It’s funny how as parents, the differences in the way we choose to raise our kids is usually the first thing we notice. We’ve given names to different styles, from helicopter to free-range and all the others that lie in between and we judge our fellow mums and dads according to our own beliefs of what is ‘right’ and ‘best’ for our little people.
What we often neglect to see, however, is the common thread that connects us all: our undying love for our kids. We all share similar fears that something terrible might happen to them; unimaginable things like accidents and illness. At some point in our parenting lives, we’ve had to nurse ill children. We’ve held them as they’ve shivered with fevers, we’ve rubbed their backs while they’ve thrown up in buckets and we’ve stood guard when that raspy winter croup takes hold. And then they get better and we say a silent prayer of thanks for their health, that they’re ‘back to normal’ and can go on living their lives as the happy, often cheeky, little kids we know and love.
But for some mothers, the ‘back to normal’ never comes. For some mothers, nursing seriously, sometimes terminally, ill children is their devastating reality. Day in and day out, our unthinkable becomes their new normal. Their lives are spent by hospital bedsides, conjuring the kind of strength that comes from deep within their souls, to smile, to reassure and to make the best of the cruel cards they have been dealt.
It’s not fair, it’s actually every shade of fucked up, but it is nothing short of inspiring. These mothers are the true heroes of the world.
A children’s health non-profit called SickKids Foundation has released a 90 second commercial in honour of Mother’s Day that will tug on parts of your heart you never knew existed. It offers an insight into the heartbreaking realities – and remarkable resilience – of mums caring for seriously ill kids. It’s difficult to watch, but it’s also important for all of us to stop and take in; to cry alongside and marvel at these superwomen who are the anchors for their children, keeping them as safe, stable and happy as they possibly can.
For every sick child, there’s a mother who is dying inside. While Get Better Gifts of the SickKids Foundation is a US-based charity for sick kids and their carers, there are many local ones to support and here are some of them….
The Children’s Hospital Foundation: For more information head to their website here or phone 1300 SICK KIDS
Miracle Babies Foundation: For more information head to their website here
Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia: For more information head to their website here or phone 02 9875 6666
Variety: The Children’s Charity: For more information head to their website here
Starlight Children’s Foundation: For more information head to their website here