What is it about me that always sparks this conversation?
I’m a typical mom. I’m not fancy or rich or famous. I don’t always eat the right foods and sometimes I spend too much time online. I hate to do laundry and cooking is a chore.
I don’t wear a Wonder Woman cape and I certainly don’t have any magical powers.
If you saw me on the street, you wouldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.
“You’re the strongest mom I know,” they say. “I don’t know how you do it.”
I know people mean well but the truth is, it makes me feel uncomfortable. I usually follow with a gracious “Thank you.”
Yes, two of my children require more care and support than most but doesn’t that make them the strong ones? I just happened to be the mom chosen for the job. Of course I do it well; I have been doing it for 28 years and there is no other mother in the world that can take care of my children as well as I do.
That goes for all mothers. They mother their children far better than I could.
When I see toddlers running around in a store and a frazzled mom chasing after them as they duck under a clothing rack, I think, I am so glad I have what I have. That must be a strong mom to bring them out knowing what she’s in for.
When I see two brothers beating the heck out of one another, I think, Thank you, God. I could never handle that.
When I see two sisters bickering back and forth at a drama level of 32 billion, I think, Oh boy, that mom is really strong. How does she deal with that every day?
Or how about single moms? They juggle careers and home and children. That’s a strong mom in my eyes.
And I could never compare myself to moms of children with cancer. They’re strong.
So what defines a strong mom? To me, it’s all moms who do their best. I am not stronger because my children require medical equipment and medication. I do what I do because I love them just like other moms do with their kids.
We’re all strong!
Let’s stop comparing and judging and let’s just love our kids. We’re all in this together and the most precious commodity of our generation is our children.
Lori Burke is a married mother of four children. Two of her children were born with an extremely rare genetic condition, Warburg Micro Syndrome. They are the oldest known children in the world. Lori is a stay at home mom and a part time nurse. She shares her family’s rare disease journey at The Heartful Mom. Find her onFacebook and Twitter.
We want to hear your uplifting, inspiring, funny, or touching story about your experience as a mother. Please visit our Storytellers page for more information on how to be published on the Good Mother Project blog.