To the mom of the preemie in the NICU. The one who comes in to the hospital every morning, praying with every fiber of her being that this morning will bring good news. That one wire, tube, or monitor will be removed today from her tiny baby’s body. The mom who sits rocking next to the Isolette reading and talking to her tiny one, because maybe, just maybe, she’ll be able to hold them for 5 minutes, or change one diaper. That maybe she’ll get to rub their little arm or leg – but only briefly so they don’t get overstimulated and forget to breathe. And the mom who wants to be next to her baby for every second but can’t because she has another child at home to take care of. Perhaps she has no way to get to see her baby because she hasn’t been cleared to drive yet after her c-section and all her friends and family are working. To this new mommy, I see you.
To the mom who is home with the newborn who is frazzled and exhausted. To the one who has to feed her baby who needs to eat every 3 hours but it takes an hour to feed them so she never gets to sleep. She can’t remember the last time she showered, and can’t bring herself to care. To this mom, I see you.
To the mom who thought that after the first few weeks or months, things would get easier, you’d get to sleep but it hasn’t turned out that way. Her baby didn’t get the memo. They. Just. Never. Sleep. And when the stars align and they finally do sleep, it’s always during the day when your other child or children need attention. When you have a moment to look around, you realize that the house looks like a tornado has gone through your home, dirty dishes are piled on everything counter, and you can’t remember when you last did laundry. To this mom, I see you.
To the toddler mom, who has said, “NO!” No less than 500,000 times this morning alone. Who has raised her voice, again, even though she promised herself she wouldn’t. The mom who feel like she has the only child who still won’t sleep much at all. The mom who can never visit with relatives or friends on the rare times she does get out because she needs to follow her child around, like their shadow, to make sure they don’t run away, or break things, or hurt other children. To this mom, I see you.
To the elementary school mom, who can’t even remember what a solid 8 hours, or 6 hours, or sometimes even 4 hours of sleep feels like. The mom who dreads going to yet another IEP meeting to hear about all the things her child cannot do. The mom who has to fight tooth and nail for the things her child needs to be successful. To the mom who is on a first name basis with the principal. Who hears from that person so often, if a week goes by with radio silence, she calls to see if they are OK. To this mom, I see you.
To the high school mom, who has to continue all the things she’s always done, and also make sure to monitor mornings so everyone goes to school dressed, fed, with clean teeth and deodorized. The mom who needs to check her child’s phone and computer to make sure things are appropriate. The mom who needs to keep close eye on grades and missing assignments. The mom who is activities director, head appointment scheduler, and chauffeur to all. To the mom who needs to learn all about guardianship as her child nears 18. To this mom, I see you.
To the post high school mom, who needs to find a future path, when her child’s future looks anything but ordinary. The mom who needs to find a school, job, or program to fit their child’s needs after graduation so that her child can live a happy and fulfilled social and work life. The mom who will never have an “empty nest”. The mom who’s retirement and elderly years will likely be very different than most. To this mom, I see you
To all these moms, and all the moms who are deep in the trenches of parenthood. To all these mom’s who get up every day determined to be positive and continue to fight for the needs of her child. To the mom who feels beaten down, exhausted, stressed and depressed. To these moms, I see you. I am you.
What you do is vitally important. You are appreciated, you are valued. You are loved. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, you are seen. You are strong, you are mighty!! You can do whatever it takes for your child. When it feels like no one else does, I see you.