Lately I have been feeling a bit sad and overwhelmed with memories, hopes and dreams that have been put on hold or are clearly not playing out as I had imagined, so I thought this blog post would be about the sadness that wells up in me from time to time. Then I began to realize that this is much more than just about my story, these emotions are universal, especially for parents. As we celebrate mother’s day this year, I want to send a huge shout out to all the Mom’s out there! Whether you have a child with an illness or not, being a mom is a big task and huge responsibility.
For me personally, I have always taken the role of “mom” very seriously. I felt from the beginning that it was imperative that I not only love and care for my children but that I also provide them with lessons, guidance, coaching and support along the way. I made a commitment to leave the world a better place through the successful raising of my boys. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that by making such a big commitment, I was also taking on full responsibility for the results, even when I had little control over what they would choose to do with their lives and even less control over the impacts of mental illness.
Initially, it was difficult for me to accept that I had done enough to support and love my son because in my mind if I had been the mom I strived to be, he wouldn’t be experiencing this illness. Thank goodness for the amazing, supportive friends around me who constantly remind me of the great mother I am. I am a work in progress. I am committed, everyday, to continuing to learn and to provide my children with love, support and guidance while allowing them the opportunity to learn and grow the way they choose.
I truly believe that people act and do the best they can with what they have, and mothers are no different. So wherever you are, however you judge yourself as a mother (or father or caretaker), take a moment and give yourself credit for the love you give, the support that you show and the strength that you find within yourself each and everyday to keep carrying on. You have a very important job!
I send a special thank you out to my mother! I’m grateful for the lessons, big and small, that she both taught me and let me learn on my own!
I’ll leave you with this quote. To me it’s the most important thing we can do for our children, teach them love.
“All the children who are held and loved…will know how to love others. Spread these virtues in the world. Nothing more need be done.”-
Meng Zi, c. 300 BCE
Happy Mother’s Day!
Thank you all for your support, your stories and your feedback! Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding this information or any other mental health system question/inquiry.
I’m also on Twitter @farfrmparadise