Being a mom is hard, but being a mom without a mom is even harder. It took my spouse and me almost 15 years to get pregnant. When we finally did, we lived in California and my mom lived in Michigan. She visited us after my son was born. She was just as excited as we were to be introduced to him. When my son was six weeks old, we moved back to Michigan to be closer to family. My mom would visit us every Tuesday, but just over a year and a half later, she was diagnosed with cancer. She died two months after that.
When my mom was alive, even in those first six weeks we lived in California, I could call her, ask her questions, get advice, see if what my son was experiencing was something I also experienced at his age. Once she was gone, even though my spouse’s mother was still alive and I had a sister with adult children, I had no one to talk to, no one who could watch my son or help me understand the difficulties of parenthood. For the last six years, I’ve been on my own to navigate school during a pandemic, an autism diagnosis, and so much more.
If my mom was still here, she could be my sounding board, my sage, my best friend. She could help me understand and remember my own childhood better as I work toward an autism diagnosis of my own while healing from childhood trauma. My son would have a grandparent who loves him, something he doesn’t have currently. Parenting without my mom is the hardest thing I’ve had to do, ever.