Thursday, December 11, 2008

ADHD, 4 kids and a full time+ job... is it possible?

One question I often get is: how are you able to work, if your ADD has you so unorganized and you're so easily distracted? Well, I think the key is finding the right job. I've been fortunate enough to just that. The most important part of the "Right Job Equation" is enjoying what you are doing. You see, people without ADD can have a complete lack of interest in what they are doing, but somehow they manage to get it done anyway. When ADD enters the picture, the things we hate doing just don't get done... There are so many other interesting things we can think of that we just don't want to waste our time on monotonous chores. If your job is monotonous, there is a very slim chance of success.

I am a report/business analyst for a very large company. The work I do keeps me challenged enough to stay interested. In fact, I often end up in a state of "hyper-focus" that allows me to fully concentrate on the task at hand and shut out the outside world completely... Which is why I have an email reminder pop-up and tell me it's time to go pick up the girls.

Computers are great for many people with ADhD. Actually, many people with ADhD often fall into the "couch potato" category because TV, computers and video games provide a constant source of brain activity, even when you are sitting on your tushie. If you're a fan of computers and struggle with ADD, I recommend looking into this field. I actually hated my first job so much, I taught myself database programming while my boss thought I was "filing". HAH! When I left, there was a stack 2 ft. high of papers that still needed to be filed. I felt a little remorse, but only a little.

So, for me, work is not an issue... I have actually excelled quite nicely in my company. Homelife, on the other hand, is a definite struggle. Once downfall to having ADD is overstimulation. When you put 4 little girls in a car after a long day of school it is quite noisy, to say the least. Loud noises from multiple sources can throw me into a tailspin within 30 seconds. Driving a mini-van helps disburse the noise so that it is not right in my ear... but the days I have to drive my husbands car are painful, to say the least.

ADD can be very hard on a marriage as well... Especially on the spouse. It is hard to comprehend the disease (and I really hate to refer to it that way) because you can't "see" it. My husband is a very neat, very determined and very thorough individual. Combine that with my disorganized, random and distracted self and it's a recipe for disaster. Throw in 4 kids, of which 1 is already showing signs that she's following in my footsteps, and every day becomes a battle. We've been trudging through for a little over 8 years now, and it's getting tough... but we're too very hard-headed people who rarely surrender and accept defeat, so I am trying to keep a positive outlook. Most days, anyway.

So, is it possible? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. Would I trade in my ADD for an easier life? I'm not sure. As with anything, it has it's good points and it's bad points. Having 4 kids probably wasn't the wisest decision... but I wouldn't change it for the world! Those girls are the brightest stars in my sky.

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