I Don’t Want To Be A Warrior Mom. I Just Want To Be A Mom.
I am so tired of being encouraged to be a warrior mom. It’s too much and it’s so unfair.
We got back significant results from my son’s most recent blood tests yesterday.
They are extensive. They are the most comprehensive look at what has been going on in his body for three years. They show a child that is suffering. They show this has not been all in my head or his.
The results show that my little boy needs serious help fast.
I have yet to talk comprehensively with his doctor, so I will not share details yet.
I do want to say this – I am so very angry this morning. It took one test for one doctor, of so very many all along the way, to order.
No one did. Instead, doctor after doctor, therapist after therapist, hospital after hospital, failed us over and over again.
Honestly, I can handle this part. I know he’s complicated. I know it’s tricky. I know it’s not protocol. I really do understand the treatment failures.
What I am angry about this morning is the pride, the arrogance and the flat-out dismissal of a mom and a child begging for help. I want to scream at the doctor who was so sure I was enabling behavior and the therapist who told me she couldn’t help because my son “didn’t want help.”
If you are facing this same disrespect and flat-out indifference from the very professionals who are paid to help, all I can say this morning is that I am sorry.
And, unfortunately, you are not alone. It’s why they tell us we need to be warrior moms.
I am often called a “Warrior Mom.”
I am given this title because I have had to fight, bitterly, to get treatment and help for both of my sons.
Although I am a little uncomfortable with the title, I guess it is an appropriate description for what I am.
I go to battle every single day, in so many ways for these kids. But least you think I’m bragging or that you should be impressed, please hear me when I say –
I am a warrior because I am forced to be. I have to fight, what feel like soul-sucking, bloody battles all the time for my children, not because I am strong, but because I am left no choice.
I am angry this morning.
I am tired of the fight.
Every time I look at the results that show the level of devastation in his body, I feel a mixture of frustration, nausea and fear.
I don’t want to be a warrior mom.
I just want to be a mom.
For more encouragement and support:
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.
Battle-Weary-Warrior-Mom. A warrior fights because they have to, not because they want to. And it costs them A LOT. But the best of them know that the war is worth it, and will not quit. (That’s why I prefer “Superhero,” because in my book, any of us who fight for our children are heroes in the best sense of the word, and well, I like being SUPER at something 😉 )
Praying that FINALLY there are answers and help for your precious boy.
Praying that you can finally find some answers for you and your precious boy.
Mama Bear is my title, I’m the same way. I think it’s a drive that God has built into us. I’m at 21 years and no closer really, to help than in the beginning. My son struggles and the day program we thought would work for him has already made mistakes that are not acceptable. So, the fight goes on. It is relentless. If it weren’t for our faith in God, we’d not make it. Praying for all of the kids out there and their families.
Thank you for pouring out your real experience. This was my experience last night too. And I appreciate the encouragement you, as well as other commenters make. It gives a little boost to my stamina to endure when I know that I am not alone in this.
I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to have come across your blog. You are publishing so much of what I go through. I feel battle weary too. I am glad you write from the trenches and not only the mountain tops. It helps the rest of us press on knowing there are other moms engaged in the same fight. I needed this post today. Thank you so much.
I wish I had advice or help or some way to even give you a hug in person and provide a shoulder to lean on. Instead, I am offering you internet hugs and my sincere hope that you have now found a doctor that will listen and help your child without you having to fight for help. I am very sorry your son is going through this. My hope and prayer is that he will now get the help he needs and feel better very soon.
Your post brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing your experience – reading what you’re going through helps me to feel less alone as I struggle to find support for my own son. I hope your son’s test results help him to finally get the supports he needs and deserves, and the evidence you need to end at least some of your battles. My thoughts are with you.
The world is so complicated. It’s made up of two kinds of people: those attuned to the needs of others, and those who aren’t. I think so many doctors just aren’t, or are burned out, distracted, or just inward-focussed. I thank God every day that He knows the hairs on our heads, and that a sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground without His knowledge. And that He mourns with us for the frustrated, complex, realities that we have to navigate through. Remember to never be ashamed (not that you seem to be, but it’s something I remind myself of from time to time!). May God bless all the frustrated and grieving caregivers today, and bring healing to the medical world.
When our son was diagnosed, eleven years ago, and our battle began, I commented that it was like my whole life had trained me for what was coming. I had always been more combative, in tone, attitude and demeanor and had learned to hone it and bring to the front as a tool rather than a first resort. I still do that, but more quickly. The instinct to ‘get along with others’ is so ingrained that it took 27 years of training and a cause bigger than myself to overcome that instinct. It took this colossal battle to learn that doctors, however well intentioned, are just people. They only know what they know. Just because I learned my facts in the school of life does not mean they are any less true than those they learned in a class, book, clinical or from a mentor. From one reluctant Warrior to another, you are not alone. Praying this latest information points to clear treatment and health for you sweet boy. Salute.
Oh Shawna. My heart rages and hurts with yours.
