AMANDA Williams has endured as much adversity in the past two years as most people do in a lifetime.
To be perfectly honest, it felt very undeserved. Because I'm just doing what people do ... I'm not doing anything special.
The mother-of-three, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer at the beginning of 2015, as well as battling mental illness, was recognised for her resolve, being named a 2016 Barnardos Mother of the Year finalist.
“People do good things every day and I didn't see that I was doing anything out of the ordinary to be acknowledged … so I felt undeserving,” Amanda told the Guardian.
“I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, but the silver lining of that is that they were able to remove my tumour, repair my kidney and donate it to someone who needed it.
“Unfortunately though it does take a toll … I have severe mental illness. And I've battled it since I was 16, but just this year its reared its ugly head again and I'm back getting treatment. But for me, if you don't talk about it, the stigma stays.
“I have mental illness and that's okay.
“I'd had a tough year, so this nomination was amazing, but it was no tougher than what other people have gone through ... in my eyes anyway.”
Amanda was nominated for the award by her husband who said she is the mum who can’t help giving, even when she herself is in need of a little extra TLC.
Her story comes as nominations are being taken for this year’s Barnardos Mother of the Year. If you have an inspiring story, be sure to nominate a mum before February 26 via the website www.motheroftheyear.com.au.
“Nominate the mother you love … it’s paramount,” Amanda said.
“We don't acknowledge ourselves, because we don’t see ourselves as being any more special than anyone else. That's where Barnardos come in, they say ‘you know what, in your own eyes you might just be a run-of-the-mill mum, but in our eyes, you’re special and deserve to be rewarded for that.
“The greatest gift and acknowledgement for all their hard work is public recognition. As much as everyone will go ‘oh it’s nothing’, we secretly really like it.
“Mothering is so hard – every day it’s hard. You’re everything to those children, so it’s nice to be told you’re actually doing a really good job and that we haven’t screwed it up.”