I hear, “Wow, you’re amazing! I can’t imagine taking care of one child—let alone three—if I couldn’t see!”
To which I say with a smile, “No. I’m just a mom.”
I’m just a mom who happens to be blind. I’m just a mom who got to know each of my children as newborns in the ways most parents do. I learned their personalities—what made them smile and laugh, what made them cry, what could soothe them, and what made them afraid. I’m just a mom who learned that just when I had one stage of development figured out, a new stage would come along and the process of discovery, of trial and error, would begin all over! I’m just a mom who learned how difficult it can be to meet the needs of three screaming children, but who has gotten to experience the joys of these same children playing together, looking out for each other, and interacting with our family. I’m just a mom who feels so much pride in my children’s accomplishments, and who feels the frustration only a parent can feel when I have to give a direction, or say the same thing over and over again, and my child STILL makes a choice I wish she wouldn’t! I’m just a mom who loves to have conversations with my children, and who is amazed everyday with all that they know, think, and feel. I’m just a mom who reads to my kids, helps them with homework, plays games with them, and takes them places. I’m just a mom who attends events at their school, communicates regularly with their teachers, and has even managed two Destination Imagination teams. I’m just a mom—the chef, maid, doctor, counselor, interpreter, and finder of lost things. I’m just a mom who gets tired and grumpy at the end of the day, and sometimes is not as patient as I would like to be, particularly at bedtime. I’m just a mom who sometimes finds it difficult to be cheerful in the morning, but who has learned that if I fake being a morning person, it will mean a better start to the day for all. I’m just a mom who struggles with knowing when loving my children means I should hold on to them tighter, and when it means I need to give them more freedom and let them try their wings. I’m just a mom who tries to enjoy my children every day and who cannot believe how fast time goes—how much they grow up in even a few short years.
In short I’m just a mom like you. I have days when I feel like supermom. I have days when all I want to do is pull the covers over my head or get a do over. I have times when I know what I am doing for my kids is right, even if it is not easy. I have times when I feel as if nothing I am doing is right, and I have to remind myself that parenting is not for the faint of heart.
And so I say, to all the moms out there, you are amazing—we are all amazing! We are doing the hardest and most rewarding job every day. We are just moms! Thank you for your hard work and sacrifices. Thank you for the support you give your children and the support you give to other moms. Thank you for your sense of humor, your inventiveness, and your patience. Thank you for all of the lessons you teach your children, the consequences you enforce when they disobey, and the safe place you give them to land when things get hard. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for being a part of the village that helps to raise your children’s friends and classmates. Thank you for your love. We all have our differences. We all have our challenges. But still, at the end of the day, we are just moms, and we are all amazing.