Several times over the past few days, people have told me what a good mother I am. At the hospital, the ER doc told me I was a good mom just moments after she entered the room. (She actually said it was so refreshing to talk to someone who was able to give such a complete and detailed history.) Then, up on the floor, the nurse who did Gracie’s admission also told me I’m a good mom. She had been talking to me for just a few minutes when it happened. Then, last night at the urgent care, the EMT who was helping me told me I was a good mom—Gracie wasn’t even there and he still said it. And today, after spending 45 minutes on the phone with Anthem, trying to get Gracie’s wound care supplies approved, the supervisor with whom I was speaking told me I was an awesome mother. (I have a feeling she was a mother, too, and was wishing she could have just given us the wound care supplies right there over the phone.)
How do these people know what kind of mom I am? They don’t even know me, and some of them don’t know Grace either. What is it that makes them think I’m a good mother?
I certainly don’t feel like I’m any different than any of the other moms I regularly encounter. I love my kids ferociously. I would do anything for them, and will be there for them for the rest of my life. True, some of the things we go through with Gracie are different than what many people encounter. But being willing to go through those times doesn’t make me any different than any other mother—any mother would be there for her child and do whatever is needed to help her child thrive. Any good mother, at least, and most mothers are good mothers. Most of the mothers I encounter would do anything for any of their kids.
Some of the times we have with Gracie are enormously stressful. Sometimes, she goes from basically fine to needing hospitalization within minutes. Sometimes, it’s all we can do to get through the moment. Sometimes, she is experiencing such horrible illnesses we worry she won’t get through them. Those are scary times.
Some of the times we have with Jackson can be stressful, too. It’s a different kind of stressful; with him, most of my worries are for his future. I worry that he is so sensitive that his sweet soul will break before he reaches adulthood. I worry that his anger will overtake the goodness in him. These are not immediate, life-threatening worries, but they too can be stressful.
Some of the times for every parent, it can be stressful. Kids know how to push buttons, and know to push them at the worst possible times. Kids push us to our breaking points, then do something cute and totally melt our hearts. It’s a tough gig, this parenting thing.
Getting through the tough times must be what makes us good parents. And I suppose people recognize that we go through many tough times—we go through things that many parents do not. I know the hospital folks got a glimpse of exactly how much time we spend on wound care each day (spoiler alert: it’s A LOT). Maybe that makes me a good mom. Maybe having gone through all these very stressful times makes me a good mom. Or maybe, maybe just loving the heck out of my kid makes me a good mom.
Celebrating all the moms who love the heck out of their kids, today and every day. Happy Mother’s Day.