Dear Spoonie Mom,

I see you.

You are not alone.

I see you showing up every day. I see you struggling out of your bed every morning, exhausted beyond belief. I see you tossing and turning all night long, trying to find a comfortable position that doesn’t hurt.

I see you when you realize that doesn’t exist.

I see you hobble to the bathroom in the middle of the night, carefully sneaking out of the bed around your spouse and children, to go throw up from the pain.

I see you calculating how long it’s been since you took your last pain pill.

There you are every morning scrambling to get a healthy breakfast together for your children. I see you taking the smallest bite of toast so you can take your medications.

I see you scrambling on the stool to reach the pill box you hid up high on the fridge, where your children can’t reach. The pain radiating into every cell of your being as you struggle to put them back out of reach.

I see you carefully counting the pills in your hands as you make sure you didn’t drop any of them. You have daily nightmares that your kids accidentally get ahold of your medications, and get really sick. I see you sigh in relief when you triple count the meds in your hands.

I see you roll your eyes as other parents complain that they’re tired. If only they could spend a day in your shoes.

I see you crying alone in the bathroom, wishing you could run around with your children, without triggering a pain flare.

But, most importantly, I see you sacrificing your comfort to be the best mom you can be for your children.

I see you dragging them along to doctor’s appointments.

I see you, dealing with every bad side effect in order to hold the sickness at bay.

I see you hold your children tight, even when it hurts.

I see you buying endless toys to distract your kids when you’re in too much pain to leave the house. The endless pantry full of snacks to bribe a moment of peace while you breathe through a flare.

I see you struggling to get up off the couch and change a diaper that is sagging. I see you chasing a toddler around the house playing even though it hurts.

I see you in pain the next day, barely able to sit up in bed. I see you asking your husband to take the day off work because you can’t move.

I see the endless supply of Epsom salt, TENs machine batteries, pills, and essential oils stocked in your house. Trying every remedy known to help with your illness. I see you try again and again, willing to do anything to be healthy enough for your family.

I see you.

I see your strength, your determination, and your love grow every day.

But most of all, I see the way your children looking at you with love and wonder. You are their world and they love and cherish every moment they have with you.

I see your kids giggling. Feeling victorious when you let them eat cereal for dinner.

I see you snuggling under a warm blanket watching their favorite movies with them.

I see them bringing you books to read to them while you are stuck in bed.

I see them trying to kiss your ouchies away. I  see your children learning patience, bravery, and strength.

I see you never giving up.

Dear Spoonie Mom, I see you.

A fellow Spoonie Mama

Melissa Guida-Richards

Melissa Guida-Richards is a stay at home mom to two beautiful boys and advocates for mental health and chronic pain awareness on her blog and on Facebook. She writes for The Mighty, Scary Mommy and Motherly.