ADHD BirthdayToday is my birthday, and so far it’s been lovely. But every year, my (wonderful, well-intentioned) ADHD partner Jen waits until the last minute to pull together a nice day for me. She always comes through, but not without a fair amount of scrambling. Here’s what I mean…

ADHD Birthday Obstacle #1: The Gift

Jen is notorious for shopping at the last minute. She’s one of those people who does her Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. So when it comes to my birthday, I almost always get a printed receipt with a handwritten note reading Surprise! We’re going to ____! (usually a concert or a play). I love tickets to things, so this has never been a problem. But since we started using Amazon Prime (with unlimited free 2-day shipping), I’m actually getting tangible gifts!

ADHD Birthday Obstacle #2: The Wrapping

But with tangible gifts comes the need to wrap them. My gifts are always wrapped haphazardly in whatever paper Jen can find. This morning, my gift was wrapped in an old to-do list. I have no choice but to find this endearing. (At least we save money on wrapping paper.)

ADHD Birthday Obstacle #3: The Card

Again, this is an issue with Jen getting to the store in a timely fashion. In years past, she has resorted to making me a card on the computer and printing it out the morning of my birthday. Some years, the printer’s been out of ink (surprised?) and so those cards were barely readable. (I loved them anyway.)

This year I actually got a store-bought card (and a nice one at that) because Jen now has the added responsibility of obtaining a Happy Birthday Mommy card on behalf of our 18-month-old daughter. Despite the fact that she went to the store last night, she managed to find a very cute card. But I know she’s looking forward to the day when Tigerlily can make her own cards out of macaroni and glitter!

ADHD Obstacle #4: The Cake

Lastly, there is the issue of my birthday cake. For some reason, Jen almost always forgets to buy me a cake. It’s like she has a mental block around it. I try not to be a brat about it, and there have certainly been years when I’ve been on a health kick and didn’t want a cake, but for the most part it’s something I look forward to.

Well…last year Jen completely forgot the cake (and that wasn’t the first time). I ended up going to the supermarket myself, on my birthday, and picking up my own cake.

So with last year’s fiasco on my mind, I asked Jen last night if she needed to pick up a cake today. All of the color drained from her face. I told her it wasn’t a big deal and that we could pick one up on the way home from dinner tonight. But this morning my mother-in-law brought over a tray of cupcakes—crisis averted!

I like to poke fun, but Jen does actually give me a really nice birthday every year. I know that she cares about me and wants me to have a memorable day. It just cracks me up that there is no escaping her ADHD!


Erin Korey About Erin Korey

Erin Korey is the Managing Partner and Chief Operations Officer of the ADD Management Group, LLC and


  1. I love that you have the energy and perspective to be cracked up by this. I would love to have that, find that, for myself. I must try that – letting the ADHD be a source of humor in my life.