ADHD / ADHD and Kids / Coping Strategies

ADHD: Being the Change

What’s that quote? “Be the change you wish to see…”?

Ah, Googled it, it’s Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Well it’s something I genuinely attempt to do on a daily basis, especially in relation to my ADHD. I actively work toward being as functional and stress-free as possible. I can make that choice for myself, and so I have. But that doesn’t mean that everyone else in my life is on the same schedule that I am, and it actually doesn’t even mean that they have an interest in the strategies that I’m interested in trying.

My 12-yr-old has plenty of drawer space in her bedroom, for her clothing. My 12-yr-old (who yes, has ADHD) is currently insisting that there is not enough drawer space in the bedroom. M’kay. Upon inspection, it’s pretty clear that they IS enough room. The problem is that she doesn’t use it. Everything is dumped in a pile, on the two drawers that are hanging open, three drawers are…totally empty. Now, I don’t want to be the pot calling the kettle black here – my clothing is never organized either, however, I also spend a lot of time doing other chores around my house and contribute to the overall management of my household. I’ve chosen to prioritize care of community areas, over care of my bedroom. (Adequately rationalized? Yes, I think so. Ha…) ]

Now then, there’s not a lot that this kid needs to manage aside from their room, lol. We aren’t sticklers about people’s drawers…I hadn’t brought it up in a while…but if you’re going to complain about not having enough room, you’d better make sure that you don’t have three empty drawers before you say something to your stepmother about it. So here’s the stepmother’s plan…I’m not actually going to lecture anybody about their drawers. As requested, I’m procuring a used dresser that said 12-yr-old can paint in the colors of her room, to put the clothing into. 12-yr-old can sort the clothes and put them into the drawers, where I’m sure they’ll say, for about three days.


This is where I will finally say “so let’s review this whole not-enough-drawers thing”. Because sometimes it’s better to let the point prove itself. Before making the mountains and molehills.

There was a system – the system worked. But in order for a system to continue working, the user has to continue using it.

You can lead a 12-yr-old to drawers, but you cannot make them use them. Well, I mean I CAN, but I like to pick my battles. But if I had the time, I would LOVE to have time to put my clothes away. (Said my married-with-kids self to my sloppy-single self who never put clothing away.)

Then there’s the house calendar. I’ve created a calendar system for the household. Theoretically, I think my husband thinks this is a good idea, god-bless-im. But convincing him to actually write things on it is another story. I’m honestly stumped on this one. Obviously when you live with other people you have to respect their personhood and not be an asshole about things like calendars. Sigh. Work-in-progress. Knowing what’s going on in my household really helps to reduce my stress though, which is why this is important to me. Surprises exacerbate my stress. I shall continue my campaign for calendar usage. The kids write things on it, I especially like it when they write things like “end of week”.

It’s challenging to work for change but give up control. At the same time.



2 thoughts on “ADHD: Being the Change

  1. 1) Everything you just said sounds SO familiar.

    2) If I had to live with a 12yo girl who has ADHD and was not my biological child, I would probably have to be hospitalized; you must be a saint — I’m sure she’s a wonderful child, but I WAS once a 12yo girl with ADHD and I was horrid. My own mother loved me but had no clue what to do with me so we basically snarled and yelled and screamed at each other that entire year.

    3) I’ve yet to get my ADHD husband to write on or even look at the family calendar. I keep dreaming that it will happen. He has his work calendar that he doesn’t bother sharing with anyone but continues to assume that we should all know what’s going on in his life. And then there’s the family calendar. I have my own personal calendar that I use for writing projects and other miscellaneous events that only involve me, though I’m perfectly willing to share it so we’ll all know what’s going on, but I’ve concluded that no one really cares as long as I get the things done that involve them — they could give two flips about my stuff.

    4) The Be the Change quote is posted above my desk and like you, I try to apply that in terms of my ADHD, anxiety, general mental health, all that, and most of the time I do okay. But there are times that I want to freakin’ scream — why can’t you people (and I’m mostly referring to my husband) get on board with some strategies that actually work based on how OUR brains work?!! My kids are still young and motivated enough that I’m holding out hope, but it’s a daily struggle. We’re, or I should probably say I, am in the middle of getting an official diagnosis for my 7yo. I’ve had to put a lot of my own treatment on hold in order to push the process along for him — I’m still being treated but all of it has sent my anxiety into overdrive and I’m constantly wondering if it’s situational (pretty sure it is) or could my meds be tweaked. I ended up having my meds adjusted last week, but the anxiety is not much better — maybe worse.

    All this to say, I’m glad you write about this stuff. It helps to hear what works for another person. Honestly, it also helps to hear that it actually IS so much work for another person even though I’m sorry it is such an ongoing process.

    • I know what you mean, I love reading about how other people deal with these things too šŸ˜€ Because sometimes it just seems like life shouldn’t be SO much work, so I need the reminder that although we can make it easier, it’s still always going to be a bit of work. And maybe that’s okay.

      Our 12-yr-old is really a saint herself. I mean…she has to deal with two mothers, HAHA. She’s actually incredibly easy to deal with most of the time and when she’s not, it’s totally age appropriate so I try (try) to roll with it – although I did recently post on FB that I was hiding from my 12-yr-old, under a blanket, with a small glass of wine and a bag of Cheetos. But that’s not a nightly occurrence šŸ˜‰

      THIS MORNING though…THIS MORNING…I came downstairs to discover that my husband had written things on the calendar! Some of them were smart assy things, like on Thursday, on the weekly calendar, he wrote “Day After Wednesday” but hey…it was funny, and I like funny. I’m sure it will be an ongoing process, but step one has been achieved!

      Putting our own healing on hold – I can’t speak exactly to your situation because I’m not in it…but I do know that one of my biggest realizations recently has been that without attending to my own healing, I am unable to really be there for my family (or for myself). I don’t want to assume that this is true for everyone because like I said, I’m not living your life…and I really do understand what it’s like to have to re-prioritize things sometimes. Maybe you can find a way to balance these two processes?

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