When you live with an ADHD ++ family of five, it’s never dull – even in quarantine.
Parenting in a pandemic is not exactly easy, but there are ways in which having ADHD has made it easier, not more difficult!
Strangely enough, my life isn’t that different in the current stay-at-home environment. Since my husband and I both work from home, I’ve been coaching parents online, on the phone and on zoom for nearly a decade. So I haven’t really missed a beat – in fact, I’ve been able to do more to support parents virtually because I was already doing that!
Also, as an extrovert with ADHD, my husband started doing all the family shopping years ago – it lets him play to his strengths. So that hasn’t changed much for me, either. The real change has been having our college kids at home, which has been a huge pleasure for us, though I admit I feel terribly for them! College kids aren’t necessarily supposed to see their parents every day – that’s kind of the whole point. But I digress …
Upon reflection, my kids, my husband and I have realized on one thing clearly in the current climate – albeit with a little tongue-in-cheek: having ADHD has prepared us well for a quarantine lifestyle!
Josh, Syd, David and I agree that ADHD has prepared us well because:
- No one’s getting anything done these days, anyway, which is something those of us with ADHD are really good at accepting and rationalizing.
- We have a smaller area for losing things, which means we’re much more likely to find them (except the crock pot! How does anyone lose a crock-pot?!).
- Losing things now qualifies as exercise, because we can get in extra steps while looking for lost items.
- Avoidance of meal planning and food shopping means that we aren’t overeating as much as our ‘typical’ peers (because we've probably already gotten through all the junk food).
- We are excellent at finding ‘essential’ and yet unnecessary things to do instead of doing what we really need to be doing. For us, it's an art form!
- Fitness is unintentionally our most frequent activity, as our brains never stop running at full speed and sometimes our bodies don't either (that’s a form of exercising, right?).
- Life’s never dull with ADHD. Seriously, it’s hard to be bored when your brain won’t turn off.
- Impulsive purchasing combined with a love for gadgets means we already have the next best technology on the market, so we were well-prepared for online gaming, Netflix marathons, Jackbox parties, and more.
- Quarantine is a natural antidote to impulsivity. Amazon and Instacart delays for non-essential items are reducing impulse buying. It’s like a natural consequence gone right!
- We already don’t know what day it is half the time. Seriously -- not kidding.
- Out of sight, out of mind. In our typical world of hyperfocus or distractability, we may not realize when we’ve been alone for days. We may miss our friends, but in a few minutes, the thought will be replaced but something shiny!
- We are very easily amused. Like dogs, we’re content to stare out the window for hours on end.
- We stopped feeling guilty about not working out ages ago.
- We forgot to stop at twelve items.
It's true. To get through this quarantine, ADHD can actually help. We have to keep a sense of humor, remember that we’re all doing our best, and remind ourselves that our kids are not being naughty just because they’re not doing everything we want. Neither are we!
Take care of yourselves – body, mind, and soul – and remember – a little sense of humor goes a long way, especially when you have ADHD in a quarantine!