The Problem With Saying 'I Am Just a Mom'

I was hanging up pictures at our local library when someone asked me if I work for the school system. I said, “No, I am just a mom.” However, once those words left my lips, I realized how untrue those words are. Because since my twin boys have cerebral palsy, I will never have the opportunity to be just a mom. I will always be more than a mom.

I will be my boys’ first therapist. I will stretch and push their little bodies to the max physically, all the while hoping my efforts are not in vain.

I will be an explorer searching through the vast horizon of possibilities, looking for answers to questions that have yet to arise.

I will be a doctor that rivals the best with my knowledge of medical terminology.

I will be the navigator of a schedule that has to be seen to be truly appreciated. Every day is filled to the minute with something that needs to be done.

I will be an advocate for quality medical care and more educational resources.

I will be a warrior fighting against the word, “Can’t.”

I will be a chef of semi-decent cuisine.

I will be an athlete, pushing the chair and lifting the weight.

I will be a caretaker, feeding meals and handling bodily needs.

I will be a crusader for more compassion and acceptance.

I will be a chauffeur on the road to one of many destinations that will help my children: speech, occupational therapy, etc.

I will be a researcher of the untried and the alternative in hopes that something discovered today will benefit all tomorrow.

I will be a farmer planting seeds of hope to help other parents with children like mine.

I will be a nurse, administering medication and gauging the results.

I will be a builder of a home to fit their needs.

I will be a visionary of what will be/could be.

I will be a technology guru with a vast understanding of all forms of technology that help those with physical limitations.

I will be a teacher to others, making them aware of cerebral palsy and its effects.

I will be a mountain climber, motivating my children to stretch past their limitations and to climb to new heights.

I will be a hoarder of equipment, understanding the value of each piece and how it’s needed to make my son’s life more functional in our home.

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I will be a preacher, telling all that one’s faith, belief system, God, is powerful and able to get you through the most difficult and challenging aspects of your life.

I will be a meteorologist, trying to identify future storms in the hopes of avoiding them.

I will be a nurturer, comforting my children when they fall.

I will be a high-powered negotiator at IEP meetings.

I will be a money manager, finding ways to make the dollar stretch and having a great understanding of how insurance/government waivers work to help those with disabilities.

I will be a comedian, laughing when others would cry.

I will be a thrill seeker, searching for ways to include adventure/fun in our lives while running on coffee and adrenaline. I will live life to the fullest despite any challenge.

I will be an investor in the promises of tomorrow, while reaping the small rewards of today.

I will be a conductor orchestrating the operations of my family.

I will be a writer.

Yes, I am the CEO of this life and so much more.

So, you see, as a result of cerebral palsy, I guess I will always be more than a mom. I will not be better or worse than the typical mother. I will have the same virtues and shortcomings. Yes,  I will be the same in so many ways as others, possessing the same hopes and dreams for my children. But I am undeniably different. I guess I will be special too, just like my children.

There are times I wish I could be just a mom. But most days I love being more than a mom. Because the rewards are great. I have gained greater insights about what is important in life and what is not. I appreciate the simple things. I see value in every milestone. I see the beauty in just being. I see the power of people — how someone so small (a child with cerebral palsy) can impact my world in a positive way. I feel I’m not alone because there are many, many more-than-moms just like me. Their children are not defined by their challenges. These are moms and children who choose to supersede their circumstances.

No, I don’t work. I don’t get paid. But I have many jobs. I possess a Master’s degree in Noah (moderate-severe CP) and Ethan (mild CP). I guess this is the only way I can articulate what cerebral palsy means to me.

It makes me more than just a mom.

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