Moms have it rough. Dads, too. But I can only speak from the mom POV. You don’t understand your mom until you are one—what it is to love someone so much and be so helpless when your kids are suffering. Love so strong you would gladly take their pain in trade. When children are small you can take them to doctors. You can put on Band-Aids. You can help them with homework. But when big problems happen, the things that Band-Aids and math flash cards won’t fix, we are left abandoned with emotions almost too hard to bear–especially when the world around us judges our momabilities from a point of view of complete and utter misunderstanding. You must stuff your emotions deep where the world can’t see them and courageously wear them only as scars on your heart.
- What do you do when your child spends the first seven years of school either under a desk or banished to the corner of the classroom?
- What do you do when your middle schooler spends three years paralyzed by OCD and can’t participate in any of the activities he used to love?
- What do you do when your child tells you he doesn’t think he’ll live past 14?
- Or when your kids are wrongly accused and punished for actions they DIDN’T take?
- Or when they are punished and ostracized for actions they DID take?
- Or when your child is so mad at the world that he is mad at you —the person who probably loves him the most?
- Or when your kid’s lifelong dream of military service is crushed by injury?
You worry. You treat. You advocate. You helplessly advise. You seek help. You cry. You cry. You cry.
- And what do you do when years later your son hands you a fluffy stuffed sheep, for no particular occasion, and tells you he thought of you when he saw it?
- Or when your child profusely thanks you for grilling pork chops after a long work shift?
You cry. You cry. You cry. And you rip the Band-Aid off your heart and see that the scar doesn’t look quite as bad as it once did.
Your kids only know the childhood they lived through. They don’t compare it to the one in their mom’s dreams —the one where they were high-fived by a soccer team, or had a best friend, or went to camp like other kids. They only know their childhood. The one you held their hands through and made the best of. It’s the only one they’ve experienced. And they only know their mom, for better or worse, the only one they ever had.