Dear Type-A Momma,
I was flipping through a magazine the other day and saw this:
I thought of you.
I thought of you because, at one point, I was sure I was going to be you.
Before there were feeding tubes, seizures, wheelchairs, IEP’s, and therapy appointments- there was a woman who had all of the same desires for her family as you do.
Like all “good” moms, I envisioned breast feeding for a year, moving on to homemade baby food, organic perfectly-portioned meals and snacks, and then- when it was time to pack a lunch- I would lovingly and intricately carve out some semblance of an art project of a sandwich (all hormone-free of course)- with a sweet note to boot.
This was love, right?
When my daughters are dropped off at school next week-in their wheelchairs- this is what I will pack. As seizures continue to be complicated and illness is always a danger, our greatest hope is that they will simply be able to attend throughout the year without having to reevaluate whether or not they are healthy enough to do so.
Let that sink in for a bit.
I want to pose a simple question to you:
Is the first picture any more loving than the second?
When I became a mom to twins who have special needs, I had to reevaluate all the things that I considered as being a “good momma” before- because my version of being momma was going to look quite different. It is a sheer miracle that our girls were able to breastfeed for over half a year- a miracle I never take for granted. After trying to force our girls to swallow down the homemade foods that I had so carefully made, and after a couple poor swallow studies, I had to change my thinking about nutrition altogether. We found a handful of foods that the girls continue to be able to eat safely, and now, I’m simply grateful that they are able to keep nutrients in their body- the feeding tube being their main source of energy.
Frankly, I’m just overjoyed to be spending another day with them.
Does this make me a bad mom?
To me, you would quickly spout out, “Of course not!”
But what about to you?
When you have to redirect the dreams you had for motherhood because what God had planned simply looks differently than what you envisioned- can you be okay with that? Is it okay to merely be excited to just be present with your kiddos and have them here- nothing else added?
You see, fancy cut-out sandwiches and well-rounded extra-curricular activities and monogrammed outfits each day do not make you a good momma. Being the mother God intended you to be means you look to Him to determine which path He wants your little one to take. It means you accept where he/she is today without having to micromanage the future. It means spending quality time and hugs and loving- which may mean their lunch involves a pre-packaged lunchable from time to time- and that’s more than okay!
Momma- I see you because I was going to be you- and frankly, I like this version of me much better.
So in the coming weeks, as you begin to find yourself tempted to compare to the other parents around you; or as you see yourself not measuring up to some version of you that you have made up in your very own head, I want you to take a deep breath in and remember our family.
You are not called to be “that mom”. You are called to be YOU- the mom of the child/children God has graciously equipped you to parent in the specific ways that are best for them- no space sandwich or star cheese required.
And momma- you are doing a great job.