Parent24 chats to Angel Conradie
Real parent Angel Conradie shares her experience with raising an ADHD child.

Real parents have been chatting to Parent24 about their experiences, which range from side-splittingly funny to deeply moving. Why not find out more about these moms and dads, who are, very often, just like you.

Who is Angel Conradie?

I’m a tattooed cat slave; junk-food-junkie; guide-dog puppy raising; no longer single mom to an adult son. My alter-ego is @TheCupcake_Lady and I have a fascination bordering on obsession with weddings.

Are there any challenges you’ve found which have been particularly tough?

I raised my son on my own as a single parent, without financial assistance or contact from his paternal family. This was a decision I made when I was pregnant and whilst it was far from easy, I have never regretted my choice, and I always had my family's support. Another ongoing challenge in our house is ADHD. Whilst my own is not officially diagnosed, my son was diagnosed when he started school, and it was a roller coaster ride and a half trying to find a treatment specialist and a treatment plan that worked. And getting buy-in from schools and teachers was a never ending battle, even with some phenomenal teachers thrown in.

In time it became a crusade for me, after I came to terms with it myself, and I decided that I would work to create awareness of the disorder and educate anyone and everyone about what its like to live with it and deal with it. I host support groups at home, I speak at other support groups and I have spoken at a couple of seminars. I correspond with a number of families to support them on their roller coaster rides and I blog about all kinds of ADHD issues to try and give people a glimpse into what ADHD is about.

What would you do over, if you had the chance?

I think I am like any parent in that my coulda-woulda-shoulda list is a long one! I wish I had written dates on photographs. I wish I had written down more of the things he said and did as he grew up. I wish I had been more patient with him. At the top of the list would have to be spending more time making happy memories! We had some wonderful holidays together and we loved to go "mall crawling" as a pay day treat, but sometimes when I think back on our life together it feels like I spent my life at work as mine was our only source of income. And the two of us spent so much time working - for lack of a better word - on getting him through school and dealing with his ADHD Combined Type that we didn't have enough fun!

How do you think your kids would describe you?

Oh, I so hope he will say I am loving and attentive and fair. I am strict with my son, and I know he sometimes takes affront to it, but I also know he loves having his friends come over to our house and I always took that as a good sign.

Your craziest parenting moment? Why not share it with us?

Now those I have a quite a collection of after 21 years! I think one of my favourites was a discussion my knuckle-head and I had in a Dischem one day. He was probably 13 years old or so, and had taken to wearing a piece of jewellery that I didn't like at all! No amount of asking or explaining could get him to stop wearing it. My son caught sight of a sale and asked if he could PLEASE have a bottle of black nail polish. He has always been a rocker and a metal head so his request wasn't strange to me, but my mom was with us in the Dischem and even though she was only slightly taken aback she has never forgotten this. I'm sure the shoppers around us were a wee bit surprised as our conversation was not whispered! I told my son that I would get him two bottles of the black nail polish and a black eye liner of his own if he would stop wearing the piece of jewellery I hated! Bargain! He took it off immediately!

Follow Angel on Twitter and check out her blog Angel's Mind.

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