Learn to love yourself- ADHD and all.
Understand how ADHD works, and learn to turn ADHD as Kryptonite into Super Power!
Even Super Man sucked at flying when he first realized he was different from everyone else! He had to understand his powers and practice using them before he got good at it! So did Super Girl!
They had to learn what their weaknesses were and how to avoid them! THEN they did what they were good at and became known as super!
Being a Super ADD Mom is about understanding and being OK with the fact that some days the ADHD will be SUPER. Mistakes, burnt dinner, lost car keys and being late will sometimes happen.
But that's OK, because once you hone your coping skills, as you start, some days YOU will be the one who is Super! And... eventually, there will be more days, then MOST days, where you will be the super one! It's about Balance.
Hey! I'm glad you're here!
I'm Ril, AKA SuperADDmom- the ADHD mom behind this blog. A real, losing things, caffeine loving, odd sock wearing ( cause I could never find a pair to match anyway, so I made it my gimmick-like Dolly Parton wears wigs), overly chatty, scatterbrained, day dreamy, ADHD mom.
First off, I feel compelled to say that I don't pretty up my website with professional bio pictures of me open mouthed laughing, standing against a brick wall, to make this site look polished like some life coaching websites do.
I'm a real ADHD person, like you. I don't stand against brick walls, open mouthed laughing on the regular, so Instagram selfies work just fine for me But, If I ever do find myself against a brick wall, open mouthed laughing... you can be sure I'll Instagram it! Cause that is major social proof of being happy isn't it? 😉
So, who am I?
Well, I'm 41, married to my husband of 17 years- who calls himself The Mundane One ( TMO for short in my blog posts). I'm a mom of two, and I am a developmental disability support service worker, and an ADHD "daily living" Life Coach. Most importantly- I have ADHD ( and dyslexia- Which is why I just write like I talk and use far too many ...'s and -'s.)
I KNOW ADHD.
My passion and mission in life has always been helping others find ways to live a calmer, happier life-Myself included. (Some people call me a "self help junkie")
When you think about it- that was a pretty clear indicator that ADHD was present in my life even as a child. I was a massive time "wasting", "spaced out", always daydreaming, tree climbing, mud pie making, frog chasing, never listening to what I was told- ADHD little girl.
Skip ahead past spending a summer living in my sister's closet, literally- in British Columbia, when I was 16 cause I flew across Canada to visit, and spent the summer being wild and unruly and experimenting with drugs only to wonder why pot and "speed" ( which was really ritalin) made me calm and focused while everyone else was partying it up. Quickly note the struggling with tutors grades 9 through 12 to JUST graduate high school at 18.
Then, we'll gloss over my getting married too young to the wrong guy at 21 because I had crap self esteem from a lifetime of being told I was lazy and too smart to be so stupid... and we'll touch on me talking my way into an epic ADHD friendly career as a karaoke hostess and lounge singer, with paid drinks and meals at a bar every night of the week until I was 24!
And you clearly see that ADHD was always a part of my life! But, I didn't even know it yet!
Then with the sudden death of my oldest brother, a divorce and finally finding the love of my life all within a year- I found myself taking stock of my life and deciding to start settling down to be the mom and wife I always wanted to be ever since I was 6.
I stopped drinking, and working in bars, and prior to having my kids with TMO, I trained and worked in Developmental Disability Supports & Personal Care Work Services. I worked in group homes and Assisted Living Community Centers in Nova Scotia. I cared for people of all ages with autism on many levels of the spectrum- from mild Aspergers to non verbal/severe. As well, I worked with many clients with Down Syndrome, Schizophrenia, Mood Disorders, acquired brain injuries, CP, CF, etc.
I LOVED my job. I had a connection with my clients that allowed me to understand them well. I often say it was where I learned to be patient, and thus became a better mother, even if I was late for work 3 out of 5 mornings a week and getting written up.
Given the sometimes dangerous nature of the job working with clients who could get aggressive when scared or overwhelmed, I stopped work early in my pregnancy with my daughter. With the blessing of my employer at the time and a nice departure bonus, I went on maternity leave.
During my pregnancy I became deeply interested in all things pregnancy and birth related. Even as a teen in health class, I'd chosen the subject for projects as often as I could. So, when we could not get a midwife in our area for the home birth we envisioned, my husband and I launched into educating ourselves for 7 months and we decided to birth our daughter at home, in water, unassisted!
Between 2001 and 2007 I became and worked as a Natural Childbirth Educator, and an
Early Infant Care/breastfeeding & Attachment Parenting Educator. I am a trained ( non active) Birth and Post Partum Doula and I have a certificate of completion in the Triple P Parenting Program.
My ADHD Diagnosis Story
When I was diagnosed in 2005 with ADHD- I was 30 years old, and a mom of a spirited 4 year old girl and a wired for sound newborn baby boy, who was also born at home in water.
Today they are 15 (with ADHD and Anxiety) and 11 (with ASD, OCD-the orderly kind, Tourettes traits, CAPD, and SPD)
I self diagnosed while I was pregnant with my son. The pregnancy hormones made my- until then relatively hidden to me- ADHD jump out to greet me head on, and made me literally unable to function daily.
So scatterbrained and disorganized in my thoughts, I was crying all day feeling massively overwhelmed at the smallest tasks. I was a literal hot fat mess!
But I didn't even know ADHD could be the reason!
One day, my best friend was watching an episode of Dr Phil about ADHD in women and quickly decided to record the rest of the episode on her VCR after the lead in explanation. She gave it to me to watch right away because it sounded so much like me! I watched it with her and I was floored!
