Tuesday, 09 October 2012
As a mom with a chronic illness, parenting can sometimes be a huge challenge, especially with a toddler. From the defiant attitude to his never-ending energy, some days I wished I had constant supply of coffee. Luckily, I have an amazingly supportive family to help out when I need it. However, it did get me to thinking a bit.
It is oft unspoken, but I would like to shed some light. Anyone who is afflicted with an illness of any type, will experience bouts of depression, low self-esteem, hard days and a whole myriad of emotions. Being a parent can amplify these feelings tenfold.
Personally, I know that I've had days that I feel like the worst mom in the world due to the pain I experience. I feel like my son deserves a mom who can play with him all day, every day. I have this fear that someday when he gets older and has friends, that he will compare their moms to me, and that I won't be "good enough". I know it seems like a silly fear, but that's what's in the back of my mind.
I want to be able to hear him giggle as I chase him around the backyard, I would like to pick him up without the fear of a sharp pain. I love him more than anything in the world, and I want to give him everything, just like any other parent would for their child.
Instead of focusing on the things that I can't do, I have decided to focus on the things that I can do:
- I can wake up every morning, being grateful for another day, filled with new opportunities.
- I can sit down with him and teach him new words, or read a new book with him.
- I can take short walks with him.
- I can snuggle.
- I can play games with him.
Sometimes, I think of my illness as something to be thankful for. Trust me, I know that sounds a little wacky, but indulge me for a moment; I realize just how much time I really do get so spend with my son, even if I can't run around with him. There are also the many things that I am not missing out on like his first steps, first words and more. I am able to see everything he does, every little milestone, all his amazement at his newest daily discoveries, and for that I am grateful.
On the "bad days", where I feel like I bad mom, the one thing that can lift my spirits and turn the whole day around is when my son walks up to me, lays his head on my lap, pats my leg and says "mommy". Everything falls into place, and suddenly the world makes sense again.
For those who are afflicted with a chronic illness, what are some of your biggest challenges that you face everyday as a parent? Is there a balance you have found? Share your experiences and insights, please!