parent opinion

'You are exhausted on every level.' An open letter to mums of kids with ADHD.

Dear tired and worried mums with kids who have ADHD,

How are you? Have you been looking after yourself? The likelihood is that you’ve been too tired to do anything except what is absolutely necessary of you. I get that. 

The emotional, and oftentimes physical, strain of having a child or children with ADHD can become all-consuming. 

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But I'm not here to talk about the hardships that we know all too well. I'm here to tell you that you, my fellow ADHD mum, are amazing.

You wake up every day, tired and fearful for the future of your ADHD child in a world that, although now seems more ready to accept our children, is still full of massive stumbling blocks that our children will find harder to climb than others, and you start that day with fresh hope. 

You do your best every day to remind your child that they are loved.

To remind them that despite all the times they have heard “no” or “stop” and all the times they have felt shunned or stupid or useless, you are still in awe of them and how incredibly intelligent or sweet or loving they are. 

You are always ready and willing to fill those cups for them, always ready and willing to fight in their corner no matter how hard that day has been for them or you. 

Whilst the meltdowns are in full swing and your child is screaming at you or throwing things, you cling onto your own centre. 

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You dig deeper and push back the tears with a pounding heart and a screaming mind, to be that calm in the storm that your child needs. 

You push through those desperate times when you feel like you have nothing left to give, when your patience is hanging on by a thread and that breakdown is a hair's breadth away. 

You claw your way back to the love you have for your child, that never wavers but sometimes becomes clouded by tears and anguish.

You pick yourself up after you’ve had a great big cry behind closed doors, and you return to the fray with more resolve than before. 


You know for certain that your child is special, that your child has something wonderful to offer the world.

You are your own biggest critic but you are also, more importantly, your child's biggest cheerleader.

You are encouraging and loving and optimistic, despite being exhausted on every level. 

You look for the positives in the bad days, and when you can't find any you know that tomorrow is a new day. 

You support the hell out of your child’s random interests, as many and as fleeting as they might be, hoping or trusting that one day one of those interests will open the door to fantastic things for your child. 

You revel in the tiny successes and shout from the rooftops when your child has had a good day. You bank all the wins and hold on to them through those hard days. 

And when you feel you have nothing left to give, when you feel battered and winded and hopeless, you still put one foot in front of the other and you keep going.

All the tears, all the heartache, all the worry, all the anguish, all the anxiety - you take it all and you still choose love. 

I just wanted to remind you of all this because sometimes, it isn’t just our children who need cheerleaders. I see you. I’ve got your back. 

We've got each other's.  

With love,

Your fellow ADHD mum.

Rachael Leanne is currently a stay at home Mum with three young children. Her past life saw her working in Marketing and Journalism. Her eldest child and husband have ADHD or a 'super brain' as their family call it. She lives in Perth with her chef husband, three kids and their dog.

Feature Image: Getty.

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