We need to talk about the stigma. | #parenting

I am an intelligent control freak who has been sent a child with a disorder I can’t control, who is a puzzle I just can’t solve, with a disorder that, up until his diagnosis, I too had prejudicially and ignorantly believed was a total crock of sh*t.

I am a largely unwilling participant on this journey. But like most mothers, I am a woman who loves her son. It is not by choice, but by necessity that I travel this path with him, right by his side, no matter where it leads us, in search of the parenting holy grail – a happy, healthy and successful life for my child. 

Others find it so easy to judge me, to judge my child, and to look down on us both for the struggles we so desperately want to overcome, but can’t. 

Along the road, the pain and pressure of judgement has added extreme weight to the already-heavy burdens of ADHD, on both me and my child. At times, it has felt too heavy; just too hard. But I have had no choice. I can’t give up on my child. Would you give up on yours? 

Please stop judging, and start supporting one another. If you are not an ADHD child’s parent, you sincerely have no idea how much fear and frustration these children and their parents face every single day of their lives. 

They need your kindness, acceptance, encouragement and your openness to learning and understanding our differences. 

We really need it.

Please put down your judgements and lift up my child, as you would want me to embrace your children. Please see him for his gifts. He is a precious child, just like yours. He deserves to feel accepted, included and valued.

As for me, I hope next time you see me, or another mother like me, that you’ll actually see me and know me a little better. I’m an imperfectly perfect mother, doing her absolute best to love and raise her children well. That’s what kind of mother I am. 

Really, I’m just like you.

Shelly is a management and business communications consultant, trainer, business writing coach and mother of two. She lives in Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast with her husband and two children. When not creating business strategies and communication pieces, she writes children’s picture books, and is currently completing a non-fiction book about ADHD parenting.

Feature Image: Getty

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