Sunday, 28 April 2013

Ode to the Super Mums

This week has been a harsh reminder in pity and priorities. Sometimes, things just happen to make you wake up to yourself. You hear a story or two that touch you so deeply you can suddenly end your self-pity party and realise how bloody lucky you are.

My friend has been in hospital all week with her 9 week old daughter as she fought a respiratory virus. I don’t know what that actually means, but I can imagine how painful it must be to see such a small baby in so much distress. She needed oxygen and a feeding tube so just the thought of that is enough to break my heart.

I then read an inspiring blog by a woman whose 2 year old son is battling lung cancer. It just seems so unfair that this little angel, who has never done anything to anyone, should be struck down by this terrible disease.  I was deeply moved by her determination, humour and good grace in tackling this enormous challenge. One sentence particularly moved me – “We are Mothers of children with cancer. We are hardcore.”

I wish she didn’t have to be hardcore. I wish her son didn’t have to be hardcore. I wish all his little friends in the cancer ward didn’t have to be hardcore. I cannot imagine the immense pain that would come from watching your child have to go through it. But I guess as a Mother you have no choice. You just suck it up and sacrifice yourself to protect your baby.

I only had my child for 7 weeks but I had already learnt about sacrifice. In the two days I had between being told the pregnancy “didn’t look like” it was viable, and having it confirmed, I quickly realised what I would sacrifice for my child – and that sacrifice was my child. In an instant, I gave Peanut permission to leave. I said “Peanut, if you are unwell or sick in there then leave my darling so you can be well.” The thought of him in there, in any pain or distress, was too much for me to bare.

I decided I would rather carry the pain of losing him than him face a moment of pain. I decided I was strong enough to carry the load. I decided it was the most selfless act I could offer in that moment. I was prepared to change places in a heartbeat.

I’m sure these women would do the same. If they could, they would make a deal with the Devil to change places with their ill children. They would sell their soul if it meant they would be ok. Sadly, that isn’t an option, so they have no choice but to sit by a bedside and pray. That’s just what you do when you’re a Mum.

No one ever talks about how Motherhood gives you superhuman strength. I never knew I had the strength to handle so much pain, be so selfless or be so strong. But when you’re a Mother, there’s something almost primal inside of you that just leaps out when your child is threatened. It’s that instinct that says “If you mess with my kid, you mess with me.” So here’s a little tip universe, don’t mess with Mothers unless you’re prepared to have a whole can of “whoop ass” unleashed upon you! I’m stocking my arsenal so I’ll be prepared!  

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