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I Was 'That Mom'

Editor's Note

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

I was that mom.

I was the mom who noticed something wasn’t quite right, the mom who stayed up late and Googled and read, the mom who grew weary as I watched my child fade. The mom who brushed off each symptom at first, the mom who reasoned it away with the logic of other’s voices in my head … “It’s just stress, he’s anxious, you coddle her too much, he’ll grow out of it, she needs to just suck it up …”

I was that mom.

The mom who mentioned it to the pediatrician who ordered bloodwork just to appease me.

I was that mom.

The mom who knew there was something else, the mom who just knew, but couldn’t explain. The mom who went to bed worried and sometimes woke in a panic knowing something just wasn’t right.

I was that mom.

The mom who went to the ED, the mom who demanded that someone listen, just to be sent home with eye rolls and a disapproving glance … but no answers.

I was that mom.

The mom who drove to specialists just to be told every thing is normal, the mom who was accused of exploitation, and doctor shopping and wanting my kids to be sick. The mom who fought with doctors and teachers and school administrators, the mom who was told “you just aren’t doing it right. “

I was that mom.

The mom who would stay up all night with my child, while she cried in pain, the mom who talked her child off the precipice of a depressive cliff, begging her to keep going, promising her it would be alright. The mom who watched her children’s dreams of playing soccer and football and volleyball and horse back riding be swallowed up by their faulty immune systems, by their genetics, by pain and fatigue.

I was that mom.

The mom who watched helpless as they failed classes, and lost faith in themselves, the mom who watched her daughter cut herself, her beautiful perfect skin torn with the fear that she would always be in pain, always be hopeless and never quite be able to love her body.

I was that mom.

The mom who cries in the shower, and screams in the car begging for it to be me instead. The mom who is sometimes brought to her knees praying that someone will just listen or find an answer.

I was that mom.

I am that mom.

I will always be that mom.

The mom who won’t stop, the mom who will never give up. The mom who loves her children with everything she has and everything she is.

I am that mom.

The mom who fought the system, who educated herself despite the noise.

I am that mom.

The mom who teaches her children to advocate and fight, to trust their gut and their mind, who teaches them to ignore the noise, that’s it’s OK to be different, to have to do things another way, it’s okay to not have straight A’s or to finish high school in four years, it’s OK to not be a star athlete or fit into the box of perfection that society has shoved children into for years.

I am that mom.

Who loves unconditionally, who teaches empathy and understanding, who will not stop until her children believe, just as I have always known how special and amazing and unique they are.

I am so grateful I am that mom.

And if you are also that mom, you are not alone. Keep going, you are so strong.

And if you know that mom, support them, be their ally, and if you don’t know what to say, just be there to listen and to believe.

The funny thing is we never know we are that mom until we are not given a choice and then thank God that for our children, we are that mom.

Photo credit: Nomadsoul1/Getty Images

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