Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Motherhood Induced ADD: Moms Struggling with Organization

 A few weeks ago Cindy (not her real name) called to ask me if it was possible to suddenly begin suffering from ADD.
"What do you mean by that?" I asked.

"I find myself running around, busy the entire day, not finishing tasks, forgetting about others, and I am worried about what is happening to my children, my business, and my house. I keep dropping things in boxes and bags in the basement thinking I will sort it out later. I could be becoming a hoarder too."

When I met Cindy, she had recently married and just begun a family. Today, she has four adorable children, her own business, and a multitude of other responsibilities. 
Of course she feels frazzled, who wouldn't?  

"Here's an example." she continues. "I'm fixing dinner, then I remember that the school bake sale is tomorrow.  I get a cake mix out, then the phone rings.  The automated message tells me I evidently have scheduled a pap smear for Thursday.  I reach for my planner to confirm and see my keys on the counter. I remember that there is still a few groceries in the car. In the driveway, I think I might as well get the mail while I am out here.  Oh look, the Pottery Barn Kids catalog...Wait!... Is something on the stove? So what do you think? Do I have ADD?"

I think that she may be on to something. I submit that Motherhood-Induced ADD may be a real thing. Before she had a family, she had large blocks of distraction-free time after work to exercise, run a little eBay business on the side, and tackle organizing projects. Now, she delights in a five minute hot shower. I want to tell her that Adult ADD/ADHD symptoms can improve with a good diet, sleep, organization and time management...

But she doesn't wait  for me to answer before she continues.
"Did I tell you about the spring thaw?" she said.
"Yeah, since it has gotten warmer, my van is beginning to stink. I went to the backseat and  between all the boosters, and  car seats, books, and toys there are rotting french fries and snacks. The winter chill kept everything frozen and now it's thawing."

Do you think Motherhood-Induced ADD might be a real phenomena?