Life with Bob

My son is now old enough that he overhears conversations I have with his dad about his attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and he has questions. Explaining mental illness to my child feels like a balancing act. I want to be honest with him, but I want him to feel proud of himself, too. How do I go about making that happen?
Once again, I'm going to admit something that's difficult to bring up because that's what Life with Bob is all about--transparency and honesty. So here goes: sometimes I feel burned out parenting a child with mental illness. I have found ways to cope, but parental burnout has still lodged its way into my life and my family's lives. It's affected the relationship I have with my son and the relationship I have with myself. What is parental burnout, and what can you do about it when you have a child with mental illness?
You must be courageous when parenting a child with mental illness. After all, if being the parent of a child with mental illness were easy, then there wouldn't be a blog dedicated to the topic. Life with Bob wouldn't exist. That's why I'm not afraid to admit that raising a child with mental illness takes more courage than any calling I've ever had--sometimes more than I have stored up. (At least, that's how it feels.) Evidently, though, I do have what it takes, and you probably do, too. So why does parenting a child with mental illness feel so scary sometimes, and where does all this parenting courage come from?
In case you haven't noticed, COVID-19 has transformed how everyone gets everything done, including how we parent in this pandemic. It's especially changed how I raise a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
"Raising a child with mental illness is probably one of the easiest things I've ever done. I'm always calm, and I never need any help," said no one ever.
If you love someone with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) like I do, then you probably already know what "ADHD superpowers" are. People with ADHD think differently, and being close to them can be a unique experience full of laughter and unexpected blessings. So what exactly are the benefits of ADHD, and what do they mean in terms of raising a child with the condition?
Sometimes school and childhood mental illness don't mix well. At least, that seems to be the case for my son, who has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Raising a child with mental illness usually comes with a healthy dose of "mom guilt," and raising a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is no exception. While a little "mom guilt" keeps me on my toes, sometimes it becomes debilitating, so I was relieved to find out that ADHD and "mom guilt" are co-occurring problems that many parents struggle with. I'm not alone, and neither are you.
It's time to talk about ADHD and hoarding, mental disorders that often go hand-in-hand, even in childhood. In one study of 155 people ages four to 82, 41.9 percent of subjects with ADHD displayed hoarding tendencies, and other studies have produced similar findings. So if you're raising a child with ADHD like mine who tends to hoard things, you aren't alone.
I’m Sarah Sharp, new author of “Life with Bob.” When I met my husband six years ago, I knew he had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and I knew it was genetic. I didn’t know what that would mean for me as the mother of his child, though, until I had our little boy, who also has ADHD.