Wisdom and encouragement from a parent whose child struggles with mental health

By Amanda SchultzAmanda is a mother of two daughters. Her oldest is in Grade 9 at Cameron Heights Secondary School and her youngest is in Grade 4 at Williamsburg Public School. Her youngest daughter struggles with OCD, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. Amanda is a volunteer with Parents for Children Mental as the Chapter Leader for Kitchener Waterloo.

Amanda Schultz

Amanda Schultz

At the end of the day you look at yourself in the mirror and smile. You made it through another day. Despite all the challenges that you faced, you protected your family by advocating for their needs and managing this chaotic world for your child. You may feel completely exhausted, defeated or like you did everything wrong. You did not get to the million things you needed to do. But you remind yourself that if your family is protected, safe and loved, you have had a successful day.

It is exhausting trying to juggle therapy, meeting with professionals, advocating at school, dealing with melt downs, arguing with family who feel you are parenting wrong, chasing your child as they escape down the street, and then watching your child change their clothes twenty times before they find the one outfit that feels right. Believe me that most parents of children with exceptional needs are super humans. You take on more challenges and stress which sometimes feels like you have to multi-task more than others.

It is a new battle every day and you tackle it like a solider. You enter challenges for which people do not have answers, and you often feel alone facing encounters that most people would run from. You acknowledge that you have no choice because you are your child’s voice, protector, mentor, source of love and the one who knows them best. You are their link to the world and with every day that passes, you have served that role with honour.

So, look at yourself in the mirror each night and say, I am an awesome parent.

-Amanda Schultz

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