I Got Nothing Done Today ADHD article Robin Glassey

My writing goal for today was to edit two chapters of my middle grade novel. I hadn’t even made it half way through the first of the two chapters when at 3 pm I looked at the clock and found myself saying, I got nothing done today. 

Before going down the rabbit hole of guilt and self-blame I decided to take stock of some of what I got done today. Living with kids with ADHD poses many . . . I was going to say problems . . . but that’s not the right word. It poses many challenges and opportunities which can be very time consuming causing parents to feel like they got nothing done. 

Is it true that I didn’t get anything done today? Let’s take a look:

  Self-Care   I showered and dressed. Here’s where I have to pat myself on the back. I managed to shower without having to rush. When my kids were little I could only shower after they’d gone to bed and only if my husband was home to make sure no one was sneaking out of their room to cause problems, I mean, create a challenge.      Business Marketing   After I ate a healthy breakfast and worked on adjusting the keywords in my latest amazon ad for my fantasy series.    Educating Kids and Self   Breakfast time is a difficult time for one of my ADHD boys. He doesn’t just wake up on the wrong side of the bed, he comes out of his room so grumpy it’s like he’s dragging several beds around on his back. He began to complain that we’d run out of milk and that his older brother was going to eat all of the Frosted Mini-Wheats.   I hear there’s a Frosted Mini-Wheat shortage in the world. Oh wait, there isn’t.  Today I spared him my lecture about how I only had two kinds of cereal growing up: Cheerios and Corn Flakes. I decided to switch things up a little and go for a new story about how I had managed to get through a year and a half living in the Ukraine without milk for breakfast and only having the chance to buy a box of cereal once. It had tasted like stale no-name Lucky Charms but without the marshmallows.   After breakfast I helped my younger boys with their scouting merit badges and at the same read from Proverbs in the Bible. ( Click here to learn about taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. )   Before, during, and after breakfast I broke up several arguments between kids. We reviewed our THINK saying on our wall:   T is it true?    H is it helpful?    I is it important?    N is it necessary?    K is it kind?   I reminded the kids to pause and think before speaking. They had run out of “freebies” which meant I was ready to hand out plastic bags so the front yard could be weeded.  I then fed the cat, put in a load of laundry and made a grocery list for our dinner.   At 11:00 I began working on my chapter edits. I was finally getting to my writing goal of the day. I was running late, but I was still confident I could pull it off.   At 11:45 my oldest son approached me and asked what time we would be going shopping for some luggage at Costco. He needs new luggage as he’ll be leaving soon for an LDS mission and I’d promised him the night before I’d take him shopping. I looked at the clock and calculated how much time a Costco trip was going to take. Crap! 

Self-Care

I showered and dressed. Here’s where I have to pat myself on the back. I managed to shower without having to rush. When my kids were little I could only shower after they’d gone to bed and only if my husband was home to make sure no one was sneaking out of their room to cause problems, I mean, create a challenge.

 

Business Marketing

After I ate a healthy breakfast and worked on adjusting the keywords in my latest amazon ad for my fantasy series. 

Educating Kids and Self

Breakfast time is a difficult time for one of my ADHD boys. He doesn’t just wake up on the wrong side of the bed, he comes out of his room so grumpy it’s like he’s dragging several beds around on his back. He began to complain that we’d run out of milk and that his older brother was going to eat all of the Frosted Mini-Wheats. 

I hear there’s a Frosted Mini-Wheat shortage in the world. Oh wait, there isn’t.

Today I spared him my lecture about how I only had two kinds of cereal growing up: Cheerios and Corn Flakes. I decided to switch things up a little and go for a new story about how I had managed to get through a year and a half living in the Ukraine without milk for breakfast and only having the chance to buy a box of cereal once. It had tasted like stale no-name Lucky Charms but without the marshmallows. 

After breakfast I helped my younger boys with their scouting merit badges and at the same read from Proverbs in the Bible. (Click here to learn about taking care of your body, mind, and spirit.