Though I know I haven’t had to fight the battles you have, I relate and I can emphasize. I was afraid my daughter was losing her mind when she went through a major personality shift right around her 8th birthday. Three months later she started suffering horrible insomnia. We saw doctors, therapists. counselors, audiologists, neuro-optometrists, etc. She just turned nine a week ago, and we finally have a diagnosis, Celiac disease. An autoimmune condition rather than a food allergy, and one that I am oddly grateful because it gave us a clear answer. It’s been three months and we are still trying to figure out which symptoms are physical and which are psychological. Today we just came back from five hours of psychological testing and screening for learning disabilities. But at the end of the day my daughter didn’t have an tantrum, and she smiled and didn’t take it out on me. That alone let me know things are getting better.
I never wanted to be a warrior mom either. It still sometimes pray God will take this cup from me, because the burden of raising broken children feels like too much sometimes. (My middle son has sensory processing issues and executive function delays, and the toddler is, well a toddler).
I feel your pain and strength Shawna. Recently I had an ‘honest’ chat with my son’s psychiatrist and whilst it brought up a lot of grief, it did help set some limits regarding what we can expect from him. I thought it would close doors, but instead it has opened them. He has multiple diagnoses of which many overlap and the professionals prefer to use ‘Trauma’ when I ask them something they can’t answer. (He is an internationally adopted child, adopted at age 2 with a series of learning and sensory disorders, ADHD, a processing disorder and very limited short term memory plus some ASD behaviours). I have compassion fatigue so for the last 6 months have decided to focus my attention on the things that only benefit my son’s self esteem. I am still incredibly fatigued but i can see the improvement in him and it makes it easier to focus on the positive behaviour. I can see a little light.
It is just so sad that we moms have to feel like this, have this pressure on us, and that so many can chime in with an AMEN, when it should not have to be that way. Exhausted and fighting for my 4, and still trying to have life left for the hubby and typical 3-worn to a nub, soul-sick, and only holding on by a thread by the grace of God. Thank you for writing what so many of us live. YOU, my dear, are not alone either!
No one does. Stay strong. Warriors come in all shapes and sizes. Warrior Wife. Warrior Daughter. Warrior Mom. Warrior Women. Amazonian. You are Wonder Woman. Battle On.
*Another one sticking her hand up over here* 2 and a half years of multiple health professionals brushing me off and telling me “babies throw up all the time” (really? Most toddlers at 2 1/2 projectile vomit multiple times a day?) They only stopped saying it because whatever it is (we still don’t know and he’s now 4!) started calming down! But he has been left with a serious – and probably lifelong – eating disorder that could have been prevented if just one of the Drs had decided to do something.
Thank you so much for your posts. I’d feel so much more alone without them. I am only at the beginning of this heart wrenching journey with my young daughter, who in my soul I know needs more help than I can ever give her. I have found one doctor willing to listen and recognizes that there is a problem. But the mountain ahead of us feels insurmountable. Thanks for reminding me that it’s a long fight and I will just keep going. Because that’s what moms do.
Bless you. I understand. When my oldest son was born I knew very quickly that he was responding to things atypically. And he didn’t sleep, ever. I mean never, not for 3 years. He never napped, he woke up 8-12 times a night for 3 years. And he cried. All.the.time. At my younger son’s 9 month check up (my older son was almost 3) I asked my pediatrician AGAIN, what we could do about my older sons strange reactions to things and his lack of sleeping. He looked at me and said, “Mrs. Lockerby, some kids are hard. You got a hard one, I recommend you get yourself some therapy to learn how to deal with it.” I looked at him and said, “I think I’ll get a new pediatrician first.” And I did. The new pediatrician sent us immediately to a pediatric pulmonologist who specialized in sleep….and as it turns out my oldest has a legit, and TREATABLE sleep disorder that should have been caught 2 years earlier. We were also sent to a pediatric neurologist, turns out my sons atypical reactions to things were because he has Sensory Processing Disorder. So we went to OT and it was life changing. I was 38 when my oldest was born, I was an experienced, educated career woman. I was a first time mom, but I wasn’t an idiot, despite being condescended to and treated like one by my 1st pediatrician. That experience taught me a valuable lesson. If the Dr. says something and it doesn’t make sense, dig deeper. If the Dr. dismisses my concerns, I address it or I find a new Dr. My oldest son is almost 12 now. He is a delight. He still has SPD and he still has a sleep disorder. But, we’re managing both effectively. I wish you strength, luck and great doctors. You are not alone.
I am so sorry, I hope your sweet boy gets some effective treatment soon.
The word warrior should only be placed after the word ‘prayer’. I’ve neglected prayer in the past and have gone to garbage Docs who had some awkward hype surrounding their name. For example, their son “climbed Mt. Everest for Autism.” Only problem is, the Doctor Himself wouldn’t even follow my child down the hallway. There will always be lapse in character from so called Professionals who work with Kids without our laying down the tracks of prayer for God’s perfect will to run on. This is no joke. Just a simple, “Guide me, Lord.” “My child is yours.” “I want nothing less for him..amen.” Relief comes when we give up! Then His resurrection life’s kicks in, we get test results that spell things out for us, and our sweethearts feel so much better.
Press on. Warrior is our heart. XOXO
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