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My Confession as a Special Needs Mom to the 'Typical' Moms

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I see you, Mom. You and your child. I see you, and I think to myself how beautiful you both are. I wonder if you even know it. I doubt it. You probably think you’re the worst mom in the world most days, but I see you as perfection. And that little one is just gorgeous. I see you both at the grocery store, at the park, at the mall, online. I see you and I can’t help it — I feel jealous. I know we all have our struggles and no one’s life is perfect, but…

Every time I see you on an outing with your diaper bag full of lots of things, and not one of them is a stethoscope… I get jealous.

I see your faces in pictures with sweet smiles and everyone’s lips are this perfect shade of pink, not purple… and I get jealous.

I see you put your little ones down for naps or bedtime whenever they get tired and never trying to stave off sleep because there are medicines to give… and I get jealous.

I see you at the pool wearing swimsuits with little chests that don’t have the scars of surgeries and chest tubes… and I get jealous.

I hear you planning family vacations without a word about plotting all the hospitals on the route… and I get jealous.

I hear about little scares where there was a thought that something might be wrong, but it turns out it was nothing at all… and I get jealous.

I don’t want to feel that way at all because I know. I know your life has struggles and challenges I could never understand. I know that just because there are pink lips and no scars that there are other things I cannot possibly see. I know you are dear to me, and you deserve nothing but my joy and celebration at your successes. Please know I feel the joy too.

And please don’t misunderstand. I am jealous, but that feeling is pretty fleeting. I’d be lying if I told you I wanted to trade places with you. The things that have happened to my daughter are bittersweet, but I truly believe we are the sum of all our experiences. Every moment we experience is a variable that, combined together, make us who we are, and I simply couldn’t imagine a more beautiful equation than my daughter and the life we lead. But sometimes when I see you, Mom, I wish… 

Nap time could be whenever she falls asleep.

Smiles were complimented by perfectly pink lips.

Vacations didn’t depend on hospitals.

Chests didn’t have zippers.

And my diaper bag would just have diapers.

… But only for a moment.

Another Mom trying to do her best

The Mighty is asking the following: Write a letter to anyone you wish had a better understanding of your experience with disability and/or disease. 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 Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: September 30, 2015
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