Why is it that a mother feels the pain that her child suffers? Over the years my heart has been broken each time my children’s hearts have been broken. I have cried over the silliest things because at the moment it is what mattered to them. I have always heard that twins can experience these types of phenomenon with their siblings but as a mom I can speak from experience as to the legitimacy of it. I can remember specific instances in my head just like they were yesterday. I remember my daughter’s hurt when other kids made fun of her. I remember my son’s hurt when a bully slapped in in the face on the bus. I remember my daughter’s first heart break and how I shed as many tears as she did. I remember the sting of pain from vaccinations or from injections for illness. Physical or emotional, I remember them all. They are not pleasant at all and quite honestly their pains hurt more than my own. To look in their eyes and see the struggle and the rapid cycling of emotions just eats away at my soul. I don’t want them to hurt or to fail. I want them to always be happy and do well in life.
We, as mothers, carry these little humans inside our bodies for nearly 10 months. We nourish their bodies with nutrients from our own body. We share one vessel with them and we are their only source of growth and life. We feel their first flutters which later turn into hiccups and baby kicks and punches. We worry when they don’t move in a specific amount of time and we read and sing to them before they can even hear. The first moment we see their face and the doctor places them on our chest we are forever changed. The overwhelming amount of love that consumes our heart, body, and soul is just unmeasurable. They are part of who we are, they are created from our own flesh, and sometimes we have such a hard time with letting go as they age. Regardless of how old they are they are still our babies.
Being a mother is such an enormous blessing but it is also a curse. It’ s a curse because you will never be safe from pain and heartache again. A child’s words and actions can cut right through a mother’s soul. You see them making mistakes and no matter how much you try to save them, sometimes it is just not possible. You want to make their decisions for them because you have been there and you know the end result but they don’t care about that. They want to do whatever just because you don’t want them to. They go from this tiny ball of love to an equally sized ball of “I know it all and you are just trying to ruin my life”. Now, as a parent, I have such a huge appreciation for my parents and all they did to try and save me from myself. I only wish I would have listened.
I’ve made so many mistakes as a parent but I’ll never be guilty of not loving my children. They are the beat of my heart and the breath that enters and exits my lungs. Today, as my oldest daughter is entering a new chapter of her life and leaving a huge part of it behind, I sit and I cry on the inside for her. Her mental illness and the mistakes that have came along with it have thrown a huge road block right in the middle of her highway. I tried to teach her right from wrong but I guess I failed miserably. Now, she is facing some hard hurdles ahead and all I can do is be there to hopefully lift her over as best I can. I won’t desert her but I won’t enable her anymore either. It’s hard enough watching a child without any special needs fail or make mistakes but when you have a child who does have some serious issues it is twice as hard. No, I don’t love her anymore than I love my other kids but I have watched her struggle through situations in life that are so simple for other children. I can’t even sit it and pretend that I’m not angry at the universe for throwing her such a shitty deal in life. I wish I could swap places with her. I wish I could wash away all the difficulties she has experienced and the ones to come but I can’t. So, instead I will just love her and I will show her how to build a wall to keep out as much pain as possible. Life is unexpected sometimes and all we can do is hope for the best. As a mom I know my heart will ache for the rest of my life for the struggles my children face but it will also be full of an unconditional love that no other human on the face of the earth can provide.