Kathy is the mom of four lively boys and one angel in heaven. When she is not busy wiping boy stuff off walls, she blogs on kissing the frog about what life is really like after all your dreams come true, including infertility, depression, and the loss of a child to cancer. Her writing has been featured on Huffington Post Parents and Mamalode.
You can follow Kathy on Twitter and Facebook and of course read her journey at Kissing the Frog.
The Moms Club
When I became a mom, there were so many “clubs” I was eager to join: the stay-at-home-moms, the Gymboree class moms, the school volunteer moms, the moms-who-lunch.
Being one of the cancer moms was never on my radar.
After all, who expects to hear, “Bad news, it’s a tumor,” from the ER doctor after you’ve taken your five-year-old son to the hospital via ambulance because he’s had a seizure.
Not me. Never.
But I did, and it changed the way I see mom clubs forever. There are still so many ways we moms find to exclude each other these days. Yes, there still are Mommy Wars going on.
But when you’ve held your child as he takes his last breath, none of what moms squabble about seems to matter.
My husband told me once a long time ago when I was talking smack about another mom that “it’s all in what you know.” And I’ve come to find that as true.
When your biggest problem is that your child keeps losing his shoes, you’re going to complain about it.
When your biggest problem is that you’ve lost your child, shoes aren’t really a big deal anymore.
When Joey had cancer, some of my mom friends would complain about certain things to me. And then they would stop suddenly in wide-eyed horror and say, “Oh, but it’s nothing compared to what you’re going through.”
No, generally, it wasn’t. But not everyone loses a child (thank God!). As mothers, we all have our own burdens to bear which are difficult for us in our unique circumstances. None of us can say what is hard for another mother to handle until we have a walked a mile in her running shoes (or wedges or cute fall riding boots).
I have many blessings in my life as a mother. I’ve been able to be a stay-at-home mom and take my kids to Gymboree classes and shop and lunch with my friends. Many moms don’t get that. Instead, they look at me and say, “I could never handle what you have been through.”
I remember once, when my twins were little, I saw a mom with triplets who were about five years older than my sons. I looked at her in amazement and said, “Wow, I don’t know how you do it! I don’t think I could.”
She looked from me to each of my twins to Hubby and back to me and said simply, “Yes, you could, because you are doing it. It’s really no different than what I’m doing.”
And I realized, yes, I was doing it. I am doing it each and every day. We all are. We are all doing our best with the situations we have chosen and been handed.
So when other moms say to me, “I don’t think I could do what you’re doing,” I look at them and say, “Yes, you could.”
Because really, we’re all in the same club, after all: the moms-who-love-their-kids club. And we’re all doing a great job with what we’ve been given.