Mothering four whilst managing your own chronic illness
I see you. I see you and all you’re managing. You have 4 children, 3 with complex and challenging special needs and disabilities, I see the challenges you face helping them cope in life, I know how hard it can be to help life understand them, I see the effort you go to to get their needs met in all senses and because of you and all that you do, they are doing so well.
I see what a great mother you are, how much you love being one and now you have chosen to add to your family. You’re growing a new human life. You above anyone knows the extra work and challenges a newborn baby will add, but you also see the benefits it will bring.
I see how full your hands are, I see how much fuller they will likely become, I see all you do to make life the best it can be for your own children whilst managing your own chronic illness, supporting other families, supporting new mothers, your family and your friends - but above all, I know how full your heart is, I know how blessed you feel. You are so lucky. I see that tear fall down your face when they all laugh at the same joke, or when they all dance a silly dance together and really interact and get along for a brief moment. Those moments make it all worthwhile.
You have so much to manage, that much is true, some days you thrive and others you simply survive, but do you know what? Those whispers you hear, those comments about how you have so much to manage, questions about how you cope, how you will cope with a new baby, words about how crazy you must be to have even think about adding to your family, don’t let them enter your mind, hurt your feelings or allow them to change your attitude.
You know you’ve got this, you know their fear and judgement about your situation reflects on how they feel they would cope with what you manage.
You know that whilst there will be days when the load of mothering your family will be challenging and overwhelming, you will get through, you know that to feel overwhelmed is ok, It’s normal and a part of life and despite this you will continue to try hard to do your best, and that is more than enough.
You are giving your children so much more than you are taking away... you’re giving them love, relationships to navigate, friendships, support and a family.
Look around you for those who lift you up, those who cheer you on and those who bring cake! Those people are your tribe and when you need them to remind you of your power.... they will be there. For those people, feel thankful they are walking by your side because those people, like you, know your worth.
And for those who find themselves thinking these thoughts about a mum with many things to manage, maybe consider thinking instead of, how will this woman cope, think how can I support this woman to cope, then act on it, together we can all empower each other to do the best possible, we have the power to support them when things are challenging and be there to celebrate the successes.
You got this.