ADHD, ADHD Parenting

Dear Mum with a child with ADHD. I see you.

Dear Mum with a child (or children) with ADHD,

You are incredible.

I don’t say this lightly. I, too, am a Mum of children with ADHD.

I know what it is like to lock myself in my wardrobe because I could not hold myself together for one more second. I know what it is like to feel like I am at the end of my rope. I know what it feels like to feel trapped and that I just want to run away. I know what it is like to genuinely believe that I must be a terrible Mum and fundamentally flawed.

I know what it is like to be at the point that I feel like I am not enough for my family, for my children, and that they would be better off without me. I know what it is like to plan my way out of it all.

I know you have too. I see you. And my heart breaks for you.

I know what it is like being judged for the choices I have made. Around discipline, food, education, or the medication I have chosen to give my children. I have listened as people around me told me that I just need to be more consistent with discipline or change my child’s diet, and all their issues would go away. I have even been told I should just “give them a good smack”, and that would fix everything. I have been on the receiving end of ignorance and stigma more times than I could count. I have been the mother, sitting on the floor, in one of the isles at Woolworths, riding out a meltdown. While people walked past, not offering to help, instead offering up snide remarks and comments.

I know you have too. I see you. And my heart breaks for you.

I know what it is like to get a phone call from school, or a parent, informing me of the choices my child has made that day and how I need to “fix” his behaviour.

I know you have too. I see you. And my heart breaks for you.

I know what it is like to read another article or opinion about how ADHD isn’t real. How it’s a made-up disorder, or that I’m just using crappy behaviour as an excuse to ‘drug’ my child. I know what it is like to be sitting with friends while they talk about how “every child these days is diagnosed with ADHD.” I know what it is like to hold my tongue while boiling up with anger, but also secretly wondering if they are correct. That I am just not “enough” for my children. I know the isolation that results in removing yourself from those social situations, from some of your closest friends, because it’s just easier than changing their mind.

I know you have too. I see you. And my heart breaks for you.

I know what it is to cry myself to sleep because I tried my absolute best, and it was still not enough to make any change in my family. I know what it’s like to burst into tears during a work meeting because I already fought a war at home before stepping into the office. I know what it is like to put a smile on your face and pretend how amazing your life is, even though you feel that your world is falling apart. I know what it is like to deeply desire peace in your home, but it never comes… it just keeps getting worse.

I know you have too. I see you. And my heart breaks for you.

But my heart also holds so much hope for you. Why? Because I know that it can be different.

I am not pretending it will be easy or that you won’t still have bad days or weeks. But it is absolutely possible to make changes in your family. And you can do it.

How do I know this? Because I have, and I was in the deepest of darkest pits. How else do I know? Because you are a Mum to children with ADHD, I know you can do hard things. No, near-impossible things.

I know what it is like to look at my children and have my heart bursting with love and pride. I know what it is like to be told that my children are kind, loving, hard-working, settled, polite, funny and mature. I know what it is like to sit in an assembly listening to my child give a speech for Primary school Captain, crying as he talked about the obstacles he has overcome because of his ADHD and how he is thriving.

This is why my heart is full of hope for you.

I know what it is like to receive a letter from my child, telling me that “I am who I am because you are my Mum.”

This is why my heart is full of hope for you.

I know what it is like to get to the point where I genuinely wouldn’t trade my life for a billion dollars.

I know what it is like to accept what I can’t change, work hard on the things I can, and enjoy the wild ride… the blissful chaos that is my life.

This is why my heart is full of hope for you.

I am here. Cheering you on.

I see you. I am cheering you on…

To get ADHD Done Differently xxx

Join our Parenting our Awesome Kids with ADHD group on Facebook, to find other Mums in all points along this journey.

Photo by Paola Chaaya on Unsplash

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