I currently have two friends spending time in the hospital with their littles, and three people tell me that they have been in the hospital for febrile seizures in as many days. My heart aches for each of these mamas. And while I cannot promise them that everything will be alright, I want nothing more than to encourage their hearts.
Today is hard.
Tonight will be harder.
By tomorrow…oh tomorrow…your bones will ache from the weight of carrying these worries.
The exhaustion of these days and hours will be unlike even the earliest newborn days. If you didn’t drink coffee before, you will now.
Sterile walls close in on you so easily. Beeping machines will drive you to the brink. And the good-natured souls who are caring for your family will feel obtrusive. Really? Blood pressure check? Again?!
Rest assured that many Mamas have walked in these uncomfortable shoes, and they will gladly hold you up when you need it. It’s a ragamuffin society of weary moms…who know your hurts. Your fear. Your anger. Please don’t ever feel alone. I promise you that while your specific circumstances may be different…the feelings are the same.
These days are hard. Haaaaard.
Even if you get to go home soon and it was all just a great big scare…it will be hard. Even if this is the 76th time you’ve been here and people think you should just be used to it by now…it will be hard.
But friend, I want to encourage you today. I want you to rise up and be strong. Stronger than you’ve ever been. Stronger than you’ll likely ever need to be.
I’ve learned a lot about being a mom in five short years. And one of them is this: Your kids need to believe that you will fight for them…and more importantly, that you just might win.
Your baby, your toddler, your teenager…need to believe that ‘it’s okay…Mommy’s here’. Because Mommy will stick up for me. Mommy will help. Mommy is here.
Your children need to believe that they can root for you. That they can cheer and whoop and holler for Team Mom. That Mom has a fighting chance. That Mom won’t always win, but dammit, she’s trying.
That Mom will do whatever it takes to get the answers, the tests, the sign offs…the cherry jell-o instead of the yucky orange. And maybe Mom doesn’t always win…but she just might. They need to be confident in you. Confident not that you will make it all better or get the clearances or take the hurt away…but confident that you will not wilt. Confident that they can trust you to fight. Confident that you will keep on keeping on. For them. And even if you don’t “win”…they won’t mind because they know you tried. Tried with every fiber of your being.
This is not about feeling pressured to always do the right thing, say the right words, or even ask the right questions…this is about your baby (whether 3 months or 33 years) being 100% confident that ‘Mommy’s here’.
This is about standing tall, taking a deep breath, and through your hurt and pain and tears advocating for your child.
This is about pushing through all of the anger and exhaustion and fear and letting the Mama Bear roar if she needs to.
This is about comforting and rocking and shushing in little ears that it’s okay…Mommy’s here. At two in the morning. With tubes attached and wires running and monitors beeping.
You can do this. You can do it with grace. You will do it beautifully. I know you will.
You may need help lifting a bag of dog food.
You might need someone to get a bowl from the top shelf in the cupboard.
But hidden behind your skirts is safety found nowhere else.
It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be mad.
But be fierce, my friend.
Love your little one.
This is what being a Mom is all about.
Right here. In this moment.
It isn’t about the Little League games, or the perfect nursery, or empty laundry baskets, or college scholarships.
It’s about shining for your baby when they need it the most.
Shine on, Sister.