Dear special needs mama,

It was a rare occasion that I was able to skip out of the house and go shopping without my children. Even without children in tow, mothers always see other mothers. We see your struggles, your successes, and your strife. 

I saw you keep your cool while your overly stimulated son had a meltdown throughout the store. 

I saw the look on your face through your mask and in your eyesyou were tired. Tired of his wails, tired of the looks from others, and tired from the hard work you’re required to do daily without any breaks.

I saw you become overwhelmed with the emotions, and yet, you held it together. 

I saw you love your son throughout his meltdown. I watched as you lifted your roughly 60-pound child out of the cart and walked him hand in hand outside while your mother paid for your purchases. 

RELATED: Dear Mama in the Meltdown, You Are Not a Failure

I saw how you just wanted to have a shopping trip that you could finish without attending to your child’s every need.

I saw your eyes light up with appreciation when I said, “Excuse me, ma’am, I need to tell you that you’re doing an excellent job.”

I could hear it in your thank you that you needed to hear those words at that exact moment.

Then, I saw how you talked in a calm and quiet voice pacing the sidewalk outside of Kohl’s with your son tightly gripping your hand. 

I saw you hold it all together even though I’m positive it felt like it was all falling apart in that moment. 

I saw you pushing through your own insecurities to make sure your son was not seen as a disruption, but as a child who needed a little extra love at that moment. 

I saw you being the best mom you could be for your son. I need you to know that you are doing an amazing job even when you feel like you’re failing. 

RELATED: The Struggle You Don’t See in a Special Needs Family

I saw you, and I hope you saw yourself as I did . . . 

A strong, calm, fierce, caring, and empathetic mama.

A fellow mama who sees you 

Holly Dignen

Holly Dignen is a Stay-At-Home Mom of two boys. She is also one of three Kid's Event Chairpersons for her neighborhood community. She has her Master's degree in Elementary Education and several years of teaching under her belt. When she isn't spending time with her beautiful family, she is volunteering or writing.