I met a personal hero this week. She’s a rockstar blogger, but that’s not what I love about her. She writes from a place of hope. She’s real in what she shares, both the good and bad. She’s got a slightly snarky sense of humor and I’ve been dying to have coffee with her for years since we both have a deep and undying affection for Starbucks and Target and Udi’s. She was the first mom writer I ever read that was honest about the real day in and day out. And it inspired me.
You absolutely need to read Finding Joy. Let me tell you why.
I know the alone of being an allergy mom.
I know the alone of parenting little ones with special needs.
I know the alone of being a homeschool mom.
I spend a lot of my time feeling alone. Probably because a lot of my time is spent alone with just me and my two beautiful boys.
Sitting next to Rachel and just talking with another real live mom who knows what it’s like in the deep end of things we can’t control, like food sensitivities and breathing, and fighting the uphill battle to get diagnoses and treatment, and how Starbucks is our generations Calgon (Caramel Macchiato, take me away!) was by far the best reminder I’ve had in a long time that I am not alone.
Neither are you.
I know the fear and helplessness of holding child who is sick but no one can tell me why.
I know the heart-relieving joy of hearing my child self-advocate, “I can’t have gluten. It makes me sick.” for the first time.
I know the anguish of watching a toddler regress without answers.
I know the hope of seeing a nearly 5 year old finally master buttons with a resounding “I DID IT!” and a grin like you’ve never seen.
I know the punched in the gut feeling of getting a special needs diagnosis. A second time.
I know the beauty of seeing a child who can’t express everything verbally express himself through art.
I know the frantic mama heart beat when the breathing treatments at home didn’t work and, bleary eyed in pajamas, driving to the ER at 3 am.
I know the relief of having a friend drop off dinner because she knows sometimes life is just hard.
I know the horror of watching my child have a severe vaccine reaction that could have easily ended in death.
I know the amazing heart of an older brother using speech tricks he’s learned to help his baby brother talk, too.
I know the frustration of trying curriculum that was perfect for me but not for my child.
I know the giggles and belly laughs that happen when you let go and have fun again.
I know the guilt that comes from parenting with a chronic illness.
I know the joy of hearing “I love you” clearly for the first time from my oldest child at nearly 3 years old.
Your experiences are different than my own. That makes us unique, able to bring our own life and love and laughter to the great big table of the internet. And just maybe the smaller table of a local coffee shop or restaurant.
Just know that we are in this together. And you, my friend, are never alone.
Knowing that, really knowing it deep down in the kind of way that takes your breath for a moment and makes your heart skip a beat because of the sheer joy of camaraderie, is balm for a tired mom’s soul.