Time Blindness in ADHD Moms and Best Ways to manage

Time, that elusive phantom we chase relentlessly, slips through our fingers like sand. For some, its passage is marked by the steady ticking of a clock, a reliable guide through the day’s journey. But for others, especially ADHD moms, time behaves more like a mischievous sprite, playing hide-and-seek with our best-laid plans. Welcome to the world of time blindness.

Understanding Time Blindness

Time blindness isn’t just about being forgetful or disorganized; it’s a fundamental shift in perception that affects how we engage with the world around us. Ever felt that you have a difficulty recalling when exactly some event happened? Was it last week or last year? Time blindness refers to a chronic problem managing time and determining how rapidly it passes. People who suffer from time blindness may be regularly late, fail to organise their day or meet deadlines, or become readily engrossed in time wasting activities like scrolling social media or playing video games without realizing how much time has gone by.

Tired mom with baby

The Impact of Time Blindness

Missed Appointments and Deadlines

Imagine setting an appointment for a doctor’s visit or a business meeting. Despite the best intentions, someone experiencing time blindness might lose track of time entirely, arriving late or missing the appointment altogether. This can lead to frustration, embarrassment, and even consequences such as rescheduling fees or missed opportunities. I was the opposite though, I get anxious with appointments so I usually arrive early. But when it comes to school and work, I was always late.

Forgotten Errands and Appointments

In the whirlwind of motherhood, it’s common for tasks like grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, or playdates to slip through the cracks. Despite jotting them down on a to-do list or setting reminders, a mother with time blindness might get sidetracked by other responsibilities or distractions, ultimately forgetting about these essential errands until it’s too late.

Unfinished Tasks and Projects

In the realm of work or school, time blindness can wreak havoc on productivity. Someone might start a task with enthusiasm, only to become absorbed in it to the point of losing track of time. As a result, other tasks are left unfinished, deadlines are missed, and stress levels soar. This pattern can repeat itself, creating a cycle of procrastination and frustration.

Delayed Meal Preparation and Bedtime Routines

Time blindness can disrupt daily routines like meal preparation and bedtime rituals. A mother might plan to have dinner ready by a certain time or start the bedtime routine early, only to lose track of time while multitasking or dealing with unexpected interruptions. As a result, meals are served later than intended, and bedtime routines are rushed or delayed, impacting both the mother’s stress levels and her children’s well-being.

Overcommitment and Burnout

Mothers with time blindness may struggle with overcommitment, saying “yes” to numerous activities or obligations without fully considering their time constraints. This can lead to a perpetual cycle of juggling multiple responsibilities, feeling overwhelmed, and experiencing burnout. Despite her best efforts, a mother may find herself constantly running late, missing deadlines, and struggling to keep up with the demands of motherhood.

A woman gasping at a burning pot on the stove

Difficulty Balancing Work and Family Time

For mothers balancing work and family responsibilities, time blindness can exacerbate the challenge of managing their time effectively. A mother might lose track of time while working from home, leading to blurred boundaries between work and family time. As a result, she may struggle to find a balance between meeting work deadlines and being present for her children, leading to feelings of guilt and frustration.

Impulsive Behavior

Time blindness can also manifest in impulsive behavior, where someone acts without considering the consequences or the passage of time. For example, someone might lose track of time while shopping, spending far more time and money than intended. Similarly, they might struggle to prioritize tasks, jumping from one activity to another without completing any of them thoroughly.

Strained Relationships

The effects of time blindness aren’t limited to the individual; they can also impact relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Constantly being late or forgetting important events can strain trust and communication, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts. Over time, this can erode the foundation of relationships and create feelings of resentment or neglect.

A Personal Journey Through the Mist

As an ADHD mom myself, I think one of my biggest issues is time blindness. My burnt pots and pans would bear witness to how time blind I am. Every time I forget how long I have left a pan simmering on the stove, I end up with a burnt pan leaving me feeling helpless and frustrated.

I also didn’t realise how soon mealtimes would come, so had to whip up something to feed the little guy. Time blindness could also be a reason why we find it so difficult to stick to routines as well. For example, I was trying so hard to make use of my baby’s sleep time to be productive. Despite intending to use this time productively, I used to lose track of time while engrossed in a task, scrolling through social media, or simply trying to unwind. Before I knew it, baby’s nap was over, and I was left feeling frustrated at the missed opportunity to accomplish tasks or recharge.

Back in my school days, I was also known to be the slow one. I really thought I was just slow, but soon I realized I take time perfecting tasks without realizing how much time I am wasting. This also led to my chronic lateness. I used to miss the bus quite frequently and even while I was working, I was never able to get to work on time.

A woman getting warned for being late

Strategies to Tame the Wild Beast

But fear not, fellow time travelers; there are strategies to wrestle this unruly beast into submission. Here are a few practical tips to help you navigate the murky waters of time blindness:

  • Wear a watch: I can’t stress this enough, but wearing a watch does miracles when it comes to time blindness. I now wear a watch 24/7 which has improved my time perception by leaps and bounds.
  • Set Alarms: Use alarms and reminders to jolt yourself back to reality. Whether it’s a gentle chime on your phone or a loud bell in the kitchen, these prompts can help keep you anchored in the present.
  • Embrace Timers: Break tasks into manageable chunks and set timers to keep yourself on track. One of my best tricks is to use Pomodoros. By focusing on one small step at a time, you can sidestep the pitfalls of time blindness and make steady progress towards your goals. This has helped massively in the kitche, I no longer burn pots and pans.
  • Chunking Tasks: Break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. This not only makes them less overwhelming but also helps you stay focused and on track.

Conclusion

As we bid farewell to our struggles with time blindness, let us remember that we are not alone in this journey. By sharing our stories, supporting one another, and embracing the tools at our disposal, we can tame the wild beast of time and reclaim control over our lives. So, dear reader, I urge you to experiment with different strategies, find what works best for you, and never lose sight of the precious moments that make life truly meaningful. Time may be a thief, but with perseverance and determination, we can turn the tide in our favor.

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