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Impatience and ADHD Parenting

hurry photoImpatience is a key factor in ADHD life especially when you toss in the needs of three kids. Some days I’m appriciate of all that I have and smile at my children with supreme adoration—those days are rare. Most days I spend chasing them around and attempting to clean up one mess before they make another. I set rules that they hastily break or bend as far as they can. We barter for “screen time” and bicker over chores.

On even more rare days, I find myself waking up with no interest in parenting. It sounds awful. I enjoy my children, love them, and want to be a mom—I just wish I could drink my coffee before it goes cold, reply to an email without interruption, or go to the outhouse without a toddler in tow. Everything seems to irritate me more often on these days. I’m all wound up and agitated by things that would generally never set off my mom radar.

bad kids photoThe kids aren’t out to get me—I don’t think so anyway!—but they sure do add to my daily stress. This morning my older son announced he was out of his best shirts. I replied he ought to put them in the laundry if he expects me to clean them. With great love I’d pulled every last item out from under his bed the day before while he was at school and laundered it. I opened the dryer and he instantly hugged me; inside the dryer were all of his best shirts.

My youngest is potty training. Well, kind of. My husband and I had split up. I’d abruptly left him following a heated argument, that now looking back on I’d pushed to escalate. My toddler is ready and able to train but we fear pushing him now is not a good idea. We still co-sleep and he still gets a small sippy cup of milk before bed. This morning my husband was doing the dishes while I got the boys ready for a the day.

father son photoThe little guy was going out to breakfast with The Guys the morning and my older son was getting a ride in to school on the way. I changed his overnight diaper to find he’d never wet it since I put in on at bedtime. I brought over his standing urinal that looks like a froggy. He threw a fit. Okay, that’s fine. I put him in a diaper.

Five minutes later he’d peed right through his diaper and onto his new outfit and I had to quickly change him while his brother and father waited patiently at the door. I was not as patient and kept fumbling his clothes. He’d curl his toes to make the socks go on hard. He pointed his toes out to keep the pants from pulling off. He grabbed the shirt sleeves from the inside and bit the collar as I pulled his top off. This kid is a ham and does anything he can for attention.

With everyone finally out the door I took several long, deep breaths. I stepped over to my coffee maker and made that much missed first cup of the day. Our sweet and often overlooked dog sat lovingly at my feet at the coffee maker grumbled and hissed. She is an Australian shepard and full of energy. She flopped over on her back and stuck her feet up hoping to be cute enough for a belly rub. She was, and I did. I felt myself come back to center and let the stress go. I finished making my coffee and put myself to work while I had the time alone.

Impatience and ADHD Parenting

Amanda Emerson-Pelletier

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APA Reference
Emerson-Pelletier, A. (2016). Impatience and ADHD Parenting. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 15 Dec 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Dec 2016
Published on All rights reserved.