Let’s be real—even the super-est of Supermoms crash and burn sometimes. No matter what we see out there on social media from others, it’s important to remember to keep everything in perspective. We all like to highlight our successes for the world to see, but tend to keep the failures to ourselves as we don’t necessarily need to share every intimate aspect of our lives. I tend to post the heart-warming and funnier moments of my daily life, but rest assured I have plenty of embarrassing moments and Mom fails.
Many people who know me refer to me as “Supermom.” The reason for this is that I have two sets of twins who are 18-months apart—ages 4 and 6. In addition, my husband is a Chief Engineer in the US Merchant Marine, so for all intents and purposes, I am a single mom approximately half the year while he is working at sea. Although I am extremely flattered by this nickname, I always recoil a bit when I hear it because I don’t feel like I could ever truly live up to such a nickname. I am imperfect. I am human. I am just a mom doing my very best to keep everyone healthy and happy. I am just trying to raise decent, caring and kind human beings. Although I may have a unique situation, I am no different than any other hard-working mama out there.
When I think about a Supermom, I think of a dear friend of mine who is a stay-at-home Mom to five boys. Four of the boys are her biological children—they include a 9-year-old, a set of 4-year-old twins and a 2-year-old. Approximately, two years ago, her twins were diagnosed with Dyspraxia—a neurological disorder that may result in life-long impaired motor, memory, judgment, processing, and other cognitive skills - all on a varied spectrum. In simple terms, this just means that the boys may always need to find their own way for their mind to tell their muscles what they want them to do. This condition can affect gross motor, fine motor and oral skills.
When she and her husband received the diagnosis, they were relieved to finally have a reason behind why the boys were not reaching their milestones and were ready, willing and able to do anything in their power to get the boys the best services possible. They have always been unyielding advocates for their children, and their efforts have paid off beyond measure. Every day they are witnessing new victories in their boys’ development—whether it be overcoming certain sensory issues or hearing them communicate more clearly with an expanding vocabulary. There are no small victories and they do not take any inch of progress for granted.
Just as this family was settling in with their new normal, they received word that my friend’s 9-year-old nephew was in need of foster care as his mother was unable to care for him. And with no Dad in the picture, my friend and her husband did not even think twice before offering this young man a place in their home and in their family. They had actually always had this possible scenario in the back of their minds, so when the time came, they knew this was their calling. As an added challenge, her nephew suffers from Cystic Fibrosis—a very serious genetic disease that can have a dismal prognosis in some cases. For those who aren’t familiar with this disease, it is an inherited disorder that can cause severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs. It effects the cells that produce mucous, sweat and digestive juices.
So, not only did this family add a new member of their family practically overnight, they were forced to learn another “new” normal within hours of having this young man in their home. It is simply remarkable to me how they immediately educated themselves about CF and jumped in with both feet. Today that little boy is thriving both medically and socially thanks to these strong, selfless and determined parents.
My friend is extremely humble and even in her darkest times, still manages to remember her friends and ask questions about what is going on with them—Supermom plain and simple. I know she has not so super moments just as we all do, but she gets up each day with her head held high, puts one foot in front of the other and at the end of the day keeps everything in perspective.
As the saying goes, “There are many times you feel like you’ve failed, but in the eyes, heart and mind of your child, you are a Supermom.”