WAHM With ADHD UnBalanced ChAoS Approved! #rawreality

Welcome to my crazy house. Time has just been going by so fast lately. Between mom stuff, work stuff and the kitty and pugs, things get a little insane to say the least. I have been attempting this zen meditating thing that seems impossible and creatively keeping my ADHD brain busy enough to stay above water is exhausting. Being a parent with ADHD, or any mental health challenge for that matter, can definitely take a toll on your overall health and well-being. It’s always a catch-22. If you spend the day cleaning the house, catering to the kids and pets, the other areas of your daily life begin to pile up and boom you miss your dead line! If your work gets done, clients are happy, post are posted on time then house gets neglected, dishes pile up, landry…. but you feel defeated. I know how challenging that can be and how hard it is juggling multiple responsibilities while deciding which chaos doesn’t need immediate attention; not in all cases but in most that I have come across, being a working parent is more about the children’s well-being than the pleasures of working from your couch. Here are some of my struggles as a work-from-home mom with ADHD that may be helpful to you to find a grove that is unique and actually works for you.

Finding that balance feels impossible. There will always be something, like the wet clothes left in the washer for the past three days… okay, okay, maybe it’s been five. But if you are reading this, you know what I mean. It’s a whirlwind of emotions that take you down the path of not doing enough, self-doubt, and, oh my… It was hard to create this routine of working from home while my teens also school from home. But we thrive on routine. For us, it was a matter of figuring out what works best for us. If this is not something you do naturally, it may need more than a couple of tries to perfect it and get everyone on board. In the long run, it will help create a schedule that combines dedicated work hours and designated family time. A consistent routine can help you manage your time effectively and maintain a healthy work-life balance with some flexibility for the havoc we all know too well can happen.

I have been working on that “balance”. I mean, is it even possible to be completely balanced? Ummm, good question. Even though I know exactly what to do. I know I need to make a time block schedule to keep up with daily tasks… Still, something always messes that up, like the computer crashes, requires a restart and then an update, pugs need to be let for the 3rd time and its only 10’oclock! Someone pops in unexpectedly, spooks your concentration you cut your finger, then try to find a bandaid while not dripping blood everywhere. Teens are having a heated discussion, and bang… your productive afternoon is shot clear out of the universe, as you are now in distress.

The point is, I hope to shed some light on this for you so you feel less alone. I see you. I have seen many good days with my new working routine while the teens are in school (well, still remote learning, but hey, it’s time they are busy). First off, we had a family discussion about our new routine, which I have mentioned in previous blogs, we call it leveling up like in a video game. We communicated about boundaries. I suggest you do this with all your family members, especially your partner and children, despite their ages. A shared google calendar is a great idea that what we do as well as a visual schedule where they can see clearly, even the little ones. This may include pictures. Don’t forget to tell them when you need uninterrupted time to focus on work and when you’re available for family activities. It is also helpful to give them options on a visual choice board of what they can do without you during this time. Some of our children thrive on labels to find things easier, and that’s ok. I’m in my 40’s and still do!

Before I go into my time block schedule, I’d like to say this, no one is 100% perfect, especially me, but I have learned a few things about me and how my kiddo’s brains work. We have an unwritten rule of expectations on respecting each other as we are. We help each other as needed. Yes, this did take a lot of time, practice, and an ungodly daily routine. I understand it can feel impossible for outsiders to cope with, but for us, it’s our rhythm that keeps us going, and it actually works!!

The best thing I have done was set up a dedicated workspace where I can work with minimal distractions. We won’t discuss how all the extras, including our leaning tower of Amazon boxes, get dumped into the living room since it’s rarely used. I cleaned up those Amazon boxes for recycling and created a space to work there. For you, It could be a separate room, a corner of a room, or even a well-organized desk. Having a cleaner (well, less cluttered) kitchen has motivated me to feel comfortable with my productivity. It helped me mentally separate work from home life and increased my focus. Plus, everything is there, so I am not wasting time looking for a stapler, magic marker, or that important file I need. Staying organized helped me prioritize my responsibilities and reduce stress in my home/work life.

This is how I have been realistically time-blocking: These Times are labeled on my phone Timers!

  • 9:00 am Alarm* wake up (I know it should be earlier, sometimes I am, but im being honest here). -Teens are already logged in online so that I can wake up slowly. It’s my peaceful time to collectively get my thoughts and motivation on board before I get dressed for the day. It’s more of a personal need than a pampered desire.
  • 10:00 am Alarm* Morning routine – put the pugs out, water plants, put the coffee maker on, and prepare brunch (we do brunch daily instead of breakfast and lunch).
  • 10:30 am Alarm* Brunch
  • 11:00 am Alarm* Teen check-in – Checking in on the teens making sure they got all they need for the afternoon (water, hair ties, snack, etc…). Put the pugs out again. Load the dishwasher and hand-washing what’s needed. It’s been a struggle, but I’ve been forcing myself to do all the dishes and not letting some “soak” most of the time. A trick I discovered by my little sisters.
  • 12:00 pm Alarm* Work – my work time while I do laundry! I have been loading the washer and setting a 60-minute timer to work for 60 minutes. When the alarm chimes, I switch loads, grab water, put pugs out, sometimes a snack, and set the alarm for another 60 minutes while I get another 60 minutes of work done. When that alarm goes off, I put all laundry in a big basket to haul upstairs, and everyone puts their laundry away when it’s convenient for them, usually during bedtime routine due to choosing outfits for the following day.
  • 2:30 pm Alarm* My break / Time with the teens. We have an afternoon snack, and I assist with homework/projects, etc., if wanted. Scroll social media, answer messages from clients, check emails and, you know, play a game or two on my phone, kind of stuff that unwinds my chaotic brain.
  • 4:30 pm Alarm* Supper prep, supper, and clean up afterward. This process is sometimes longer on garbage pick-up nights, but I allow myself some flexibility where needed.
  • 6:00 pm Alarm* Spending time with my teens if she desires. Depending on the weather, we often take the pugs for a walk during this time. If not, I do more work, like editing and uploading more videos, creating posts, or making more products for my shop, etc.
  • 8:00 pm Alarm* Evening snack time/light lunch, depending on how hungry the teens are. After then, we all begin our nightly routines. Yes, even myself. Yes, I understand some may feel it is early for a teen to begin their night routine, but our rule is everyone is in their rooms, including myself. I make sure they have a snack, water, remote batteries are working, etc.
  • 10:00 pm – We are all in our rooms for the night to relax and unwind, I address any messages or emails, read a book, or watch tv but I find this really helps me, as well as the teens to destress and able to fall asleep at a decent hour. This is also a chance for my partner and I to spend time together. #weenkie face 😉

*** 7:30 am. Teens wake up on their own since school starts at 8:00 am and they need their computers up and running etc. and start over!! I try my best to not leave any work for the week-ends to have that much needed family time.

This is what works for us. If this gave you any inspiration. I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Thank you for reading and catch me in the next one, have a great day and be gental on your self!

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