Does Being Chronically Ill Affect Me As a Mother?

Does being chronically ill affect me as a mother? After spending a whole week in bed due to catching a UTI and the flu. The immunosuppressants have taken their toll. I’ve had a lot of time to think about what or how I would write this post.

Being a parent is hard work, involves sleepless nights and it doesn’t come with an instruction manual.

Does being chronically ill affect me as a mother?

When I fell pregnant I was happy but nervous. It doesn’t matter how much you plan, things never go to plan. I had a pretty normal pregnancy, was slightly underweight and my ultrasounds were difficult due to scar tissue but I didn’t have a care in the world.

I’m a planner, Maisie’s nursery and all her baby stuff was ready to go by the time I went into labour. Nothing could have prepared us for what happened next.  Please refer back to my earlier blog posts regarding this.

Maisie and mummy

Maisie and mummy

Maisie spent 7 weeks in the hospital with me and I looked after and cared for her even though I couldn’t walk at the time. Did I find this difficult? Honestly, I didn’t know any different so I just went along with it and learnt how to be a mum to a new baby.I found coming home harder but I took that in my stride as well.

Over the years I have been hospitalised numerous times, I couldn’t take Maisie with me. My family have always had her for me on these occasions and Maisie thinks it’s perfectly normal.

I’ve cared for her during all of her childhood ailments so far whilst having the flu & pneumonia. I just didn’t stop and in my quest to not let my illness affect me as a mother or have people judging my mothering skills, I was, in fact, making myself more ill by not stepping back and listening to my body.

The older Maisie has got I have to admit its got harder for me. When I feel shit I still have to mother, there has only been me for 3 years, I admit I used to cry myself to sleep at night, panicking about how I was going to manage to get out of bed the following morning. I was too proud and too afraid to ask my family for help doing the school runs as didn’t want them thinking I couldn’t cope.

The turn around point for me was back in March of 2015. I was living in a house share with Maisie. It turned out that the living room was infested with bed bugs and I got eaten alive and collapsed due to anaphylactic shock and ended up in a hospital yet again.

My family took over and got Maisie to and from school for me along with having my living areas fumigated and new furniture to get rid of the bed bugs.

Since that day I get daily phone calls or text messages checking on me so I have help available if needed. 9/10 I will always push through and won’t ask.

The last year or so Ive also been dating Ben who now lives with me. Hes made my life a lot easier as he knows when I’m not right and will always take over the school run when I’m not at my best. I’m always ever so grateful to him for this as it’s not something I was ever used too and I don’t expect it.

A mother’s guilt

I’ve always felt guilty in one way or another. Maisie now has a mouth and backchat on her that defies belief. When I’m fatigued, cranky and ill I need it like a hole in the head. I always have to tell myself she is 7 and its what kids do.

If I snap or lose my temper and shout at her I immediately feel guilty and apologise. I have never sent Maisie to her room or to bed and left the apologies for a later time as I’m a huge believer in Maisie knowing mummy loves her no matter what and that its mummy being cranky and not her fault.

I’ve also learnt to never make promises I can’t keep. The nature of my illness means I can’t always promise Maisie things like days out as I have to plan what we are doing due to feeling ill and now having my ostomy.

How I manage

Maisie is 8 in September and I’ve now learnt how to deal with me being ill and still be the best mum I can be. Maisie knows mummy isn’t always at her best.

I make sure that 90% of the time if I’m ill that I’m always up and ready to ask her about her school day. She has school dinners so that if I’m really bad then her having a cold tea or something like an omelette then she’s not suffering.

The pinkie promise is a good staple of mine and Maisie’s relationship. Mummy has never broken one and it means she’s learning that mummy never breaks this promise and she’s never let down by her only constant influence.

Maisies charity walk

Maisie’s charity walk

She also knows the contingency plan, should mummy be in hospital then she knows that nanny, grandad and Ben will be looking after her and she gets to speak to me daily on the phone and see me at weekends.

The reason for this is it affects me mentally and emotionally seeing her daily and I cry a lot when she’s taken so its easier for both of us to do it the way the plan is.

 

My support networks

Having a good support network is also helpful. If I need to vent then I have the showgirls, my lovely mother and loving boyfriend who don’t judge my crazy moments or my feelings when I’m struggling.

Does this really affect the way I parent?

Does this affect me? I can honestly say no it doesn’t. Being chronically ill doesn’t affect me as a person. So why should I let being ill and being a mother tip the scales? I love Maisie more than life itself. She’s my constant the same as I am hers. She’s excelling at school, she’s a happy child and she knows that Mummy loves her. I’m hoping that I’m raising her to be an understanding and loving person.Even though she does drive me insane when she’s being a little bugger. She takes part in charity events with me and plugs the show and blog because she thinks she’s famous.

 

Please feel free to leave any comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments
  1. Such an inspiration – you’ve come so far. Maisie is a star and so is her mum x

  2. Your an amazing mum and have done so well with Maisie Xxx

  3. you are an amazing mum and have so much resilience and love <3 so glad i have you in my life

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