Once my child was diagnosed, everyone started commenting on how strong I am and what an amazing mother I am. Some days those compliments are encouraging but many others, they just feel like a lie.
I have often said that whatever your hardest mom thing is, it's still valid and it's still really hard. My hardest days might look harder to you but in reality, we all experience things on a relative scale to what we already know.
Before my daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she had only had well child visits at the doctor. However, my son had pneumonia twice when he was about a year and a half old and both times resulted in ER trips. Those ER visits were a terrifying blur for me. Remembering holding him while they tried to start an IV, my heart still aches. It was the absolute hardest thing I had ever experienced. Ever.
Now, with my daughter, when we have to go to the ER, I take a shower before, pack a snack, and come in like I own the place. I walk to the desk and tell them that we need to go straight back to a room because she has a compromised immune system. When the nurse comes in, I give her the specifics on her port, the best supplies to use, and how to hold it and her to get it on the first stick. I ask for toys, drinks, snacks, whatever I want, as though I'm some A list celeb that can make crazy demands. I don't fear the hospital anymore because it's become a comfortable place.
I have taken my daughter to the operating room 12 times. I have slept on the blue vinyl pullout couch/bed more nights than I care to remember. I have held my daughter while someone put stitches in and when someone took them out. I have had to give her medicine and give her injections. I have been trained on how to maintain a PICC line, a port, and a feeding tube. I have been covered in vomit, blood, urine, poop, stomach contents, and cerebral spinal fluid.
But, it's all relative.
To those who think I'm super mom, to those who think I'm doing something you could never do, let me give you my list of limitations.
I cannot volunteer in my kid's class. There are too many kids, they are very loud, someone has a runny nose, and quite frankly, I'm scared.
I cannot do Pinterest. Any of it. Baking, crafting, decorating, none of it. When someone shares a Pinterest idea with me, I just shut down.
I cannot juggle multiple kids' schedules. Last summer my son took swim lessons 2 days a week and my husband had to take him because I could not remember that on top of my daughter's busy schedule. I don't know what I will do if they both decide to become active!
I cannot plan a birthday party. My son turns 5 Monday and his party is tomorrow. I verbally invited a few people this week and today I gathered some generic party stuff. Know what the theme is? Birthday party.
I cannot clean my house. I'm a stay at home mom who's house looks like a bachelor lives here.. I wish it wasn't so messy. I just don't know how to do it. Seriously, to clean, I just move the mess from one room to the other, or sometimes, from one counter to another.
I cannot make plans. I would love to have people over (the kind of people who overlook my messy house) but I just never invite them. I would love to have a girl's night out but I never think to plan one. I would love to do play dates, I just need someone else to plan it.
We all have the things that we just don't think we could ever do. Often, we just hang up on those things and we forget all the awesome things we can do. Come on ladies, we birthed these people! (Or adopted them, in which case you jumped through some crazy hoops and just getting fat for 9 months probably looks easy!) You keep them alive, daily! Some days, you don't think you will survive, and then you do. You survive so that you can do another unsurvivable day the very next day!
So, to the mom who has medically fragile kids, I salute you, Super Mom!
To the mom who is the Room Mom, I salute you, Super Mom!
To the mom who has more kids than hands, I salute you, Super Mom!
To the mom who has lost a child, I salute you, Super Mom!
To the mom who is still in pajamas, I salute you, Super Mom!
To the mom who reads "Hot dog, Hot dog, Hot diggity dog" and sings it, I salute you, Super Mom!
And, to all the moms who are surviving this thing called motherhood, I salute you, Super Moms!