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Finding My Sense of Self While Parenting a Child With a Chronic Medical Condition

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I am a woman.

I am a body that created a human and fed that child in the first months of his life.

I am a wife.

I am deeply grateful for the most amazing partnership with my husband.

I am a mother.

I am proud of myself for creating, birthing and raising this beautiful child.

I am hard on myself for not doing things perfectly.

I am a mother to a baby with special medical needs.

I am sad that my first year as a mom was marked with so much confusion, heartache, and tears.

I am so grateful for my son for teaching me patience and a depth of love I never knew existed.

I am a daughter.

I am more sensitive to my parents’ feelings after becoming a parent myself.

I am a friend.

I am often feeling guilty about not being a better friend.

I am a physical therapist.

I am a better physical therapist because of my experiences as a mother.
I am a worse physical therapist because I am so damn sleep deprived.

I am a multitude of roles that make me me and that define me as a person, but I am not the sum of all my parts. Sometimes I am more. Sometimes I am less.

At times I am lost. At times I am tired. At times I am helpless. At times I feel that I fall short in my roles as mother, wife, physical therapist, daughter and more.

mom and young son at the pool
Amy and her son

But other times I can look in the mirror and know I am the best version of myself at that moment. I am not currently competing in triathlons because I am busy running an ultra marathon of medical diagnoses, doctors appointments, medicines, fights with insurance, breast pumping, dishes, more dishes and even more dishes. I did not go in to work today because my son needed to go to the ER instead. I am not able to attend social events and dinners with friends because of my son’s medical needs at night. I hope my body and professional and personal relationships stay strong through this time. But at the end of the day, I am my son’s mommy, and I am my best version of myself because I am available to him.

I am vulnerable by sharing my feelings.

I am empowered by sharing my feelings.

I am growing and evolving, ever-changing because of my experiences.

I am at the core the same person I have always been.

I am.

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? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: June 17, 2016
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