“What kind of mother are you?”

It’s funny (not in a “haha” way) how having a child with ADD or ADHD has such a deep and lasting ripple effect on the hearts and minds of those around them. In my case, my son’s ADHD has had a deep impact on me – as his mother – on me and my self esteem. Living with him has been a roller coaster ride – one I’ve wished I could jump right off many (MANY) times. That’s why we’re here, on this blog. To give a voice to my lonely struggles, to give a voice to other parents, and to give a voice to so many wonderful and difficult and frustrating and precious ADD and ADHD kids out there struggling every day.

I can finally shrug off the sneers and rejections of other parents – but it’s taken me a very long time to be able to. I know all too well that look of judgement so often and so easily cast out over my boy, as they silently question, “What kind of mother are you?”

Well… Let me tell you.

I was the mother who had to regularly front up to the offices of teachers and principals. I was the mother who was frequently phoned and emailed by teachers looking for answers she didn’t have. I was the mother who fought every day with her child to get him to do his homework or even just pick up a pair of dirty socks. I was the mother who desperately and constantly searched for solutions to her child’s problems and the reasons why he was so ‘difficult’. I was the mother who read books, attended seminars and constantly implemented new and improved behavior management strategies that actually improved very little. I was the mother who was so strict and had many rules yet was perceived by others as letting her child ‘get away with everything’. I was the mother who was judged and made to feel inadequate by other mothers. I was the mother who fell out with neighbors, parents, friends and family members over silly things her child did. I was the mother who was criticized by one of her children for treating them differently to their frustrating sibling. I was the mother who cried most mornings when the simplest tasks required a mammoth effort. I was the mother who was never happy and always stressed. I was the mother who worried so much about the future of her child she made herself sick in the present. I was the mother who believed in her child yet saw gifts in him that were never realized. I was the mother who regularly felt like a total failure.

But today, (hallelujah!) I finally know the truth; that what I actually am, is a good mother with a wonderful child who is trapped in an imbalanced ADHD brain.

I am the mother of ‘that kid’.

How ironically wonderful that I would be taken on such a journey. That I should be sent a child with a disorder I couldn’t control; with a puzzle I couldn’t solve; that up until his diagnosis I had prejudicially and ignorantly believed was a total crock of s**t.

I was an unwilling participant on this journey, but like most mothers, I love my son to the moon and back. So it was inevitable that I would travel this path with him, no matter where it led us, in search of the holy grail – a happy, healthy and successful life for my child.

This site is an invitation to other parents like me, and wonderful kids like my son, who also want to wake up and shake up our society – to move ourselves and others from ignorance and denial, through discovery and decision-making, to ultimate advocacy of ADHD awareness, compassionate detection, professional diagnosis, responsible treatment, and support for all it touches – kids, parents, teachers and whole communities.

Join me, and we’ll ride this roller-coaster together. Arms in the air and prepare to scream!

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