All of you moms out there know that being a mom is absolutely a full-time job and then some. Never EVER say “I’m just a mom” and never let anyone else say it either! Each mother has their unique challenges; one of mine is fibromyalgia.
Chasing a Toddler
Chasing a toddler is exhausting in itself! Add chronic pain and fatigue to the mix and you’ve got the perfect storm. Fibromylagia makes all the standing up and down, carrying, and constant moving a little bit of a nightmare. Before I knew that I had fibromyalgia, I thought I was just out of shape and needed more sleep. Although those still might be true, there was (and is) more going on.
I’m grateful that I can attribute that fatigue to a specific disease now. It’s hard thinking that something is wrong with you and you just need to fix it. Fibromyalgia, combined with depression and anxiety, have a very effective way of making me feel like a bad mom or wife. Honestly, whatever I do, it can make me feel like I’m doing a poor job.
I’m only a step-mom at this point, so it’s nice to get my toes wet a little bit first before we have our own babies. Although it has been a bit exhausting jumping right into the 18 month age range, it has been a great warm up!
When Charlie is napping, I’m out. Maybe not asleep, but I have to rest as much as I can before we get back to it. I’ve heard this advice a lot – “sleep when the baby sleeps!” I take that to heart. Even if you can’t get a full nap in, just take a few minutes to lay down and rest your eyes. It makes all the difference!
This comes back to self-care. There will always be a million things to do around the house, for work, or for friends. But remember this: you MUST take care of yourself first. A burnt out candle cannot give any light to others. If this is as simple as resting when your babe is taking a nap, do it. Please. You will be much happier and healthier! Especially if the little one isn’t sleeping through the night yet 🙂
Obviously I haven’t experienced pregnancy yet, but when I think about it, I get really nervous. I might even say scared if I’m being completely candid. I have heard about what it is like for women who are completely healthy and there are always unpleasant things that accompany pregnancy. I am afraid that all of the difficult side effects will be amplified for me.
However, I have some control over that. I may not be able to get rid of my pain every day, but like I’ve mentioned in other posts, I can take steps to improve my health. See my post 7 Ways to Take Good Care of Yourself for more on this. Diet, exercise, and meditation and counseling will be key for my journey to be healthy enough to have a baby.
I know that right now I am not healthy enough. However, if you are sexually active, you need to prepare NOW to have a baby even if you’re not planning on having one for a while. So that’s my game plan: improve my health starting now so that I can be prepared to have a little Vanderpool whenever the time is right. And things don’t always go as planned – it could be next year! (We hope not, we’re not ready!)
What is motherhood, really? Even if I didn’t have a step-son, I would still consider myself to be a mother. I have the potential inside of me, both physically, emotionally/mentally and spiritually, to be a mother. A mother is someone who cares, someone who tends to the needs of others. I want to speak directly to those who cannot have children for a moment: if you want children, you will find them. Likewise, they will find you. You are not alone in your trial. There will be joy found in your yearning for children. Please remember this; cling to this in times of desperation.
We as women have a divine calling to be mothers and that can be our calling no matter our temporal situation. Even though I have fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety, I am and will be a mother to those from our blood and those far beyond.
What are your thoughts on motherhood? What makes it difficult for you? What do you look forward to in motherhood? What joys do you find within motherhood? If you don’t want to share in the comments, please contact me. I want to hear your story and connect with each of you individually.