Women with ADHD - the struggle of meeting the dual demands of a household and career

The impact of ADHD on woman can bring a different set of difficulties compared to those experienced by adult males.

According to website ADDvance, women with ADHD can struggle with feelings of guilt and overwhelm related to managing current societal expectations around ‘keeping house’ and having a career. For example busy mothers may find it very difficult to get started on or complete jobs around the house that they find tedious. As those with ADHD know, it can be very difficult to get going on tasks that are not experienced as highly engaging or urgent often leading to a sense of growing unease about all the uncompleted daily tasks that need attention.

In some cases woman may compare themselves unfavourably to others they feel are doing a better job at multi-tasking.  Coupled with the demands of a career, understandably woman with ADHD can easily feel overwhelmed. 

The problems experienced by ADHD can also be exaggerated by monthly hormonal fluctuations with these changes interacting with the condition as woman reach their late 30’s when oestrogen levels begin to decline. 

Given these challenges, adult women with ADHD could benefit from gaining support from an understanding partner, having compassion for themselves and perhaps trying out some of the following ideas to improve their daily lives;

  • Try not to set unrealistic expectations for yourself
  • Acknowledge small achievements e.g. completing a small but boring household task that you have been putting off for months.
  • Simplify your life: be mindful of not over committing to things that you know will be overwhelming 
  • Ask for help; e.g. educating your partner about how ADHD impacts your life,and discussing ways that they can support you to make life at home more ADHD friendly e.g. delegating tasks or getting external support 
  • Spend time doing things that lift your spirit and help you relax e.g. exercise, talking with friends & being creative.
  • Try not to measure your worth by comparing yourself to other women who you feel are more 'on top' of things than you are.  Instead, it can be helpful to focus on your  unique strengths e.g. humour, warmth and creativity.
  • Get help for managing hormonal fluctuations which can play an important part in managing your ADHD
  • Seeking out support from a therapist who specialises in adult ADHD can be helpful in managing stress and talking through any unrealistic expectations you may be placing on yourself. 

http://www.addvance.com/help/women/special_issues.html (pages 2-4).

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