Don’t Ask Me to Adult, I Have ADHD!

A- stayed with a friend last weekend. I went to pick her up on what was a beautiful, sunny spring Saturday. The neighborhood was filled with the sounds of lawnmowers, weed eaters, and children’s laughter. Oh, that picture perfect dream world – neighbors waving to one another across the street, kids on bicycles, and others shooting hoops in front of garage doors.

We were winding our way out of the subdivision when A- looks around and says, “Wow, EVERYONE here works in their yards.” I said, “Yeah, that’s kind of what adults do on Saturdays.”She looks at me a minute, then raises one accusing eyebrow. “Okay,” I say, “I don’t, but that’s only because our house sits on top of a government protected rare weed field.” “Uh-huh.” She muttered. “Fine. Our yard is a mess of weeds and briars because I don’t adult very well.” Was she happy now that I admitted it? “That’s more like it,” she said, confirming my suspicions that she is an evil child.

And that’s the truth of it. Sometimes I just don’t adult. Last year I hacked at my grass with a weed eater occasionally. Spring has only just sprung and things are already a mess in my yard. The weeds are coming up in all their prolific glory, briars are sprouting from everywhere, and somewhere under all the dead grass and muck of years before is some green grass trying to peek through. Well, it’s peeking through in the few places the weeds haven’t choked it out. (and yes, I HAVE bought tons of stuff guaranteed to kill those nasty weeds and NOTHING has worked. NOTHING. I may as well have been spoon feeding them fertilizer.) But anyway, back to the nasty truth about living with ADHD. Sometimes we just don’t adult very well. Some tasks are just too much for me. Every year I say I’m going to get out there and get the weeds pulled as they are coming up. Every fall I say, “Next spring I’m buying a lawnmower.” Spring gets here and I say, “Maybe I should see if I can hire someone to come in here and cut all this crap down.” But I just look at it. I watch in horror as it grows. I live in the woods, but gee, I’ve got this cute little house surrounded by tall grass and weeds making it look so forlorn. And I think I’ve seen a few trees sprouted in the rain gutters as well, so THAT’S attractive too.

So, my wonderful ADHD friends, what part of “adulting” is hard for you? What areas do you feel overwhelmed about? What do you do about it? It seems so EASY to say, okay, tomorrow morning I am going outside and I’m going to start cleaning up the yard. But I get out there and the task just seems so daunting. I want to be an adult-ier adult. Really I do.

Just when I was thinking I should just get a couple dump truck loads of rocks and cover my yard with them, or better yet, chuck it all and move into an apartment complex, A- goes outside after school today armed with a hoe and pruning shears (so my yard supplies are limited) and starts doing the best she can at pulling and hacking at the weeds. I went out to help her and ended up laughing at the way she was yelling at the weeds, and how she was so forcefully using the hoe to dig up a big clump of stubborn roots. She said she found screaming at the weeds and grunting with every swing of the hoe a good way to get out frustration. I better watch her now – she may end up digging up the entire yard!

Life with ADHD – never dull, that’s for sure – and around here, never very adult either.

14 thoughts on “Don’t Ask Me to Adult, I Have ADHD!

  1. jeannieriding

    To me your either a garden person or a non garden person. I cannot get out there without getting bit by some insects that are obviously very angry and enduring painful bites that always turn into scars, arghhh!

    Well I’m just going to consider the lilies …..they toil not nor do they spin.

    And me, I’m just not a gardener!

    1. Oh Jeannie how right you are! I do love to look at other people’s beautiful gardens!
      I’m ok with not being a gardener…I just really don’t need to let the grass get taller than the house either!
      Oh to only find the happy medium!

  2. No point getting rid of weeds unless you’re going to replace them with something.
    I actually find gardening an incredibly ADHD friendly activity – calming, patience teaching, anti-depressant (soil microorganisms have been proven to alleviate this) and a hobby you can leave for a while, come back an dgo, ‘Oh wow! that grew and there’s food!”
    Check this out – it’s closer to where you are and inspired me:

    1. Thanks for the perspective! Thank you for sharing the link I did love the video.
      Mostly for me it is a problem of organization, time management and procrastination – all things I need to work on. Again every year I SAY I want to plant a few vegetables, even in containers, but the procrastination gets me every time.
      Work in progress – I’ll get there. Meantime I guess I will just enjoy my weeds! 🙂

  3. kim

    I have adhd and my husband is allergic to springtime. We live in a condo, and are thrilled to not be in the demographic that has to care about lawns. It’s not that I don’t sometimes wish I had an outdoor space of my own, but managing my adhd is all about reducing the steps to everything, this would be just one more thing demanding time I already can’t manage 😀

    1. I long to be able to move into a smaller space with little or no yard! I’ve found the whole house in the country thing is NOT in my best interest. I need my space limited to tame my chaos and I need to be somewhere where I have nothing to maintain!

  4. Michelle

    You are not alone! Adult ingredients with ADHD sucks! I had a friend spray paint her dead grass green to get the hoa off her back!

    My son told me he wanted to live with one of his friends because his house was clean. I told him he could have a clean house if he cleaned… 4 adhd people in one house means no adulting. Ever.

    1. Yes! I have been toying with the idea of gravel. Unfortunately my yard space is quite large, but fortunately I live in the woods so no one can see it but me, except for the occasional visitor!
      Thanks for the link!

  5. Tara

    I find that gardening sooths me. I love it. However cleaning my house is the task I can not wrap around my head. I am good by myself and keeps things clean. However, with my husband and my kids it is a whole different story. It gets too messy and shut down. I can not do it. I do not know where to start. I just walk away. It is horrible, it should not be that hard.

    1. I tell myself that all the time..that things just shouldn’t be that hard, but the truth is that they can be. I find myself in overwhelm mode so often.
      I have a horrible problem with clutter and stacks…stacks of anything and everything that I don’t exactly know what to do with but can’t get rid of.

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