (This scenario is pretty true to form. To get ready to go out of town and to get ready for Thanksgiving, I started making lists of what I had to get done on a dry erase board. Somehow, having the ability to cross something off the list helped keep the focus. I got a lot accomplished. But it also kicked my ass and I'm so exhausted that I can't get moving to do anything else.) Total elapsed time, 125 minutes. To clear 6 items, 3 of which were pencils.
Contributing factors to Mommy ADHD: children, husbands (may also be classified in children category), work, pets, children, Facebook, dishes and dirt, paperwork sent home from school.
I'm not sure what else to do about Mommy ADHD. Coffee certainly helps. But if I want to have a stomach lining when I'm older, I need to watch it. The less focused I am, the more out of control I feel. It quickly spirals down into overwhelming anxiety and depression. It's just, well, there aren't enough hours in the day and enough of me. I need a wife to help me out with all I have to do.
Please note that although I've been thinking about this post for 2 weeks, it has taken me almost an hour to write. Of course, that's because I had to get up 3 times to tuck child in, find child's lost blanket, get child drink and tuck child in again.