I don’t care if you’ve been a parent for 30 years or 30 seconds. Chances are you’ve felt the fear of the unknown. Future choices, problems, or health issues can all strike fear in the hearts of parents across the world. We do our best to protect our kids. We teach them the very best we can to make good choices, be good people, and protect themselves. So, what’s a parent to do? How do we deal with fear of the unknown when you are a parent with a chronic illness
Fear of the unknown
I would be lying if I said that I had a 100% surefire answer to this question. The fear of the unknown sneaks in at the most inopportune times and pops up when you least expect it. I can be sitting with my kiddos, having a perfectly lovely day, and Little Miss will complain about wrist pain or Big Man will develop a random rash.
Sure, chances are highly likely that Little Miss simply stumbled and twisted her wrist. Or perhaps Big Man just had a little allergy from rolling down the grassy hill. But that fear of the unknown is always there, in the back of my mind, wondering, what if? What if they inherit my PsA. What if they develop my RA muscle and joint pains?
What’s a parent to do?
I’d love to say that this thought has never crossed my mind. I’d love to admit that reason and logic always wins out. That I haven’t lain awake hours into the night wondering, what if? But alas, that isn’t the case. I’ve freaked out more times than I care to admit. I’ve googled every genetic statistic associated with autoimmune diseases. And you know what? It isn’t pretty.
We don’t live life with any guarantees
But you know what? We don’t live life with guarantees. No one has been promised that their child will never face pain. No one has found a way to successfully put their child in a bubble, metaphorically or otherwise. No matter what, our children will experience pain of some kind, PsA, RA, or something else. Our children will be faced with tough choices. Our children will get hurt.
So what’s a parent to do?
It is our job to show our children how to make good choices. They need to learn the value of information and how to make informed decisions. Being able to sort out what is good and right, versus wrong. They need to learn how to take a stand and evaluate information.
Our children need to learn how to be strong, even when the world doesn’t agree with them. To be strong when life happens and things don’t turn out the way we wish they would. They learn this by watching us do it. We can wallow in our own pain or we can show our children how to rise above it.
We are the parents, we have many jobs
We are parents. It is our job to shape how our children view the world around them. If we teach them to find the positive, to learn to appreciate life for all it has to offer, and to look for strength in our blessings they will be able to handle anything that will inevitably come their way.
So the next time you fall down the rabbit hole wondering if every single thing you child experiences is the start of a chronic illness that they inherited from you. Stop and remember that it probably isn’t the case, but even if it is, you have made sure to equip them with all the necessary skills needed to be the very best person they can be.
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