Rolling with my ADHD Mom Brain

Mallory didn’t know ADHD would play a huge role in her parenting journey. But instead of getting frustrated by her learning difference, she decided to lean in and accept her ADHD Mom Brain. Read her story.

By Mallory Band, MEd

Updated February 10, 2024

I’d always envisioned motherhood a certain way. I’d wake up before the baby did and hit a hard workout session. Then I’d have a breakfast packed with protein before starting my workday.

Having been a mom for six months, I’ve realized it's nothing like what I expected it to be. 

For years, I prided myself on staying on top of things. I rarely missed an appointment or a loved one’s birthday. I never took more than an hour to respond to a text. But that’s no longer the case. Mom Brain is a thing — and ADHD Mom Brain is my thing. 

I’m more forgetful

The lack of sleep, the 58 tasks I’m in the middle of completing, and the people I’m trying to keep alive have impacted my brain functioning, on top of my regular ADHD. 

The other week, I was (yet again) doing multiple things at once after putting the baby to bed. While putting the dishes away, I decided to reorganize the fridge. A few days later while digging through the Tupperware drawer, I found a container with leftover chicken. I couldn’t even remember when we’d had chicken for dinner. There goes my ADHD Mom Brain.  

I’m having trouble with routines and schedules

I’m a big routine person. And I often struggle — and get frustrated — when things don’t go as planned. But after having a baby, reliable routines are a thing of the past.

For example, I always try to schedule breaks to take a shower and put on clean clothes. But lately, I get dressed and seconds later I’m accessorized with spit-up. Why must I always be covered in vomit? This wasn’t part of the plan. 

Want to know what else is never part of the plan? Running late. But now it feels like I’m always scrambling to be on time. The diaper bag is packed and so is the cooler with bottles. How am I running behind?

In the past, even the thought of being five minutes late to an event would make me anxious. But motherhood is teaching me that being late — for whatever reason — doesn’t mean I’m a disorganized person. Or that I didn’t plan my day out well enough. I’m a mom doing her very best to juggle many things at once, including her ADHD.

I’m learning more about myself

Having ADHD makes some aspects of motherhood very difficult for me. And I’m learning a lot about myself along the way. I’m stronger and more capable of doing the hard things than I expected. 

Motherhood is also teaching me to extend myself grace. To focus on what I can control and to stop being hard on myself. To laugh at the spit-up on my clothes, or the baby waking up the very moment I put him down for a nap. And just simply roll with my ADHD Mom Brain.

Listen to Mallory share more about her ADHD journey. And read why this parent decided to “set aside” his ADHD to be a better parent.

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