We were excited to know the WHY! So of course I launched into understanding ADHD. The more I read the more my WHOLE LIFE made sense!
Up until that day I thought ADHD was a little boy behavior issue that cutting out ketchup and sugar would fix!!!
HOOOOOO BOY...Have I come a LOOOOONG way baby!
At the time I was seeing a social worker for the unstoppable tears and inability to cope with making something as simple as a bowl of cereal for my daughter- and when I told her about the tape... She said "I was just getting to a point in our meetings that I was going to start looking at ADHD assessment questions with you. I think you have ADHD too, I'm so glad you saw it first!"
She hooked me up with a referral to an ADHD Doctor in our city. 4 months and 3 assessment/test appointments later, I was officially diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia and "likely some other stuff we don't need to bother officially confirming and wasting time and money on, because you're not a kid in school- so, let's just learn to manage the ADHD"-while breastfeeding my 2 month old son in my doctor's office.
I know now that my diagnosis story is straight forward and easier than most people have it as an adult trying to get diagnosed. I was lucky! It was the easiest part of my ADHD story of the last 11 years.
That was when my focus in life shifted from pregnancy & birth educating to understanding ADHD... MY ADHD.
Today, as a coach- I use my background in childbearing and raising of young children with ADHD women who are still growing their family and often struggle the hardest through those years with their ADHD.
Whether it is due to worsening symptoms from hormone shifts during pregnancy and postpartum- Needing to go off ADHD medications for that period of time, or due to only getting diagnosed later in life- Life demands become much more difficult for ADHD women to navigate once children are in the picture.
I understand first hand that motherhood can often feel like one big giant failure and guilt filled responsibility due to the struggles ADHD adds to our life.
Often the title of "mother" for ADHD women, brings with it a new level of shame, guilt, anxiety and depression. Our ADHD is shining bright green and is a debilitating kryptonite for us, and certainly not a super power in any way!
Once children come into the picture, ADHD, and every day tasks often become harder to manage for women. As more responsibility gets added to an ADHD woman's day to day life and the list of responsibilities get longer and more complex, the level of ability required to function is way above our own ability to cope due to our ADHD. Many of us end up rising to our level of incompetence. It's our very own Peter Principle, and we feel often, like we are drowning!
ADHD women don't get the luxury of being the "absent minded professor" like ADHD men often get in life.
We don't get the benefit of a well organized wife holding down the fort and managing the day to day necessities it takes to run a home for us. We are expected to do it all, and be it all, while we literally do not naturally posses the chemical make up for holding down such a complex, multi stepped, juggling of responsibilites job.
In 2005, when I was officially diagnosed with my own ADHD, I began educating myself about ADHD as much as I could in order to help manage the difficult symptoms ADHD created in my life and to help the debilitating anxiety and depression that blanketed me daily. I started to blog about it... and that is what has led me to here... today.
It's been 11 years of trial and error, struggles and triumphs, laughter and tears.
Now, after constant and continued self educating and advocating about ADHD, CAPD, SPD and Learning Disabilities, and finally training as a Life Coach in 2015- I am a Daily Living-Ability Growth Coach and Consultant to Moms with ADHD, and to families with ADHD children.
What is a "Daily Living Ability Growth Coach"?
Yeah... you are right... it's a term I basically made up. I knew you were thinking it... so let me explain:
I am a Daily Living-Ability growth Coach.
I meet people at the level they are at, and teach them how to instill daily life habits so they no longer lose the keys to the car- so they have clean socks and shirts for work/school tomorrow, and so they don't forget to pay the electricity bill.
The small stuff, but really... when you think about it... the really really BIG- most important stuff.
See? Daily Living Ability & Growth!
Cause, if you can't find the car keys and don't have a clean shirt for that appointment tomorrow for the amazing job opportunity that will set you for life... does a 10 year life plan really even matter?!
When people who know me want to know more about ADHD, they come to me. They send their friends to me. I love that I am the first person they think of when ADHD comes up for them!
I am proud of the fact that people tell me that I have a knack of explaining things in an everyday language they can understand and relate to, and that because of my inner understanding of how an ADHD brain works, I can act as an "interpreter" of ADHD thinking for non ADHD people who love people with ADHD. I have been even called the "ADHD Whisperer" ( but I'm not putting that on my resume! lol)
"Ms Giles has always been an excellent source of up to date information for a multitude of ADHD related topics ... from medication, diagnoses and alternative therapies. These two past years have been the hardest years of my life in learning to manage my daughters ADHD but we've arrived safely on the other side. Without Ril's guidance & help the tears wouldn't have dried as quickly!" -Mom of a teenage ADHD daughter, consulting client
"Ril has helped me in so many ways, to put into words; she is able to tell me exactly what I'm going through and talk to me in words that show true care and complete understanding."-Madeline Gilbert- ADHD client
How can this site & I Help you?
If you are feeling overwhelmed and lost as a mom with ADHD and want to begin a journey to feeling good about yourself again- come join my closed community FB group of like minded ADHD women. You have just found your tribe! CLICK HERE TO JOIN! your FB friends cannot see what you post. This is a safe space!
(My social media links are on the sidebar)
Click around on the website and have a read. Stay as long as you like and keep coming back... er, umm, just don't forget about dinner in the oven, or the kids needing to be picked up at school! 😉
Come find me on Instagram, my fav social media site ...let's chat!
I'm a Developmental Support Worker
and Daily Living-Ability Growth Coach.
More importantly, I have ADHD and Dyslexia
and I'm a mom of 2 kids like yours.
I REALLY KNOW ADHD!