You're Still a Good Mom

 I have a friend whose child has special needs.  One of my children has some special needs as well.  She and I were talking the other day, as we sometimes do, about our children.  The great thing about someone like this is that things can be short-handed.  We can share our frustrations and triumphs and know that the other person just gets it in a way that would need to be explained to anyone else.

"I have to tell you something," I said.  "I haven't taken my kiddo to the dentist yet."  This is a great shame of mine but one born from survival.  We have had so many issues to deal with.  Things have been so very overwhelming for such a very long time.  We have been taking baby steps for years, and those baby steps have been working.  This one thing, however, has remained one thing to many for some reason.

My friend paused and looked me in the eye.  "That's okay.  You're still a good mom," she said calmly.

Tears sprang into my eyes.  I hadn't known I needed to hear that.  I think many moms are plagued with the question of whether what we do is enough and whether it is good enough.  When you have a child with special needs, that can be an even bigger question.  There is always one more therapy you might pursue, one more special diet or supplement that might help.  There are medications and exercises and summer schools and friendships to navigate.  There always seems to be one more thing that could be tried.

Yet here was my friend, knowing all of those things, and reassuring me I was still a good mom anyway.  Even if I sometimes fall short of doing absolutely every possible thing that can be done, I can still be a good mom.

Moms and Dads, if you're reading this, I want you to know the same thing.  This pandemic has hit us all hard.  We have all had to balance things we never had to balance before, some of us while facing more challenges than others.  Things have been off kilter for a long time now here on planet Earth.  Perhaps one day the kids just skipped school because none of you could do it that day.  Maybe grades have slipped.  Maybe your quality of work or housekeeping has slipped.  Maybe one night you just said, "FORGET IT", and let everyone eat ice cream for dinner.  Maybe you have lost your patience and shouted more than you wanted to.  Maybe, if you're like me, just about all of the above has happened.  I'm here to tell you this:

You're still a good parent.


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