The Tough Mom
Unfortunately, my sweet little daughter has some health issues. The other day I counted 8 different doctors that she sees on a regular basis. On her medical charts, the doctors describe her as “aggressively uncooperative”. She has grown to hate doctors, and she has every right to. I would hate it too.
I cannot remember going to the doctor growing up, not even once. So I have no idea how she feels. But I have been to every one of her appointments and guided her through it all. I try and support her by telling her “the doctors are nice” and “they are trying to help you” and “don’t worry there is nothing to cry about”, but she still gets scared and nervous. She starts crying, so then the nurses turn to me to try and calm her down. So, I put on my tough mom face and tell her she needs to stop crying and do what the nurses and doctors say.
After hundreds of appointments, it became easier to put on that tough mom face to get my daughter through an appointment. Then a miracle happened. My daughter didn’t cry at the doctor. She did exactly what the nurses and doctors asked. She did have a scared look on her face but you could see her trying so hard to be brave. She would smile and say “I did it”! I almost cried because I had been waiting for this moment for so long. I could see all my tough mom moments paying off. She wasn’t scared anymore.
This lasted for 2 appointments, and then she had a harder appointment. She had to be sedated for a test. We walked in the hospital room and she immediately lost it. She knew something big was about to happen. Tears started streaming down her face and just looked at me and said “No Mom.” I tried so hard to put on my tough mom face and get her through yet another appointment, but I lost it too.
After so many appointments of being strong for my daughter, I felt her pain and couldn’t hold back the tears. She was scared and so was I. The doctor needed me to be the tough mom and hold her down on the table, so I did. She fought so hard. All I could do was tell her I was there for her as I held her down and stared in her eyes. She could see that I was crying too. I was trying so hard to fight the tears so she wouldn’t be more scared.
But as we stared at each other, I could tell that she knew I loved her. She knew I was feeling her pain too and she wasn’t going through it alone. She held onto my hand so tight and at that moment I realized that letting my emotions take over this time was okay. My daughter needed to see that I loved her and that it was okay to be scared. If I had let my tough mom side take over, I think my daughter would have been more terrified. Instead, we have a stronger bond since we went through it together.
I hope my daughter and I always have this special bond and she knows that I love her and am by her side at every point in her life. I learned that sometimes we need to push aside that tough mom and show our kids how we really feel. I don’t think it makes us weak as parents. Instead, I think it makes us stronger.