The Mighty Logo

To Those Who Think I'm a Super Mom Because I Care for a Child With a Brain Tumor

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

After my daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, everyone started commenting on how strong I am and what an amazing mother I am. Some days those compliments are encouraging, but on many other days, they just feel like a lie.

I’ve often said that whatever your hardest responsibility as a mom 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, and both times resulted in ER trips. Those ER visits were a terrifying blur for me. My heart still aches as I remember holding him while they tried to start an IV. It was the absolute hardest thing I had ever experienced. Ever.

Now when we have to go to the ER with my daughter, I come in like I own the place. I walk to the desk and tell them we need to go straight to a room because she has a compromised immune system. When the nurse comes in, I give her the specifics on my daughter’s port, the best supplies to use, how to hold it and her to get it on the first stick. I ask for toys, drinks, snacks — whatever I want. It’s as if I’m some A-list celeb who can make outrageous demands. I don’t fear the hospital anymore because it’s become a comfortable place.

I’ve taken my daughter to the operating room 12 times. I have slept on a 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’ve had to give her medicine and give her injections. I’ve been trained on how to maintain a PICC line, a port and a feeding tube. I have been covered in vomit, blood, urine, poop and cerebral spinal fluid. 

But it’s all relative.

To those who think I’m a super mom and think I’m doing something you could never do, let me give you a list of my limitations:

1. I can’t volunteer in my kid’s class.

There are too many kids. They’re very loud, someone has a runny nose and, quite frankly, I’m scared.

2. I can’t do Pinterest.

Any of it. Baking, crafting, decorating — none of it. When someone shares a Pinterest idea with me, I just shut down.

3. I can’t juggle multiple kids’ schedules.

Last summer, my son took swim lessons two days a week, and my husband had to take him because I couldn’t 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!

4. I can’t plan a birthday party. 

My son turns 5 on 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.

5. I can’t clean my house.

I’m a stay-at-home mom whose house looks like a bachelor lives here. I wish it wasn’t so messy. I just don’t know how to do it. Seriously, I just move the mess from one room to another or sometimes from one counter to another.

6. I can’t 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 have play dates, but I need someone else to plan it.

We all have things we don’t think we could ever do. Often, we just hang up on those things and forget all the awesome things we can do.

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 sings “The Hot Dog Dance,” I salute you, Super Mom!

And, to all the moms who are surviving this thing called motherhood, I salute you, Super Moms!

Follow this journey on Hope TIL There’s a Cure.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing you want to make sure the special needs mom in your life knows? *If you are the special needs mom, challenge a loved one to respond to this! If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: May 11, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home