Moms with ADD. A Self-Help Manual
As a psychiatrist, I prefer recognizing limits and setting boundaries because it calls attention to the internal struggle parents face when making difficult decisions. Baby wipe warmers and gluten free diapers play to our fantasy that the more we do for them, the better off our children will be. The backbone of healthy boundaries is the capacity to tolerate difficult feelings like uncertainty, guilt and fear.
To be fair, this business of resisting the parenting industrial complex is daunting, partially due to a growing income inequality that has American parents feeling like every advantage is critical. In my clinical work treating women suffering from perinatal depression and anxiety, I see mothers fight an even more tortuous battle against the tyranny of intensive parenting. The problem with self-care as an antidote to the demands of parenthood is that in becoming part of the parenting to-do-list, it still requires an already empty adult to give more.
This is particularly true for mothers who have internalized our cultural meme of mother as martyr and for whom the transition to motherhood can feel like an erasure of womanhood.
Making yourself smaller and smaller in the service of your child may feel noble at first but ultimately can lead to resentment, bitterness and mental health issues of your own. Postpartum anxiety robs my patients of perspective, leading to difficulty with decision-making.
Time to Parent
Pre-existing mental health issues like childhood trauma or neglect cause adults to struggle with regulating uncomfortable feelings that arise when setting boundaries. For these parents, the idea of saying no feels existentially untenable. If you want your kids to have a healthy relationship with technology, model it yourself! Comes with a set of 4 pouches!
The first step to organizing the job of parenting is separating the different types of parent time necessary to raise little humans. These are the four core responsibilities you need to allocate your time across to be an effective parent. Take a minute to digest this breakdown. But consider this: Everything you do as a parent—paying for food Providing , filling out school forms Arranging , playing a board game Relating , showing your kids how to make a sandwich Teaching —falls into one of these buckets of responsibility, each of which is vitally important.
And while they sometimes overlap, each type of parent time requires a very different set of skills, energy, and brainpower. Why is that? Well, some of the activities you do for your children are visible to them and others are invisible. Provide , which is time spent working and managing money, takes place in the adult world and takes a huge amount of time, yet the hours we spend providing are largely invisible to our children.
Relate and Teach are each highly visible to your children, as they represent time spent directly interacting with them. But they differ in a subtle and powerful way. An example of how this can help: Clara and her husband, Sean, came to me because of a huge time shift that took place when their daughter entered adolescence. When their kids were younger, the family had developed a great rhythm with plenty of quality time.
Both parents always got home in time for dinner, cooking time doubled up as being nearby for homework help, and weekends were spent doing fun activities as a family. Clara thought she needed to cut her work hours so she could be more available for her daughter, who was struggling with many of the issues that often befall adolescent girls. To begin the process of exploring where we might be able to trim and adjust things to make space, I drew the four-quadrant parenting matrix for Clara.
They could see her day-to-day life becoming more fraught with teenage angst, and as her parents, they instinctively wanted to protect and support her. Out of love, they always assumed the role of mentor and guide. It was too hard, too stressful. Nina never felt like she was able to relax or just be.
She and Sean needed to devote more of the time they were already devoting to Nina to just relaxing, connecting, and having fun without an agenda or pressure to learn. Agonize no more, frustrated moms! Moms with ADD is here to help. Filled with anecdotes, quotations, and examples, Christine A.
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This easy-to-read manual is guaranteed to make moms with ADD happier at home and in the office. This book is a gold-mine resource filled with practical information, advice, and valuable suggestions for the reader. I enthusiastically recommend it. Finally, the life instruction manual women with ADD have waited and wished for. Full of helpful and specific suggestions as well as emotionally validating and guilt reducing! This refreshing, easy-to-navigate book is a must-have for any mom touched by attentional difficulties.
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