Maybe it was just me, but I thought after I survived the newborn phase, you know lack of sleep, overwhelmed feeling that won’t go away, I would have a few years to regroup before the teenage years when I would have that feeling again.
No? Just me? Okay, carry on. 🙂
But ever since my first was born, I feel like I’ve been on high alert. She has low muscle tone and requires physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to help overcome those challenges. If you looked at her, you likely wouldn’t even know she struggles.
Her pediatrician used to make me cry at every appointment. She was constantly making me feel inadequate for her delays and sounding the alarm every two seconds, or so it seemed. So, if I see her struggling, I tend to jump in to circumvent anyone else from ever giving me that feeling again.
When I reached out to her teacher this year because I was seeing her struggling in math, her teacher agreed to a meeting, but was surprised by my concern. She shared my girl was performing at grade-level and I had no reason to worry, but would do anything to help my sweetheart. Then I met with the assistant principal who echoed the same sentiment. Then I thanked her for her time and apologized for being an alarmist.
“I just can’t stand seeing her struggle without wondering what else can be done to give her the best chance for success,” I said.
“You’re a good mom,” she said.
I left school and got into my car and began to sob. It caught me off guard. I hadn’t been feeling emotional, but I let the tears wash down my face. When I finally collected myself so I could drive home, I realized what struck me. As parents, we are making daily decisions affecting our children’s health and development. Sometimes it can feel like you’re going to crumble under the weight of the enormous responsibility of parenthood.
What I didn’t even realize I needed to hear was so simple: I am a good mom. A mom who is getting it right more often than she’s getting it wrong. Later that evening, I told my husband how nice it was to hear those words and I hoped to be able to give another mom the same validation soon.
Today I was given the opportunity and it felt so good. Another mom friend is struggling with her all decisions regarding her pre-teen. I know without a shadow of a doubt she’s a good mom. I told her so. I hope she allows this knowledge to give her comfort and strength because she’s killing the mom game. I often look at her in awe and hope I am doing as well as she is with her kids.
If you have a chance to tell a friend they are being a good mom (or dad!), do it. They likely need the reassurance more than they know.