My children live with an extra burden in their lives because their mom has a chronic illness. This means that they have to carry some extra responsibility at times simply because I am unable to do something and I need their help. I wish I didn’t have to add this to my children’s lives, but to be honest there is nothing I can do about it. It wasn’t my decision.
Chronic Illness requires a lot
There are things in life that require extra from us. For my children they are learning this lesson very early in life. There are times I am glad for what they are learning, while at the same time hating that they have to learn it so early. It isn’t nice telling your children they need to do extra chores because mommy can’t. I am supposed to be taking care of them right? Chronic illness has stolen a lot from my kids as well as from me.
There are a lot of other things that my children have to live without because their mommy lives such a limited life. It means that they hear the word, No, a lot. It means I can’t take them to all the fun activities that I would really love to take them too. It means I have to rely on other people to step up at times and help get my children from place to place because I am not always able to. Chronic illness requires that we are open with what we need, and ok with staying home.
Chronic Illness doesn’t follow a schedule
It means that there are times my children have to miss out sometimes. I can’t run them all over the place for sports and other activities. There are some weeks when simply getting out of the house once takes all the strength I have. Other weeks I can do more, but it is so unpredictable that it means we can’t commit to anything. Chronic illness doesn’t follow a schedule.
It also means that my kids have to watch me struggle.
My kids see me when I am so dizzy I am close to falling.
My kids see me when I am so tired I can barely get off the couch.
My kids watch as I scream because their daddy hugged mommy a little too tight.
I wish my kids didn’t have to experience all that.
My Chronic Illness is teaching my kids compassion
Yet, my children are learning so much from living with a mom with chronic illness. They are learning to be empathetic for someone else’s pain. I don’t try to hide my struggle or how I am feeling from my kids. I don’t go out of my way to explain to them all the details, but if they ask I am open and honest with them about my health and what it means for us at times.
My children are very responsible. They see me when I am at my weakest and they step up and carry more weight. This stepping up on their part teaches them to be independence. I see this the most in my youngest. I can’t count how many times I have seen her doing something because I didn’t get it done fast enough when she asked.
This isn’t the life I had hoped for my children. I believed I would be a strong mom if ever I was a mother. I believed that I would take my kids hiking and that we would enjoy all sorts of things if I was ever a mom. That isn’t how things worked out. Even so I can see God working through my illness to grow me as a mom and to help my children become strong and independent. They are developing compassion for those around them who are sick and limited. I am enjoying watching my kids grow, and I pray that the Lord will continue to develop this sense of compassion in all my kids to use them to minister to those around them who are hurting and in need.
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