When I began my journey into this wild terrain called “Motherhood,” I thought I knew what I was doing. After all, I was a 28-year-old, soon-to-be college graduate with three younger siblings. I had years of babysitting experience and the gifts of critical thinking and research in my arsenal. Having a child surely couldn’t be any more difficult than having a puppy, right?
That was almost nine years ago. Boy, have I learned a lot.
My Child Has Bipolar Disorder
Although having a child isn’t a whole lot different than having a puppy, there are some distinct differences. When your child happens to have a mental illness, the differences increase exponentially.
Critical thinking and research have come in handy since “Bob” came into my life in 2001, and even more since his bipolar diagnosis in 2008. Being Bob’s mom has been a carnival ride full of ups, downs, twists and turns. It hasn’t always been fun. It has often been lonely. It has not been what I ever expected.
It has taught me I am not perfect, but I have more patience than I ever thought possible. It has taught me the world has a long way to go in terms of accepting mental illness as real and worthy of attention. It has taught me to appreciate my son for the wonderful person he is and hopefully will become, rather than dwell on what he is not.
Although I have chronicled our journey through various personal blogs, this is my first foray into the open blogosphere. If you are the parent of a child with bipolar disorder, or any other mental illness, I hope you will join me, and take heart in the knowledge that you are not alone.
Life with Bob: A Video on Parenting A Child with a Mental Illness
In this parenting video, Angela talks about the importance of having a blog that speaks to parents of a bipolar child, ADHD child, a child with depression or anxiety. Take a look.