Have you ever wanted to defend yourself as a mother? Or perhaps provide some explanation as to your feelings or what you are going through? There are circumstances in life where you may want to walk around with a sign that says things like:
“My child has autism.”
“She just lost her daddy.”
“It’s been one of those weeks.”
“If you think this is bad, you should see what I have to deal with on a daily basis.”
“It’s just a phase.”
“Please don’t stare.”
Now let me ask you something…what would your sign say? Maybe there is a permanent sign you would keep on hand. Or it could be that an erasable board would work just fine because it seems life’s fluctuating changes warrant different signs, depending on the situation.
Maybe your sign would say something such as:
“I’m hurting right now.”
“I’m worn and tired.”
“Could use some prayer instead of criticism.”
“I’m doing the best I can.”
Let me tell you what my sign might read (depending on the day or week):
“Sometimes I miss my son so much it hurts.”
You see, I’m trying to get through my first year in learning how to adapt as a military mom. Getting through the firsts—the first Easter without him, his first birthday without him, and the dreaded upcoming first Mother’s Day without him.
If we could wear these signs it would generally stem from either someone saying something hurtful or we have felt judged. It might even be that we are crying out for some kind of help.
But that’s not what we do. We don’t wear signs. And so we suffer silently. Or we allow shame and guilt to overtake us. We become angry or depressed. We feel misunderstood.
At the same time, we have to remember that other moms we pass at church, see in the store or know personally probably have their own signs they would wear. Sometimes it takes effort, compassion, time and energy to learn what is going on in other people’s lives.
What do you suppose their signs would read?
© 2012, Stephanie Romero