Hey Momma, I know you just got a diagnosis. You are wading through paperwork and trying to discern what you need to do RIGHT NOW. I know that you are pouring your entire self into the diagnosis, your child and how to help them. You are up, with the light on into the wee hours of the morning reading studies, joining support groups and identifying ways that you might be able to help your child. I was there but I want to tell you to slow down, maybe even stop for a moment.
This is no sprint. Its not a marathon. This is an IRON MAN and Momma, you are in it for the long haul and you are strong.
Us Momma’s,we all have different paths on this journey. I don’t know which way your path will curve or if there will be medical complexities, if you have support of a spouse or if, like me, you are a Momma with a big family. No matter what I want to tell you something important.
I want you first, to breathe. Put on YOUR oxygen mask first. Sit down and remind yourself what makes you happy. Hold on to that. Cherish it. Then, if you are married, focus on that marriage. The coming months and years will be rocky. You will be faced with challenges most marriages aren’t and Momma, these challenges may almost break you or you and your significant other. It did us. I won’t lie. It was hard but we didn’t want to be a statistic. We made that choice and today, we still have to work on it because this journey is easier when you aren’t alone.
Momma, I also want you need to take the time for your other kids. Your little one, the one who has been diagnosed is going to need you but your other children, they still need you too. Maybe even more. Their world has been rocked too and while maybe their lives didn’t change that much, that diagnosis is weighing on their little hearts.
I’m not trying to break you down, not trying to shatter your spirit. I know you have high hopes. Heck, in our first year, I dreamed of being one of those Headline Stories that you see on TV or read about in the paper, about how determination, therapy and support gave my child her best chance and now she’s Prom Queen or going to college or maybe even becoming a Lawyer or Advocate. I’m not. I won’t say my daughter will never be, but today she is not and while I was driving myself with desire and determination to “fix” our journey, I lost sight of who she was and who she was teaching me to be.
Momma, as you enter this journey, there is no right. There is only right for you but while you are buried, I want you to remember to come up for air, to put on your oxygen mask first and to remember you and your family are more than this diagnosis.