I have always loved Wonder Woman. I can tell you when it started. It all started with my first pair of Wonder Woman underoos. No joke. I am a child of the ’70s. I loved her TV show too. I laugh now; I was caught hook line and sinker in their master marketing plan. But, she was a symbol for a strong woman. So hey, we’ll roll with it.
I still love Wonder Woman and many of my friends and family call me that. Yes, that’s me with the perfect birthday banner, matching goody bags, perfectly decorated cakes, all done by hand. I remember the day I had to let some of that go. As I decorated my then five-year-old son’s birthday cake (gluten and dairy free of course) with the organic, all natural food coloring, the perfect Spiderman cake I had in my head disappeared with the realization the beet coloring looks much more pink than red. Oh yes, tears ensued, mine not his. My ideal of what a Wonder Woman is has taken a beating in the last 10 years or so. That perfect picture of what life “should” look like has certainly been shot to sh*t.
Have you ever gotten the “I don’t know how you do it, the special diet, the supplements multiple times per day. I just don’t think I could handle that” comments? Most times I smile and nod and say “thanks.” But really I am thinking, I don’t remember getting a choice in this?! If I don’t do it, then who the hell will? Seriously? I am not trying to be rude, at all. It is a simple fact, regardless of how supportive our husbands may be, our friends or families are, in a broad generalization, most of the heavy lifting of healing our chronically sick kids falls to our shoulders. I know, there are some exceptions, and I applaud any caregiver for stepping up into this role.
And on sh*tty days (like today) where, no matter how hard you’ve worked or how far your child has come, there is regression or maybe their hormones are starting to kick in, or maybe they are just having a bad day, you really feel it. You feel guilty that they are having a rough time, you wonder whether you need to run new labs, you stress about what dietary changes, supplements, alternative therapies you may need to consider. I have a newsflash, we are ALL Wonder Women. And sometimes being Wonder Woman can be pretty isolating and lonely. I don’t know about you, but I am also that shoulder to cry on for many people. Maybe I don’t ask or reach out, and maybe I would have plenty of shoulders to cry on when I need it. I know personally I look to my autism sisters. We share that bond of just “getting it” when you (or your child) has a bad day. But even then, I keep a lot to myself.
That can lead to a pity party. Ain’t no body got no time fo’ dat! That is what got me thinking of Wonder Women, on a day when I feel least Wonder Woman-esque. But, sometimes we need to pat ourselves on the back and say “You rock!” Mommy wars aside, I want to send this reminder: You are a Wonder Woman (or Super Girl or just a damn good person, whatever moniker you want). Even on your bad days, even when you second guess your decisions, even when you are tired and feeling very unappreciated. Even when you want to run off to the forest and live like an aborigine where there are no special diets to cook or supplements to give. You are amazing. You are healing the new “normal” of today, chronic childhood illnesses like autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma, etc. You are Thinking and doing and making the world better for your child(ren), your family. And no doubt you are out there helping others even when you are tired and worn down. Because that is what Wonder Woman would do.
I am a proud mother of three children: Two born to me and one I was lucky enough to get as a bonus gift through marriage. My son is recovered from autism thanks to some serious team work and the tireless help and support of my husband. As a result of my journey, I also work full time in the autism world helping others in a way I never dreamed possible. I also mentor and blog in my “spare” time. I am obsessed with allergen-friendly cooking, meditation, natural healing methods, crafting, gardening, sustainability, growing as much food as we can and just trying to keep up with our children, goats, chickens, cats, and dog. I’m Wonder Woman with a generous helping of attitude and a dash of ghetto-fabulous!