Ode to Moms of Seriously Sick Kids


sick child

Growing up with a sister who began bravely battling a number of autoimmune diseases at an early age, I had a front row seat to what it takes to be a parent of a truly sick kid. I watched my mom for many years as she led the charge to find the best help for my sister from doctors all around the country. I remember my dad working endlessly to pay for bills that constantly poured in from all kinds of experimental treatments. And I’ll never forget my mom’s struggle as she often felt her second homes were doctors’ offices, emergency rooms, and hospital rooms by my sister’s side. Parents of truly sick kids, we see you.

Parents of very sick children fight an often silent battle that most of us never see. 

Your Battle

To the moms (and dads!) of kids who are in the hospital frequently, I’ve watched your battle.

You might not have bathed or slept well in forever. You may not have been outside to breathe real air in days. You’ve probably lived off random snacks, leftovers from your child’s hospital trays, or whatever the closest vending machine offered for weeks.

You tried to meet any and all requests from your sick child — meaning you may have been in a completely dark, freezing cold room for weeks or the other end of torture: You’ve sacrificially watched Daniel Tiger 24 hours a day for days on end. 

Your child is understandably uncomfortable and frustrated, but your hands feel tied. You want to give your child hope, but what can you tell her? She is so tired of being poked, prodded, and tested. She only wants to go home. He doesn’t want anything grand — just his toys, his friends, his own bed, and some freedom.

You’re exhausted physically but even more so emotionally. You don’t know what’s next, and it seems every day is filled with life-altering decisions. Decisions offered by well-meaning, usually wonderful doctors, but doctors who won’t have to live with the consequences of these decisions.

You’re in a continuous struggle between trusting experts and listening to your own gut and intimate knowledge of your child.

You may have a spouse whom you miss terribly or other children whose lives you fear you’re completely missing.

You might not even know what day of the week or month it is, and the dream of leaving the hospital feels an impossible eternity away.

However, no matter how desperate, fearful, or exhausted you are, you want your child to see you as peaceful, confident, and hopeful, and so you’re expending extreme energy just to put on a good front. You try to only cry in secret when your child sleeps.

Whatever your outlet for relieving stress is, you probably haven’t been able to do in recent memory. You can’t exercise, take a long bath, enjoy your favorite show or restaurant, etc. Nothing seems as enjoyable now anyway. Who cares about the good stuff in life when your child is seriously sick? It’s hard to enjoy the beauty of life when your child is lying in a hospital bed, and there is no guarantee as to what’s next.

You work hard to hold your tongue as you see friends post on Facebook about their menial problems or complain about something small their kids are facing. You are alone A LOT. You’re in your own head way too much. 

The time passes like slow-moving honey that refuses to come out of the jar. The world around you is changing and moving while you’re frozen, clinging to this precious child for whom you’d do anything.

Your Future

You don’t want to rush these days, not knowing what the future holds for your baby, but you also dream of this season being over and what it would be like for everyone to just be healthy. 

>> RELATED READ :: 5 Ways to Support a Family of a Hospitalized Child <<

You don’t want to think about money, but how will you financially survive this? Can you stay by your child and not work? Will you be able to ever pay these bills or even afford food when you are finally able to return home? 

When you finally get to leave the hospital, you hold your breath the entire ride home — praying nothing happens to send you back there. At any hint that your child might not be well again, a flood of hospital memories and fear rush back, possibly even causing you a panic attack.

You pray a lot. You mercilessly barter with God, “Please just keep my child alive.”

I’ve watched your struggle. You are a warrior. You are tough. You are brave. You are doing the hard thing, but the most important thing as well. You’re not going to get a medal or be honored, but you’re doing life-saving, life-changing work from deep places of unconditional, sacrificial love that many humans have never even tapped into.

You have learned from personal experience what my mom always told us after long hospital stays: “If no one is dead or dying, it’s really not that big of deal.” 

In a world of mixed-up priorities, you are a shining reminder to all of us of what really matters.

Your child needs you, and so do we.

Thank you. 

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Proud to be raised in Burleson (shout out Kelly Clarkson), Jami was even the Elk mascot for her beloved Burleson High School. Jami's greatest pleasure comes from exploring the world and learning about all the beautifully unique people in it, so she started a business in the summer of 2021 taking groups of women around the world! Her business, Women Exploring the World has already taken women to experience Christmas markets in Bruges, Brussels; Paris, and London. They've also taken women to Costa Rica, Italy, Tanzania/Zanzibar, Scotland, and to Norway to see the Northern lights. Jami's greatest gift is her family, Corban, her beloved hubby; Jessy (born 2011); Maggy (born 2013); Lilly (born 2015); and Jude (born 2018). Besides running her travel business, Jami spends her days having adventures with her kids, homeschooling them part-time, assistant coaching PE, attempting to keep her brother and sister labradors out of trouble, keeping her son from killing their cat, and supporting her husband at his Edward Jones office downtown Fort Worth. Jami is a woman secure in God's love for her. He is her first love.


  1. Jami, so many people told me about this article. While reading it tears came to my eyes. You did an amazing job of capturing our story. Praise God most people will not understand the depth of this story. The ones that have lived it or are living it will be blessed to know someone like you understand it.
    You are an amazing writer. You probably are because you write about things you truly know about.

  2. It’s so true.. I watch my niece taking care of her son and she hides all the worry and fear and always shows the strong side but my heart breaks for her. Please Godhave mercy in these special moms.


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