323: Parenting with ADHD // Alex Gilbert

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ADHD has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, and for good reason. As this condition is becoming more widely studied and understood, it’s obvious that the picture of someone with ADHD is not just a hyperactive little boy bouncing off the walls. ADHD is broadly defined as an ongoing pattern of attention difficulties and/or hyperactivity or impulsivity that interferes with functioning, and it can look very different in boys and girls. Research shows that it is often missed in girls and may not become very obvious until they are grown women, managing the demands of adulthood, life, and mothering. That’s why you may have mom-friends who have been recently diagnosed with ADHD, or you yourself may have been recently diagnosed with it.

In today’s episode, we are going to be talking about how to manage the crazy input of motherhood if you have ADHD or some other type of neurodivergence…or if you sometimes wonder if you do. And honestly, the tips and strategies in this episode will help any mom, because the mental load of motherhood is a lot for even the most organized thinker.

My guest is Alex Gilbert, a New Yorker, a Mets fan, a yogi, and a brunch enthusiast who also has dyslexia and ADHD. After spending her career working in leadership development, she decided to start a consulting and coaching business that helps adults with learning disabilities and/or ADHD who have been struggling in their careers and day-to-day lives. Her business, Cape-Able Consulting, was created to help them navigate their day-to-day workloads so that they feel supported and are able to reach their highest potential. Alex says that when she became a mom last year, her learning disabilities challenged her daily life on a new level, and she realized that while many necessary supports exist for children with learning disabilities, these supports are very few and far between for adults. And she wants to help change that!

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3 Takeaways on Parenting with ADHD:

  1. Focus on your strengths. Everyone has unique strengths and talents, and it’s important to focus on what you’re good at rather than what you are not good at. When you put your energy into maximizing on your strengths, rather than fixing your “weaknesses,” your energy will get you much much farther, and you will be able to channel it to support your less strong areas. In my Self-Assured Motherhood program, I have an entire month-long unit about celebrating your strengths, and I encourage the moms in my course to own their strengths and make peace with their weaknesses. If your unique brain makes you an outstanding mom in some ways, lean into those, and seek supports to help you with the other areas where you don’t naturally shine.
  2. Get to know your needs, so you can brainstorm ways to support and compensate for them. Learn about your ADHD and how it manifests in your unique brain, and then start thinking of systems to help you function better. Alex mentioned how she came up with compensatory strategies to help her manage all the moving parts of feeding her baby, including modifying her environment to meet her needs, adding systems to her life and using technology.
  3. Communicate with your family. Let your children and partner know about your unique brain and explain what that means for you. Be open and honest about your challenges and strengths, and work together to find strategies that work for everyone. Narrate aloud what you are doing and why, so your family starts to understand the way you process–so they can support you better, but also so they learn these strategies for themselves, as they surely have their own unique brains to manage. 

 

 

>>>Are these tips from Alex on Parenting with ADHD  helpful? Have you been diagnosed with ADHD? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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