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To the Special Needs Moms Who Question Themselves

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To you, the mom sitting in the waiting room at a therapy clinic. You barely made it there on time today.

While you used every resource you know to make your child feel better, nothing worked today. You’re sitting patiently in an overcrowded waiting area that’s filled with other moms just like you, but in many ways, they’re not. You still can’t help but feel you don’t belong there. When it appears all the other special needs moms have it all together, you’re wondering why you don’t.

To you, the mom sitting in the waiting room of your child’s doctor’s office. You’re waiting on your child’s latest test results. You’ve done this a hundred times before, but your stomach is still in knots. Your hands are fidgety. This never gets easier. You’re scared and you feel alone. Your eyes scan the room as you admire the other moms who are calm, reading books to their children.

You suddenly feel guilty. I should be reading, too, you scold yourself. Then it happens. The nurse at the door calls your name. It’s your turn. You panic because you’re not ready to hear the news. You swallow the lump in your throat with your child in hand and walk through the door. You begin to wonder what’s wrong with you.

To you, the mom who placed her child with special needs in a sports program. Your continual lip biting has left you with permanent indentions on your lips. Your nails are down to nothing from you chewing on them.

Your emotions jump back and forth on whether you made the right decision is echoing in your mind. Your stomach feels as though you wolfed down a chili cheese dog before entering the roller coaster.

You sit, watch and pray through every game. Please, you think, don’t let anyone hurt my child’s feelings. Please don’t let her get hurt. You wonder if the other parents are judging you and your child. Although you’re tormented by your own fears and uncertainty, you smile and high-five your child. But nonetheless, you drive home exhausted from the whirlwind of emotions you just went through. Yet again, you wonder what’s wrong with you.

To you, the mom who just walked into her child’s school for the fifth meeting of the school year. You know everything you need to know about your child, but you constantly have to explain things to a room full of educators. Your words become winded as you talk. Your eyes blink back tears because you refuse to let them see you cry. They push their ideas on you. You push back, too. Their words become final as you realize you’re losing ground. Just like that, you’re no match compared to them. You drive home feeling defeated. Your head is buried in the steering wheel as you sit in your driveway and cry uncontrollably. How did I let this happen?, you think to yourself, as you wonder what’s wrong with you.

Time and time again, we question ourselves and struggle with our own decisions. We’re constantly criticizing ourselves. Is there something wrong with wanting the best for your child? I say most certainly not.

Is there something wrong with you because you worry endlessly? No, it’s because you love them. Are you abnormal because you feel isolated, tired and scared? No, you feel all of that, and no one blames you.

Are you judged because some days you don’t have any of the right answers? Nope, no one does. No mom in the world, I promise you.

To you, the mom who deserves a thousand praises for loving and fighting for their child endlessly.

To you, the mom whose fears never shadow their courage to try.

To you, the mom who’s doing everything right and doesn’t even know it.

You’re not alone — I see you.

I am that mom, too.

The Mighty is asking the following: What is a part of your or a loved one’s disease, disability or mental illness that no one is aware of? Why is it time to start talking about it? If you’d like to participate, please check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: July 1, 2016
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