I would ask you how your day has been Hospital Mummy, but from your tired eyes and rigidly held shoulders, I can see that today has been a trying day and you’re steeling yourself against more of the same tomorrow.
Asking how you are? I know better than that. It’s the one question that’s impossible to answer without tears when you’re on the ward.
To those who have never sat in those uncomfortable chairs beside a hospital bed with their frightened child, it may seem like an easy question to answer and a comforting question to be asked. What they don’t know is that it’s taking every ounce of strength you possess not to fall apart every hour, on the hour. You’re tired of being strong, tired of this space and the huge pressure it places on you. They don’t realise that a kind word, a hug, a knowing smile could be the end of your strength right now. They simply ask because they care about you.
I’d ask if you’ve eaten today, but the odds are you won’t remember if you have. One day merges into the next and it becomes hard to keep track. You would rely on tummy rumbles to tell you, but it’s hard to distinguish hunger pangs from the roiling anxiety that has found a home in the pit of your stomach while you are here.
No, instead of asking you anything, I am going to tell you something. Something important. Something you need to remember as you go through this experience.
You’re doing an amazing job.
There are no caveats to this statement, no ‘but…’ waiting in the wings and no advice on how to do more or better. There is just the acknowledgment that in the midst of a horrible, crappy, stressful, painful situation – you, Hospital Mummy, are doing an incredible job.
Hang in there.
Another Hospital Mummy xx