The 3 Words Moms Needs to Hear If They Feel Like They’re Not Doing Enough

Dear Mom,

I see you as your thoughts drift back to the unvacuumed home, the overflowing laundry basket and the unmowed lawn while the faint redness in your eyes and the slight puff beneath them reveal the lost sleep while tending to BiPAP machines, feeding tubes and a child who starts his day at 3 a.m.

But as sure as “ABC Kids” starts at 5 a.m., the dust will blow back in, the clothes will get messy again and the lawn will keep growing. Those chores aren’t a measure of your worth. No, that beautiful measure is in your arms, perhaps beside you in their chair, loving you and trusting you.

You’re doing enough.

Dear Mom,

I feel the tinge of guilt every time you drop your kids off at child care. For a moment, you feel relief knowing for the next few hours you aren’t a mother, therapist, neurosurgeon, psychiatrist, neurologist and pediatrician. You think to yourself: Perhaps I shouldn’t have gone back to work? Will my child be properly included? Does the staff understand the new sign he makes when he needs to go to the bathroom? I don’t think I did a thorough enough handover with them this morning.

You’re doing enough.

Dear Mom,

I see how you wholeheartedly celebrate every glorious milestone of all your friends’ children while deep down inside you try to contain your gnawing doubt about the therapy you have chosen or the amount of therapy you’re doing at home.

Today wasn’t a good day, I was grumpy and exhausted. Tomorrow we’ll do more kneeling at the couch, and I’ll model more words on his iPad. Perhaps tomorrow won’t be a day for therapy. Perhaps tomorrow is a day for cuddles or for playing on the swing. Your child can see your love and knows your strength.

You’re doing enough.

Dear Mom,

I hear you artfully question your therapists and doctors, hoping someone will tell you the magic number and combination of therapies that will ensure you’re doing everything possible to give your child the opportunity they deserve to reach their potential.

Are weekly and fortnightly sessions enough? Should it actually be twice a week? What if we joined a weekend group? I know you listen as they tell you you’re doing a wonderful job and you allow yourself to feel a moment’s pride until that little seed lodges itself back in your mind and you feel no one will give you a straight answer. How much is enough? How much is too much? And, terrifyingly, what if I’m doing too little?

You’re doing enough.

Dear Mom,

I see the pain as you watch friendships you care for go untended as your diary fills with appointments, clinics and therapy sessions. Do they know just how busy I really am? Will they forgive me for cancelling again? Will they still be there when I come out of this haze of learning to understand and accept? Will I ever come out of this haze?

I see you reading late into the night as you fill yourself with knowledge that will empower you and strengthen you. I see you as you build up a virtual network of people to walk with you on this journey and sit beside you when you’re down. Your friends understand. And yes, the haze does lift. You’re doing enough.

You love, you cry, you fight, you advocate, you encourage, you question, you listen, you learn, you nurture, you know.

You do enough.

Follow this journey on Give the Boy a Chance.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one unexpected source of comfort when it comes to your (or a loved one’s) disability and/or disease? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our “Share Your Story” page for more about our submission guidelines.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Other

18 Truths People Who Use Feeding Tubes Wish Others Understood

People who use feeding tubes, or who help a loved one use a feeding tube, are used to the stares. They’re not eating “normally” and sometimes, that makes others uncomfortable. It’s time for that to change. The Mighty asked its Facebook audience to describe one thing they wish others understood about their or a loved [...]

When My Mom Asks ‘Why, God?’ About My Child With Special Needs

The other day my mom told me about an interaction she’d had the night before with a friend at church. This friend, who knows about my daughter, Julia, was telling my mom about another woman she knew who had a son with special needs and about how difficult life had been for this woman because [...]

When My Son Asks, 'Mommy, Why Did God Make Me This Way?'

It’s the question no parent is prepared to answer: “Mommy, why did God make me this way?” This has been the year of frustration and the year of “Why?” questions. “Why was I the one born in the family with medical problems? Why do I have to be in the hospital? Why did God choose me?” Why? Why? Why? To him, life sometimes [...]

This Sex Party Is About So Much More Than Sex

The hottest party of the summer is about to change the conversation around sex and disability. “Deliciously Disabled” is a masquerade ball and sex positive party for people with and without disabilities ages 19 and over. It’s set to take place on August 14 at the Oasis Aqualounge in Toronto. News outlets have referred to the party as an “accessible orgy,” [...]