House & Home

The Key to Dealing with Homemaking ADD

If you suffer from Homemaking ADD, your attention may be at the root of your homemaking challenges.

If you suffer from Homemaking ADD, your attention may be at the root of your homemaking challenges.

Most days in my home, my homemaking tendencies look a lot like this:

  • I know I need to stick a load of laundry into the washing machine.
  • I gather the basket of dirty clothes and find a stuffed animal next to the hamper.
  • I return the stuffed animal to my daughter’s room, and open her curtains.
  • When I open her curtains, I notice an empty mug’s on her nightstand.
  • I take the mug to the bathroom, to take downstairs after I get my laundry started.
  • While I’m in the bathroom, I notice a huge smudge on the bathroom mirror. So I clean it.
  • Once the mirror is shined, I grab my basket of dirty clothes and head to the laundry room.
  • While I’m in the laundry room, I notice a lightbulb is out. I change the lightbulb, then put the laundry in the washing machine.
  • Now that I’ve started my laundry, I head back upstairs to move on to the next item on my to-do list. But on the way I notice that the kids’ paintbrushes should be put away in the craft bin … so I do it myself.
  • As I’m gathering the paintbrushes, I remember that I need to get a couple out for my daughter to use. I take them with me upstairs, ready to get back to whatever I need to do next. (But exactly what did I need to do next??)

With a homemaking focus so … well, un-focused … it’s hard for me to be very productive.

The challenges homemakers face

Every single homemaker faces challenges. It’s just part of homemaking.

Instead of feeling frustrated with your challenges, though, have you ever stopped to think about what might be causing the problem issues?

For me, a lack of time or motivation seems like the easiest excuse for my homemaking frustrations. (A lack of a plan used to be part of my problem, but that has changed.)

When I take a closer look, though, at my scattered day and approach, it’s become more obvious that I deal with Homemaking ADD.

Attention Deficit Disorder is a chronic condition including attention difficulty and impulsiveness. While I don’t deal with that in my usual daily tasks, I definitely do when it comes to my homemaking.

If you suffer from Homemaking ADD, your attention may be at the root of your homemaking challenges.

Waffles vs. Spaghetti

About 10 years ago, Christian authors Bill and Pam Farrel wrote about the difference in thought in their book, Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti.

Basically, men’s waffle brains tend to keep things compartmentalized, like the neat little squares of a waffle. Everything is there –separated and orderly. (Although I have found that some women can lean toward a waffle-brained thinking, too – things must be neatly wrapped up before moving on to something else.)

The opposite approach is the spaghetti brain. Women tend to have brains like spaghetti. Like a heaping plate of spaghetti, everything touches each other. There’s no way to separate just one strand – or facet of your life – because everything is related.

I’ve found that being spaghetti-brained affects everything – from the way I think and plan to the way I do my housework.

And I think that my spaghetti brain has a lot to do with my Homemaking ADD.

Because I view everything as related, I have a very difficult time staying task-oriented. I have the tendency of feeling like I’ll forget about something that’s pressing if I keep focused on my current task.

If you suffer from Homemaking ADD, your attention may be at the root of your homemaking challenges.

My biggest problem

As a woman with Homemaking ADD, I can assure you that homemaking isn’t always an easy task. In fact, when I think of the challenges I face in homemaking, getting distracted – or failing to focus – is probably the No. 1 offender.

Changing my habits should be as easy as telling myself to focus on the task at hand. But the trick is that’s not easy.

Recently, I was intrigued by the pin, 1 Simple Rule for Keeping a Clean House. So I read the blog post – and was amazed. The rule really is simple – and I really haven’t been following it.

The key is found in finishing your task.

And that is the truth of the matter.

With my Homemaking ADD, I get so distracted by other thoughts and tasks that I have a hard time focusing on and finishing whatever chore I’ve started. And I would like more of a focus.

If you suffer from Homemaking ADD, your attention may be at the root of your homemaking challenges.

Do you have Homemaking ADD too?

If you’re like me and you struggle with the distraction Homemaking ADD, I do think there is some hope for us. I’ve found that by reminding myself to finish a job, I’m more likely to do it.

When I notice I’m distracted and ready to flit to something else, I stop myself and stick with what I started. This is tough – especially if my children want me to do something for them right that very second. But even though it’s tough, it works.

One way I’m trying to avoid getting distracted is to just choose small jobs.

Instead of setting aside an hour to clean an entire room, I try to break the job into smaller, more reasonable jobs, and fit them in when I know I have the time. While I may not have the time or energy or concentration to straighten up my entire linen closet, chances are I could finish one shelf and get to another shelf another day. The same approach goes to any area of my home.

By starting – and finishing! – smaller jobs around my home, I’m able to complete much more over time, because I’m not as distracted. And that seems pretty miraculous.

Without learning the self-discipline to finish what we start, we’ll be certain to feel defeated in our homemaking challenges – and before we know it, our homes will look as messy as a big plate of spaghetti.

But if we focus on completion and stick-to-it-ness, we can work through our Homemaking ADD and experience success in our homemaking.

If you have Homemaking ADD, what do you do to help the issue?

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Hilary
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8 Comments

  1. I can really relate to this post! I call it homemaking ADD. I’ve found that making a list of specific tasks to do helps a lot. I also try to complete all of the cleaning tasks for one room before I move to the next room.

  2. My husband is very focused, and he will walk over things to finish what he’s started… interesting post, i will be thinking the next time I begin to get sidetracked… thank you. L

  3. Oh my goodness! You are me… or I am you.
    I HAVE ADD, and I can SOOOO relate to your post!
    And I thought I was the only one.

    Thanks
    Terry

  4. This is so me. I flit from task to task without finishing and it drives me insane! I even make to do lists and only manage to check some of the items off. How do I make my spaghetti brain work with me?

  5. It helps to know there are SO many others like me! I’ve been doing just 1 thing on my to do list till finished & it truly does make a difference! God bless you for sharing, to ALL of you! – it’s hard to admit we aren’t perfect. MaryBeth Myers

  6. It is rude and inconsiderate to others to use ADD as a way to describe your laziness when you do not have this mental illness. ADD is a chronic mental illness that affects every part of someone’s life and can be debilitating. Don’t use it as an excuse for being lazy.

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