Meet a Mom — Kim Holderness of The Holderness Family - The North County Moms

This post originally appeared on The Local Moms Network.

Kim Holderness is one half of The Holderness Family, with over 8 million followers across their social media platform. Kim and her husband Penn first became widely known to the public as winners on Season 33 of The Amazing Race in 2022. Since then, they’ve achieved social media stardom for their hilarious take on parenthood, marriage, as well as Taylor Swift hysteria and pickleball mania. They host a popular podcast and recently, added the title of bestselling authors to their resumes.

Penn and Kim’s new book, ADHD is Awesome: A Guide to (Mostly) Thriving with ADHD will change the way you think about ADHD – and perhaps how you approach your own diagnosis or family members dealing with ADHD.

The Local Moms Network spoke to Kim (with Penn jumping in!) about their new book, raising teenagers, and more.

When you first posted your mega-viral “Xmas Jammies” video, did you think hey, this could break the internet?
Kim:  Absolutely not. We look around every day and say how is this still happening. Our kids would not sit still for a Christmas card, and we have a video background, so after a few years failing at traditional cards we thought we’d make a video.

Speaking of your kids – they are now 14 and 17 years old. What involvement do the kids have in your content creation?
Kim: They are at a very busy stage of life. They appreciate what we do, but it’s not what they do. But if they appear in a video, they get paid – they love it and want to do more. I think my son is assuming we’ll hand him the password…

Penn: We try to expose them to how much work it is. This isn’t just putting a video up.

We love your videos – what is your creative process like?
Kim: My favorite part of this process is to look around at life and ask, is that funny? If I didn’t have this Instagram or YouTube channel, I don’t know what I would do with all these thoughts in my head.

Penn’s new book ADHD is awesome is pretty awesome! In it, he says that you are the biggest reasons ADHD has largely enriched his life, which is quite the compliment. What is it like to live with someone with ADHD?
In our house ADHD is an explanation, it’s not an excuse. I see him do the work. If he was just creating messes and leaving the stove on and saying he can’t help it, it’s ADHD, that would not work. But he has taken ownership and worked hard to understand it so I feel like I can partner in a more effective way with him.

I don’t clean up after him, but I understand he needs reminders. There are some things that don’t enter his working memory. I help him put systems in place. For instance, the big bowl by the door: here’s where keys and phones and wallets go. Everything I was initially attracted to him and loved about it him is his ADHD. He’s so creative and funny and spontaneous, and you can trace that back to ADHD.

What do you think will surprise people about the book?
Penn: It was interesting to me that people with ADHD don’t have a deficit of attention. That’s one thing that I think people will find surprising.  I think people will be surprised to know all the successful people that struggled with ADHD. Also three times as many boys are diagnosed as girls. If boys run around and act like assholes, they are boys being boys and girls are expected to sit still and internalize their difficulties.

Later on, in a stereotypical heterosexual relationship, the mom is supposed to be doing Sign Up Genius and doing all the pickups and chores [which can be hard with undiagnosed ADHD]. My own ADHD flared up when I became a parent, although I was initially diagnosed in college.

Your social media, podcast, and now this book is touching countless lives. Is it easy being this open?
Penn: People with anxiety and ADHD carry a fair amount of shame if they don’t know what’s wrong with them or if they’ve just been given diagnoses and meds.  ADHD is more of a brain difference than a disorder – it’s been misbranded. Not only do I want to be open, but I also feel like I have an obligation to be open about it.

Kim: For the anxiety piece, after my pregnancies I had PPPD and PPA and went on meds, but I felt like I had to keep it a secret.  I had mentioned it casually in a video and so many people messaged us that they felt seen.  If I can be their person to normalize that piece of it, I will happily do it.

What’s next for the Holderness Family?
Kim: A few people have asked us, and we don’t know. But we do have a joke we’re going to be put in an old folk’s home and think we have a podcast, and the mics won’t be plugged in.

 

More stories from The North County Moms:

Meet a Mom: Jersey Shore’s Jenni Farley!

Meet Morgan Matkovic, Author of the New Book My Sister Lila Lee

 

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