Surprise! You’re raising a 5-year-old (Life Coaching 101 for the new Parent...)

by Shawn Hetz, Ultimate Spark! Coaching Graduate & Certified Life Purpose Coach

A couple of months ago my brother and his girlfriend decided that drugs were more important and than a career and taking care of my nieces and nephews. At the time my brother had a job making $60,000 a year. His job required him to work in the Florida sun for 12 to 14-hour days.

The downfall of my brother was guaranteed. Nobody can work that long and sustain their Mental Health. Especially not a former drug user. Due to the break down in their ability to effectively parent DCF was called. It was decided that the oldest of the children need to come live with me until they got their life together.

This was not something I was ready for. I had decided I did not want children neither did my fiancé. My life was going in a positive direction. In the past year I was able to lower my A1c to 5.4, I was able to get my weight down to 260 lbs from an average of 300, I was working with a personal trainer once a week.

Now I was being asked to completely changed my life and begin taking care of a five-year-old. This put a strain on my relationship. My fiancé and I were caught in a conundrum.

Neither of us wanted to take care of her child but both my fiancé and I agreed that we had a responsibility to give this child the best life we could. The past few months it has been a struggle.

We have had to figure out how to appropriately raise a child together. It has been difficult due to the fact that my Fiance is 12 years older than me. Which puts us into different generations creating two schools of thought on how to raise children. It has taken a lot of communication and compromise.

Both of us love having my niece around. My niece has way more energy then the two of us and leaves us wishing that I could borrow some of her energy on a daily basis. We currently have her dance class which she loves. We are currently involved in the exhaustive process of finding the right school to put her in.

The most difficult part of all this is not knowing whether this is a permanent or temporary situation. You have to live as if it is a permanent situation because you are making decisions that impact the rest of her life.

but.... I now have a bond with my niece that makes it hard to fathom this being a temporary situation.

The best advice I was given was to follow the plan. Currently the plan is to reunite after with her parents.

As I finished this article NPR released an article titled “More Kids Are Getting Placed In Foster Care Because Of Parent Drug Use” “In the article it states that nearly 1.2 million children that have been placed in the foster care system between 2000 and 2017 are due to parental drug use.”

We must develop a society in which people are encouraged to take care of their mental health. I strongly believe that these breakdowns in our society are due to lower wages and increased working hours. We need to get to a point in our society where people no longer have to worry about having a roof over their head or food on the table.

As long as we continue to force individuals to work 2 and 3 jobs, these problems well continue to rise. I want to thank everyone in my life who has helped me to give my niece the best life possible!


Shawn Hetz was born with Cerebral Palsy, which presented many challenges in my life but has overcome them to great success!

He coaches individuals who want more out of life but aren’t sure how to get there. He is a straight forward but humorous individual who believes that putting yourself first and creating a work/life balance is essential to a fulfilling life. He specialize in Relaxation and Play, Life Purpose, and Relationships.


Are you seeking a Free 15 minute Coaching Session with Shawn? Email us at or send us a message on this site and we will connect you!