Mother’s with chronic pain often doubt their parenting skills because of their pain conditions. It keeps you from running and playing with your kids; you can’t even begin to try and keep up with them. Many days are spent resting in bed or on the couch. Maybe 10 minutes of activity here or there, but you feel inadequate as a mother. The truth is, you shouldn’t. The mere fact that you ask yourself if you are a good mother makes you a good mother. You’re willing to take an honest look at yourself. That’s a leg up on all the women in this world who feel fine each and every day, but rather than feel gratitude for this gift with their children, take it for granted and lose precious time each and every day with their kids. Yes, you have to severely limit what you physically do, but physical activity is not what we cherish most about our parents as we get older. It is the words, the time, the love. Those things are not attached to physical movement, they come from deep within you. The part of you that can’t be touched by pain. As a mother living and raising a family with a chronic pain condition, there are three major things that should never be done.
Keep your kids at a distance. Even if all you can do is lie in bed and put on a movie, invite them in, curl up next to them and watch a movie. Kids have a tendency to blame themselves if parents are distant with them. Make sure your children know how much you want to be around them regardless of what you’re doing.
Let your health suffer. Your attitude toward your life and health are evident to your kids. The greatest gift you can give your children is to love and care for their mother. You are the only one they will ever have and they will learn how to care for themselves through you.
Shut your kids out from your condition. Children have an amazing ability to understand what is going on around them and most importantly to those they love. Talk to your kids, let them know what your condition is and what your physical capabilities are. Be positive, concentrate on what you can do with them rather than what you can’t. You are an amazing mother, capable of amazing feats and strengths because of your condition. And you are raising amazing kids who will learn through you to be loving and empathetic to all human beings regardless of their physical abilities. This is a life lesson you are uniquely suited to teach.
We may have limitations on our physical abilities, but that does not mean we must have limitations on our love toward our children. Yes, it can be difficult and at times seem impossible to bear, but the days will continue to slip by and time continues to move forward. Don’t let the days with your children slip through your fingers. We are survivors not sufferers. I don’t want any mother dealing with chronic pain to wake up one day and regret how they weren’t there enough for their children, that they didn’t listen enough or talk enough. Regardless of how old your children are, take time today to show them how much you love them.