Structure and ADHD

Yesterday I wrote a post (and included a drawing :)) about my out of control life.

I have to say, today was not a lot better.

I am beginning to see through the fog, though, to figure out what’s going on and how to fix it. The word structure plays a big part.

All of us have certain things in our life – our daily to do list, appointments and time commitments, and even fixed things like birthdays and holidays.

For most of us ADD Moms, making at least one meal a day and washing the dishes are on our list. Most of us have some sort of running to do, whether it’s car pooling kids, driving to work, or just doing errands. And birthdays and holidays occur at the same time every year.

The breakdown for us is that while we know we have things to do, places to go, we have no structure or time frame around most of them.

Take the dishes, for example. Sure they need to be washed, but the only real time frame around that is that they need to be washed when you run out of clean dishes.

Now hopefully most of us don’t live that way, but unless you have a structured approach to keeping clean dishes in the house, the possibility of a sink full of dirty dishes is a real one.

For us, we need more than a to do list; we need a to do by —- list, or at least a system.

The system that keeps our household in clean dishes is to empty the dishwasher first thing in the morning and then to fill it throughout the day. That’s why dirty dishes weren’t one of my problems yesterday.

But what about dinner? Dinner happens at the same time every day, so how did I end up with pizza instead of cooking something from home?

Because there was not enough structure in place for me.

Yesterday was a busy day – I had several appointments and errands and spent much of the day outside the home. If I had taken a look at my calendar before going to the grocery store, planned some meals based on my schedule, and then shopped with a list, I could have had something delicious waiting for me in the crockpot when I got home.

Instead, an impulsive trip to Wal-Mart ended up in a $200 grocery bill with no planning or forethought. I forgot things, had to go to another store and spend still more money, and then on top of that, we had pizza yesterday for dinner.

Today was hectic too. Still lots of running around, including 2 unplanned trips.

But you know what? I’ve got a roast chicken and baked potatoes in the oven tonight.

See? I’m learning, and soon I’ll share with you.

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About Brenda Nicholson

I am an ADHD Expert, Coach, and Consultant. I want you to learn how to celebrate your life with ADHD too.

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