Foreword

Eight years ago, my husband and I were thrown into the ‘eye of the storm’.

Our family had already had its share of challenges, but the situation facing us was something quite different.

Like so many parents whose children struggle with mental and physical health issues, we felt

entirely unprepared by anything we had learnt or experienced before.

During this time, we were to experience a feeling of utter helplessness. The helplessness

which comes from seeing someone you love so deeply struggle so hard while you stand on

the side-lines without the first clue of how to help.

My husband and I did our best to care for our boys, who were 9 and 16 at the time. As we

pleaded with outside agencies for proper care, life continued with its work to be done and

bills to be paid.

The rollercoaster we were on seemed never ending and relentless.

During these years I learnt many things, mainly through trial and error. I wanted to share

those successes, hoping it would help other parent carers who find themselves in a similar

position.

With that in mind I decided to start a support group and I will talk about that more later.

During the time the group was running, I was privileged to meet some amazing parent carers

all with their own heart-rending stories.

It was here that I learnt an important lesson.

Our journeys were similar, but as we are individuals our perspectives are quite different. Our

children are also individuals and that in turn makes for different outcomes too. 

I have come to understand that there is no right or wrong way of doing things.

I know as a parent I have made my fair share of errors, but as my wise Gran would say ‘the

important thing is what we can learn from our mistakes, and that as we move forward, we can

make positive changes along the way.

No-one has written a Haynes manual to help when it comes to our children or young people

we care for, but if we approach things from a place of love, I really believe we are doing

everything we can.

 

As I write this our world is in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and as such we are

having to adapt to the way we live. For many carers, that means dealing with a lot of

additional pressures.

More than ever when parents are in danger of being overwhelmed whilst caring for their

children with their mental and physical health issues, I felt it was important to get this all

down for you.

I want more than anything to try and be a voice of calm and hope amid whatever storm you

may find yourself in by sharing some ideas, tips and tricks that may just help.

After looking back on my journey and speaking to other parents dealing with often seemingly

impossible situations, the one common factor has quite simply, and a little surprisingly, been

hope.

Hope for a brighter future, relationships to be healed, empathetic professionals and much,

much better days to come.

For me these are the days when I would have the time and energy to sit down and write a

book.

It is my hope that amid your own personal journeys with all the chaos, you have days when

you have the time and energy to sit down and read it.

While you do that, dear parent carer, please remember what a fantastic job you are doing and

how utterly amazing you are!

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Alijeffries
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