Mother Teresa has a famous saying: “God only gives you what He knows you can handle.” My friend and I joke “I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”
We both are moms to “those” kids. The ones that are “quirky”, “out of sync”, a little more hyper than most, learn different then most…the ones that don’t follow the “rule book”.
My friend called me the other day, extremely upset. It had been a trying few months of hospital stays and IVs for her son, who has a chronic illness, and evaluations, forms, and testing for her daughter because the school says she “just doesn’t get it.” So I was not shocked to get that phone call.
Friend: I am so all done. I can’t do this anymore. I do not have any more left to give.
Me: I know you are. I wish I could do more for you. But you can’t be all done. You know you’re not all done. Because you can’t be. You just can’t.
We’ve all been there before. Completely defeated and depleted. Utterly overwhelmed by life. You want to throw in the towel. So…what do you do?
What do you do when the school keeps pointing out all the ways your daughter is failing, yet never once offers simple solutions to how she can succeed and make her feel good about herself?
What do you do when your son screams at you because he wants to go with his friends to a basketball game, but you have to say no because he has to do his hour long treatment so he can stay healthy?
What do you do when your daughter tells you every day that she hates school, that its too hard and she just wants to stay home with you?
What do you do when your see your son struggling to make people understand him, to see other other kids singing their ABCs and writing their name while your son still thinks numbers are letters?
What do you do when your daughter wants to know why God made her with a “special brain” and does He really think she is smart even though she feels dumb?
What do you do when you know your children are unique and creative and funny and lovable and a joy to have and make this world that much brighter, but the rest of the world sees something different?
What. Do. You. Do?
Do you laugh? Do you cry? Call a friend, or scream at the top of your lungs? Do you crack open the wine? Eat a whole bag of chips? Or down a king size snickers bar? Do you give up? Give in? Give nothing? Do you curl up in a ball and wish God would take you away right now? Give you a break? Answer your prayers? Do you stay when you really want to walk away?
Yes. You do. You do it all.
Because you can’t be done. You are the captain and your team needs you. Everyone is looking to you for the next play. You cannot afford to punt. It’s all or nothing. So you take a deep breath, put your helmet on and get back in the game. Because that what you do.
My friend called me back about a half and hour later.
Friend: I just wanted to let you know I’m ok now. Apparently I’m not all done. Like you said, I can’t be.
Me: That’s good cuz I just loaded the kids in the short bus and was heading your way with a bottle of wine and a straight jacket.
Friend: Put it aside. I’m sure I’ll need it at some point.
Because it will happen again. Because at the end of the day, you are it. You are Mom. And you just can’t be “all done”.