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Single Parents With ADHD

Single parent with ADHD - possible without medication?


I am a single mother of 44 with a 6 year old son. While investigating the possibilites that my son was ADHD, professionals found that he wasn’t but I was.

I have two degrees, a good and well paid job and I am 20 years sober in AA, but after my divorce in 2010 I realize that what I thought to be temporary mess and chaos is actually not a character defect but a diagnosis.

I have managed this far without medication, but the level of stress it has caused, the private chaos and isolation can not be hidden any longer.

However, I am really scared of medication. Not only because I always suffer side-effects badly, but also due to my compulsive-addicted personality.

I am afraid anyone will find out. I read in Norwegian litterature that single mothers with ADHD are not considered good and stable mothers. Though I consider myself being both, if the professionals don’t, what can I do to prove them wrong?

Appreciate your sharings and experience and so grateful I have found this forum.




I could relate to much of what your wrote.  I am a 48 yr. old single parent with ADHD, and i have 2 boys who have it.  I also work FT (or at least did until this last Thur.), my house is always a mess, and I am never meeting the special needs of my children (much less my own.)  I worked until this last Thur. bc I lost my job——some ADHD and LD issues reared their ugly little heads once again.  Being on the 4th day of licking my own wounds, this Kikki is the revelation that i have come to——- something had to give. Someone in my situation without ADHD would have had a very had time with what I had to deal with each day.  I suspect that you might also be a spot in your life where “something has to give.” 
    Kikki, it’s time to forgive yourself.  And may I add that you have not done anything “wrong”  (or at least anything more wrong) than any other single parent.  You mentioned that you are well paid, but your house is a mess.  Maybe this is the “something that needs to give.”  Hire a maid, or an organizer, to help you out when things get out of control.  They say in Norwegian literature that ADHD moms are not “good or stable”” mothers??  Such a load of self righteous, sanctimonious BS.  Last I checked there is not one way to be a good and stable mother.  I don’t know about yourself, but it’s because of my ADHD that I am teaching my kids about strength.  Creativity.  Kindness.  Perceptiveness.  Humor.  Sensitivity.  And so much persistence.  Sounds like your son has some ADHD tendencies.  He needs you to be that role model for him; to teach him that his ADHD tendencies don’t have to be a bad thing.  They just need to be reined in.
    In regard to medication, I would so recommend giving it a shot Kikki.  You’d be surprised at what a difference it will make.  I also have some compulsive like tendencies, and the medication really calms my brain down.  My life is filled with such chaos and mess (metaphorical and literal mess) but at least when I take the meds I have a shot at getting control of these things.  Without meds I can’t focus, everything gets so out of control, and my gift of ADHD feels more life a curse/.  If you still don’t want to go with meds, try biofeedback therapy.  If you go with meds, thus far Vyvanse has been the med. that has worked best for me.
    Whether it be family, friends,  neighbors, co-workers, or a whole fleet of narrow minded Norwegian authors, tell yourself “who cares if they find out.”  Having a diagnosis doesn’t mean that you are a different person today Kikki than you were yesterday ===== it just means that all of the things that you and other people THOUGHT that you were (Lazy.  Stupid.  Crazy.  Stubborn. etc.) have half of a name when they’re all blended together.  It’s easy for people to forget the other half of the ADHD ingredients——the above referenced, right brained good attributes that the world is so desperately in need of.
    For myself Kikki, when things get tough I think about that wonderful, bright blue ADHD fish Dori from “Finding Nemo” who kept saying “just Keep Swimming.  Keep swimming.  Keep swimming.”


Posted by cre8vtype on Jan 20, 2014 at 4:47pm

Hi Kikki,
Sorry you’re going through so much ! I’m a single Mom of 49, with a 7 year old son, my husband died.
On many levels, I miss my husband so much that words camnot descrbe, but will mention ADHD related

I had no true understang & apreciation until now. Yes:   
  - my house is always a mess,
  - Since my husband’s my bedroom has been the
      worst. Wasn’t until just last night that I FINALLY
      finished folding & putting away a four foot tall of
      clean clothes. This so embarrsing to admit this.
    I also haven’t had any bed sheets on my bed. - yes
      Sonce my husband’s passing.
    Same goes for my kitchen dishes. I typically only do
        them maybe once a week.

I was FINALLY DIAGNOSED less then 6 monthsahai, too am taking vivance in the AM, however I don’t know how to truly now,  if it’s truly working or not,

Posted by Kath789 on Aug 16, 2014 at 6:55pm

Hi Kiki, I am a single 23 year old mom to a beautiful 3 year old girl. I think it is nonsense to say that mother’s with ADHD can’t be good parents. HOWEVER, let me tell you how ADHD had negatively affected me as a parent. My anxiety, impulsiveness, and inability to relax has caused me to feel like an inadequate parents many times. I feel that I exhaust my body and my brain by the end of the work day (I’m a teacher), and have no energy or patience for my daughter. I can’t convince myself to sit still long enough to read her an entire bed time story or watch a movie with her. I can’t control my thoughts long enough to get a good nights rest, leaving me anxious every morning. Even if I am up 3 hours early, I force my daughter to rush rush rush getting ready because I can’t stand to wait one more second before I walk out of the door. I don’t currently and have never treated my ADHD due to the same fear you have of becoming addicted. I was diagnosed at 19, and while I truly wanted to medicate myself, I knew I would become addicted to it and it would ruin my life. While I don’t feel that I am a bad parent (because I do the very best i can) I know I could be a much BETTER parent if I chose to deal with my ADHD instead of ignoring it. You can’t let other people (or articles) decide what YOU need. You have the make the best choice for you and your family.

Posted by kelsey456 on Apr 03, 2015 at 4:48pm

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