It’s a tremendous feat juggling the house, the kids, work, school, homeschooling, and whatever else you may have on your plate as M.O.M. (master of many). But when you add into the mix being chronically ill, well you have yourself a very challenging, stressful undertaking. Being a mom of five littles, and having dealt with a chronic illness for a year now, I can attest to the fact that it is extremely difficult. I can sum it up by stating it’s like being totally worn out and exhausted and then being slapped with constant mom-guilt! Facebook and Pinterest become your nemesis as you see what appears to be everyone else doing everything you want to do, but simply cannot.
How can you overcome the guilt, and feelings of not being good enough? It’s not easy, and it does require doing something most moms hate…asking for help! From my own personal struggles I can tell you that I found a few things that truly made things easier.
5 Ways to Juggle Being Mom While Chronically Ill
1.) Plan Ahead – Planning is crucial when your energy can only be stretched so far. Make sure you plan out your week before it comes so that you know what you can and cannot handle. If you have doctor appointments this week, then having friends over, or doing social outings is probably not going to be feasible. I use my chalk board in my kitchen to plan my week so that I stay on task.
2.) Crock Pot, Crock Pot, Crock Pot! – Get on Pinterest and get some tasty crockpot meals and go for it! It takes an hour every night (if not more) to prepare, make and serve dinner. When you have spent your energy on everything else you have going on all day, dinner is the last thing you want to do. When mom is chronically ill, the crock pot should become her best friend. You can either throw all the ingredients together ahead of time and freeze it until the day you want it or you can throw it together during lunch. Either way it makes the house smell good, it makes you feel accomplished and its an easy yummy way to get dinner without wasting money ordering in.
3.) Organize Your Life – While this may sound similar to planning ahead, it is a bit different. Organizing your life means automating your bills, getting your pantry and kids rooms strategically organized to make for less work for you. I have done this by slowly getting to each area that needed my attention and getting it cleaned up. It has helped tremendously as it keeps the house cleaner and less of a mess. We took this idea even a step further and after 7 years of renting, we bit the bullet and decided to purchase a home. Why? Well while that did require a lot of effort on my part, and energy I simply didn’t have….it was because I absolutely had to have a second floor laundry room. Lugging the dirty laundry down two flights of stairs just to carry it back up two flights of stairs when it was clean was not helping me. I could barely muster the energy to do the stairs half the time.
4.) When Friends Offer to Help…Accept! – I know it’s hard as a mom to accept help. Especially when it’s other moms offering to help…because you know they are tired too. But more than likely they aren’t half as tired as you. Have you ever been on the giving end of help for a friend in need? Is it not just the greatest feeling to help someone you care about? Just know that by allowing them to bless you, you are actually blessing them too. We are called to serve others, and if your friend has offered to watch the kids, or make you dinner one evening, just say yes!
5.) Accept What is and Stop Trying to Get Back What Was. – Sometimes illness slowly creeps in and we have some adjustment time to it. But then sometimes it comes out of nowhere and we are taken completely off guard. Either way, accepting what is the “new normal” is positively awful and hard. But it will give you the peace to keep moving forward. Sometimes chronic illness is temporary, and sometimes its permanent. For me, finding out my life was forever altered was the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with as a woman, and a mother. But as I began to let go of what my life was, and accept what is, it helped alleviate some of my anxiety, fear and even guilt.
As you are heading to your umpteenth doctors appointment just remember, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing, and God has allowed this for His own reasons, but you are not only not to blame, but you are doing the very best you can with what you’ve been given.