Being a parent is certainly one of the most beautiful feelings that exist in this world.
Parenting comes with numerous challenges and numerous roles through which the little creature is helped to grow up and through which the parent grows together with the child.
But when parenting comes together with chronic illness, a condition that requires additional efforts and numerous compromises in certain situations, it becomes even more challenging.
Joy is a 23-year-old young mum from Liverpool who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis just a few weeks before she found out she was pregnant, and this is her experience coping with chronic illness and parenting at the same time.
Parenting with a Chronic Illness: An honest review
Hard but worth it!
I was diagnosed with UC a couple of weeks before I found out I was pregnant.
So many new horrible, weird and wonderful happening to my one body, and all at the same time was definitely a shock to the system.
Pregnancy was hard but amazing!
The added stresses of being unwell, fatigued, on steroids, and bleeding out from my rectum daily definitely had me panicking over whether I could cope with a newborn!
Once Frankie was here I got super poorly and the mum guilt set in. I couldn’t leave the house much and felt like I was wasting my maternity leave away sitting in the bathroom with Frankie in his bouncer.
I didn’t go to any mum and baby groups or any of the things I had planned I would in my head.
The lack of sleep on top of the fatigue I have anyway definitely tested me at times but there’s no bigger motivation to keep going than a squishy baby looking up at you.
They say it takes a village to raise a child and it’s true!
Even without chronic illness being a mum is hard, I am so fortunate to have an amazing family that has always been there to have Frankie when I was in and out of the hospital or too weak to look after him.
The biggest lesson I have learned is to let go of the idea you have to do it all. I’ve tried it, you only run yourself into the ground and it’s not good for your physical or mental health!
Now that Frankie is 3 (the biggest “threenager” you’ll ever meet) some things have got easier like him sleeping a solid 12 hours, but at the same time, harder to entertain!
Toddlers are a different ball game and you spend the whole day running around whether that’s for playing or cleaning. Throw going back to work into the mix and you need to hire a personal assistant to organize what day you’re going to attend dr appointments, squeeze in a social event and get that pile of washing done.
That all said, being a mum is the most rewarding job in the world, and being a chronically ill mum has made me stronger, I would’ve never asked for a bag and just got on with it without Frankie.