Before, during, and after breakfast I broke up several arguments between kids. We reviewed our THINK saying on our wall:

T is it true?

H is it helpful?

I is it important?

N is it necessary?

K is it kind?

I reminded the kids to pause and think before speaking. They had run out of “freebies” which meant I was ready to hand out plastic bags so the front yard could be weeded.

I then fed the cat, put in a load of laundry and made a grocery list for our dinner. 

At 11:00 I began working on my chapter edits. I was finally getting to my writing goal of the day. I was running late, but I was still confident I could pull it off. 

At 11:45 my oldest son approached me and asked what time we would be going shopping for some luggage at Costco. He needs new luggage as he’ll be leaving soon for an LDS mission and I’d promised him the night before I’d take him shopping. I looked at the clock and calculated how much time a Costco trip was going to take. Crap! 

  Taking Time to Plan   I closed up my manuscript, ate a quick lunch and took my son over to Costco in order to buy him some luggage. As we drove to Costco I reviewed with my son what he still needed to do over the next four weeks before leaving for his mission—purchases etc. He has ADHD inattentive type and I want to be sure he is keeping up on his checklist of things to do so he’s not in a rush at the very end.   Preparing for the Future      We stopped at Smith’s on the way home to check on another son’s prescription. It still wasn’t in, but while we were at that store I took the time to go over some shopping tips with my son, so he can make smart choices with his money when he moves out. We finished purchasing the needed items for this evening’s family barbecue and some pop that is on an awesome sale which I’ll use for our upcoming family vacation and for an upcoming family party.   I Didn’t Finish What I Hoped To But I Got A Lot Done   The face of the matter is, while I didn’t finish what I hoped to, I did get quite a bit done in terms of taking care of myself, the needs of my children, and planning for upcoming events. My two younger boys are getting closer to completing a couple of merit badges, my oldest son now has his mission luggage and a better idea of how to shop wisely for food. He also has a clear plan of what to complete this week and because we have talked I also know what he needs to do. I also reinforced expectations in our home of how we should treat one another. I can feel good about what I’ve done today for myself and my family rather than beat myself over the one writing goal I didn’t finish completely. And even after writing this post there’s still a little bit of time left in the day.   So remember, you can beat yourself up with negative thoughts that are counter-productive like, “I got nothing done.” When the truth of the matter is, as a parent of a child with ADHD you get so many things done, more than you realize. You are amazing!

Taking Time to Plan

I closed up my manuscript, ate a quick lunch and took my son over to Costco in order to buy him some luggage. As we drove to Costco I reviewed with my son what he still needed to do over the next four weeks before leaving for his mission—purchases etc. He has ADHD inattentive type and I want to be sure he is keeping up on his checklist of things to do so he’s not in a rush at the very end.

Preparing for the Future

 

We stopped at Smith’s on the way home to check on another son’s prescription. It still wasn’t in, but while we were at that store I took the time to go over some shopping tips with my son, so he can make smart choices with his money when he moves out. We finished purchasing the needed items for this evening’s family barbecue and some pop that is on an awesome sale which I’ll use for our upcoming family vacation and for an upcoming family party.

I Didn’t Finish What I Hoped To But I Got A Lot Done

The face of the matter is, while I didn’t finish what I hoped to, I did get quite a bit done in terms of taking care of myself, the needs of my children, and planning for upcoming events. My two younger boys are getting closer to completing a couple of merit badges, my oldest son now has his mission luggage and a better idea of how to shop wisely for food. He also has a clear plan of what to complete this week and because we have talked I also know what he needs to do. I also reinforced expectations in our home of how we should treat one another. I can feel good about what I’ve done today for myself and my family rather than beat myself over the one writing goal I didn’t finish completely. And even after writing this post there’s still a little bit of time left in the day. 

So remember, you can beat yourself up with negative thoughts that are counter-productive like, “I got nothing done.” When the truth of the matter is, as a parent of a child with ADHD you get so many things done, more than you realize. You are amazing!

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Robin is a clean YA fantasy author and mother of four boys, three of whom have ADHD and RAD.

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