When my oldest son was finally diagnosed with ADHD, the process of getting there was long, confusing and stressful. Once we received it we were left wondering… what now?

So I did what many ADHD parents do immediately following a diagnosis: I went home and Googled it.

Big mistake. BIG! I ended up with very few answers, but a whole bunch of new questions spinning in my head.

In spite of my panic, however, I really was confident in the beginning that I’d figure this thing out. I mean, I’m a smart, dedicated parent. My husband and I were ready to try whatever we needed to help our son, and thankfully we had enough resources to seek medical care and therapy.

I truly thought it was just a matter of finding the right professionals and we would all be on the right track pretty quickly! Simple!

Are you laughing right now? It’s ok. Looking back now, I can see how naive I was.

Nothing happened quickly, except my son’s behavior continued to escalate and get worse instead of better. Instead of finding answers, we only found more questions. We struggled finding the right help. One doctor would contradict the other. The therapist disagreed with the psychiatrist who thought something different than our pediatrician. And don’t get me started on trying to cooperate with school!

I was frustrated and running out of ideas. At one point I was juggling four different providers, none of whom talked to each other and none of whom were all that helpful because, well… my son kept heading down a darker and darker path.

It was then that I began to doubt that I was capable of parenting my son. I found myself wondering whether I just didn’t have what it took to be his mom and in the end his failures would be my fault. Ever feel that way before? Yeah, the guilt games we play with ourselves are rough.

One day, however, everything changed. I learned about an “ADHD parenting coach” a friend of a friend of a friend had used. I didn’t know what a “parenting coach” was, but I was desperate. We made an appointment.

I can honestly tell you that nothing has been the same since the day we walked into our appointment with our coach.

She offered important information about ADHD nobody else had bothered to tell us, helped us develop parenting strategies that actually worked, and walked beside us through the most trying times.

While her ultimate goal was to help my son thrive, she knew meaningful improvement had to be accomplished through the parents. So she went to work giving me the tools to help my son.

Working with her changed my life – and my entire family’s life. She empowered us with invaluable knowledge and skills, and for that I’m forever thankful.

I soon found out that most other ADHD parents didn’t know such a thing existed – and I knew how much they needed one.

It didn’t start as coaching. I simply began to pass along this new information and strategies to other moms and dads I knew. But as I spoke, I noticed my friends started to stand a little taller. It was like I was breathing confidence and hope into these parents with these really simple strategies.

That’s when I became a coach and founded Honestly ADHD. I created the website as a resource for parents to make sense of what ADHD actually is and how it truly impacts their kids and families.

Then I created a Facebook community (we’re 17,000 strong now!) because I needed a place to connect with other parents. It’s a safe place to share parenting strategies that can immediately be applied in their everyday lives to help their kids thrive.

Just as importantly, parents often need to reset their mindset, regain their own sanity, repair their home environments, and tend to their marriages. And they need to do all of that surrounded by other parents who are there to lift them up and walk the journey together.