The Time Blindness of ADHD – The Struggle is Real

I posted this on my Facebook page this week:

adhd time blindness

This is what Maggie thinks of Mummy rushing her around to get ready for Daddy to take her to speech, only to find out that he is still in the shower. A house full of ADHD is like a daily game of Whack-A-Mole. Except I’m not allowed to use mallets. And I start chasing squirrels instead of moles because it is the distracted leading the distracted over here.

I’ve known that my husband suffers from “Time Blindness” for many years now, long before his ADHD diagnosis last year. My first clue came when we were getting ready to go to my high school commencement ceremony with my parents. We were all ready to head out the door, and he gave a deer-in-headlights look, while asking if he should start getting ready. Now, you would think that my mother would be thrilled to have an ally in her fight against my father’s impatient revving in the driveway, but her desire to find an unforgivable flaw in the boy who was stealing her baby seemed to be the more enticing of the options.

I quickly learned over the years that I should never tell Nerdguy what time an event is starting, but rather the time he should start getting ready. He holds firm in his belief that he not only has the clothing changing talent of Clark Kent in a phone booth, but that he also possesses teleporting superpowers. You tele-commute dear. It’s not the same thing.

When Molly was a toddler, and the twins were babies, Nerdguy was often tasked with getting Molly ready to head out the door while I got the twins fed (because…boobs), changed, and dressed. Packed the diaper bag, solved global warming, and inspected my clothing for vomit. And yet the three of us were still ready long before the dynamic duo had even thought about changing out of pyjamas. There is now a long-standing rule that these two do not get paired up for getting ready for anything that involves leaving the house with less than nine hours notice.

At least Molly is honest though when I ask her if she’s getting ready. “Ahhhh, I got distracted! I’m going to be laaattteee!” followed by a dramatic running and flopping dance performance, is the standard response.

Nerdguy on the other hand gets all defensive about how he was “just about to get ready,” like I’m some kind of monster who doesn’t give him any credit. He’ll admit outside of the getting ready situation that he has time blindness, etc. blah blah blah, but in the moment, I “clearly don’t believe in him and probably want him to fail.”

Although I also have ADHD, I have an uncanny ability to know how long it will take to drive somewhere…often down to the minute. It drives Nerdguy and my mother crazy that I can do this. I swear I’ve seen them flick holy water at me to see what happens. But the flip-side of this is that I also procrastinate and give myself just enough time to get ready for when I need to leave.

Where it all goes to hell in a hovercraft is if I didn’t consider additional tasks that need to be done before leaving. Such as sobbing in front of the magnifying mirror while screaming, “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME????” at my rapidly spreading chin hairs. Or wrapping the present for the birthday party, which I expertly bought ahead of time and tucked away. From the visible universe.

This leads to me running out the door, sweaty even though I just showered, hair frizzed because the flat iron is no match for panic-hair, and having to stop for a gift card to replace the missing present. But at least  it gives me something to do while Nerdguy and Molly start thinking about getting ready. And I needed to pick up wrinkle cream anyway.


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