I do not consider myself to be busier than any other mother I know. I'm sure we all have the same sinks piled high with dishes, the same stack of bills, and the same pick-up/drop-off schedules to coordinate. There are the same doctor's appointments to schedule, the same load of laundry that's been washed three times without being rolled over, and the same amount of meals to plan.
Just like any other mother, I carry the same invisible mental load. But, unlike all the other mothers my burden weighs a little heavier on the heart.
That's because I carry the mental load of the grieving mother.
There are all the trips to the grocery store, except I have to prepare myself for the triggers of seeing a child who would be the same age as mine if she lived. It's planning a 2nd birthday party for my living daughter and excusing myself to cry because I never got to do the same for her sister. I know all about the endless parade of paperwork and forms, but I have to ready myself for the questions about how many children I have and what are their ages.
Every day I cook, clean, and plan for my living family while putting forth the extra efforts it takes to keep the memory of my dead child alive. It is exhausting to be a parent and it's doubly exhausting to be a parent to a child whom others don't acknowledge. There's a thousand blogs and funny memes about being super mom, but it's hard to find recognition for the super mom who is grieving.
I think that mom deserves some serious recognition. Honestly, all moms do, but the grieving moms deserves a little extra. She may have less diapers to change and fewer field trips to chaperone, but that's exactly why she needs some extra love. I know that she would give anything to be even more exhausted because it would mean her baby had lived.
So, reach out to the grieving moms in your life. Give them a hug. Buy them a coffee. Just tell them they're doing a great job. We would all do the same for our other mom friends--why would we do any less for the grieving moms we love?
Because it's no secret that moms do it all, but grieving moms do it all with a little less.
Originally published on the author's Facebook page.