I feel as difficult as the journey has been, becoming a cleft mom has changed me completely and helped me to accept my difference.
Since I was a little girl I’ve struggled with my appearance. I didn’t have much self esteem. Then I had my oldest son; he gave me that little bit of encouragement.
Of course I felt devastated when I found out he would have a cleft. I had those “why me” moments. But I eventually accepted this was who we are.
As he got older my family and I treated him as if he was just like any other child. My goal was to make him feel no different, and he grew to be just that.
He has way more confidence than I did. He is now in drama theater at his school. He loves performing.
Then we had our second cleft-affected son. Silly me had my moment of grief. I thought everyone would tell me I don’t deserve to have kids and that I am selfish. I honestly had a “pity me” cry session for a day and then I was over it.
The day our son was born, I realized I’d been dealt this card for a reason. I told myself everything happens for a reason.
I then decided I wanted to become a cleft advocate. I felt that I have a story that can probably relate to a lot of people, and I want to bring encouragement to the cleft community.
Being a cleft parent is hard. We have guilt moments from time to time, just like any other parent does… just a tad more. The first year is the hardest. I just want other parents to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
And for clefties, I want them to know everyone is born pretty/handsome. We were born to stand out, so why not flaunt it and rock at being different? Beats being on the sidelines, right?