POST: 'Mary Jane' - a new found respect for all parents

What it's about.

A single mother, struggling to take care of her child who is chronically ill.

My experience.

Mary Jane is a single mother who delivered her child, Alex, at only 25 weeks. Ideally, pregnant women deliver after 40 weeks, which made Alex an extremely preterm infant. When you’re born that early there’s no telling if you are going to be able to survive or not. The doctors didn’t believe that Alex would make it by any means, they had reason to believe that he was going to die within days.

With the help of Mary Jane, doctors, home attendants, and several machines - Alex made it to 2 years old!

It wasn’t easy watching this play. Mary Jane was literally living in the hospital for about 7 weeks because Alex needed urgent care very often. She would hire home attendants to help her watch over Alex during the night. She had a specific stroller for him that had all of these gadgets on them. Every moment of her life was dedicated to making sure that Alex was alright.

It was painful to see how stressed out she was and I realized that this is actually the reality of so many parents. I’m not a parent, but I can only imagine how stressful it is for parents to cater to their children with special needs. I’m pretty sure that as a parent you feel a sense of responsibility, on account of you being the reason why this cute little human being is on earth…

…And so I’m sure that with that sense of responsibility comes stress, frustration, sadness, guilt, and maybe even depression sometimes.

At one point towards the end of the play doctors had to perform and emergency surgery on Alex because he had a seizure. The anticipation and suspense of it all was too much to handle for myself. I can only fear how hard it is for a real parent to experience such pain and anticipation.

Being a parent is quite scary, it’s a job that doesn’t come with a book of instructions. It’s a lifelong career that can take almost any route. Of course there are fun times, but the hard times are definitely the most trying times to deal with.

This play brought so much awareness to the reality of dealing with a child who is chronically ill. I definitely left with a new found respect for all parents, especially single ones.

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