The Most Difficult Part of Parenting with a Chronic Illness
There are many difficult things about parenting with a chronic illness. Constant fatigue, laundry that piles up, and dealing with endless guilt just to name a few. But most days, it isn’t these most pressing ones that bother me the most. No, it’s the look in their eyes when I reluctantly admit that, “Mommy isn’t feeling well.” That is the most difficult part of parenting with chronic illness.
Admitting this to myself is hard enough, but vocalizing it to my children or my family is twice as difficult.
Why is that? What makes it so hard?
It feels like an admission of defeat. Like PsA, for today, has won. I never want my children to see that for a single day, I’ve been defeated. That for a single day, I’ve given into the pain. That I haven’t fought to maintain a “normal” life for them, every single second, every single day. That thought alone is enough to prompt me to keep going, despite the pain and fatigue.
What do I do when I’m not feeling well?
- Smile- Even when I am feeling at my worst. When it seems like the pain is too much, I know that it doesn’t cost me a single extra spoon to simply smile at my children. It goes a long way to hide my pain from my children. It allows me to be honest with them, that yes, I may not be feeling well today, but it still protects them for the worst of it. That means everything. A simple smile.
- Snuggle- Yes, I may not have the energy for a game of chase. I may not have it in me for a run to the park or a trip to the zoo. But hugs, kisses, and snuggles are in abundance. I am blessed that my children are still young enough to allow me these simple expressions of love.
- Sing- True that I may not have the voice of angels. But I have a rousing rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus” that will get every child under 10 up and moving. Simple songs can lift the spirit and heal the soul, even if the body is ailing.
Where else to turn?
Isaiah 41:10 tells us that as long as we are conscious of His presence with us, then all is well. With each smile, with each snuggle, with each song I am aware that He is with me. Even if I falter and admit to my children that I am not feeling well, I am aware of His presence and all will be well. That is enough for now.