Often as moms we are hard on ourselves and hard on each other. So today, I want each mom who has a child with vitiligo to know one simple thing: You are doing a good job.
Whether you decide to pursue treatment for your child’s vitiligo or forgo it altogether, you are doing a good job.
Whether you talk to your child often about their vitiligo or choose to let them come to you, you are doing a good job.
Whether you try to hide your child’s spots or proudly show their vitiligo, you are doing a good job.
Whether you educate them on the science of vitiligo or just let them call it a birth mark, you are doing a good job.
Here’s the reality: Despite the incredible efforts of researchers and dermatologists, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about vitiligo. This leaves us searching for guidance and support. Without a roadmap, where do we turn?
First and foremost, we turn to our own beliefs and intuition. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. There is no perfect answer. No one can tell us the emotional stages we will go through as the parent of a child with vitiligo. But you know your child and your family better than anyone else and that is something you can believe and trust in. Give yourself even an ounce of credit that you might be best poised to help your child through this condition.
And second – and equally important – we can turn to each other. We need to build each other up because the one thing we are can agree on is that many days, it’s lonely and difficult to be the mom of a child with vitiligo. You want the best for your child and its painful to watch them face a disease that you can’t control. You wonder, worry and question as if it’s a required part of your day. And if anyone knows what its like to be in your shoes, it’s another mother of a child with vitiligo.
At the end of the day, remember this: If you’re the mom of a child with vitiligo, you’re doing a good job.
And if you have vitiligo, take the time to let your mom know how much you appreciate her. She is trying her best to love, support, fight and guide you through a life with vitiligo. She is doing a good job.
Julie Hartley is a proud mom to Leah who has vitiligo. Leah loves animals, art and playing with friends. Julie lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband Chad, son Chase and Leah.