A fantastic guest post from a fellow blogger, Joanna Dwyer. Love her!!
You can read more from Joanna on her blog: Chronic Parenting
We know that moms are incredible. We voluntarily give up our bodies and lives for our kids. But, I have to say, moms with chronic pain are the most hardcore. We do everything normal moms do, but we do it with pain and fatigue in our bodies 24/7. Through side effects of medication, depression, anxiety, nausea, IBS, we suffer silently. We accept that people will look at us and assume we are normal and keep our sickness to ourselves. There is no relief, we can’t just opt-out of raising our kids. We work. We cook. We clean. We run our own businesses. We work out. We don’t whine or complain when our bodies are screaming at us and when the pain brings tears to our eyes. Nope. We get right back up and keep going.
In honor of all us moms in pain, I have compiled a list of the top 5 reasons we are the toughest of all!
1. We willingly abuse our bodies. Whether we had our condition before having kids or it came on later, we make the choice every day to put our already painful bodies through the wringer. We choose to go through labor and childbirth, knowing that it would increase our pain by thousands. We choose to run around after toddlers and let them climb all over us. We choose to come home from work to a second job as mama. We choose to kiss sleep goodbye. We choose pain. And we made all these choices out of love and know every day that it is worth it.
2. We are physically, emotionally and mentally selfless. Of course, all moms are selfless. Most of our days are given away to our kids and families. But instead of taking care of ourselves, we ignore doctors’ orders to rest and avoid stress and sleep more. When we should be soaking in Epsom salt baths, we are on our hands and knees bathing our kids. When we should be going to bed early, as soon as the kids are down we are firing up our computers to run a business or write a blog. Avoid stress? We laugh at that one. We thrive on stress and accept the damage is does to our bodies. We put ourselves and our chronic pain last.
3. We can handle literally anything. So you think you’re tired? Imagine doing everything you do, then only sleeping an hour or two because you spent your night tossing and turning from pain. Imagine doing everything you do but with the kind of fatigue that comes from your core, fatigue that no amount of coffee or vitamin B will even touch. Fatigue that makes you nauseous. And you know how you get sore after a hard workout? Imagine that feeling, combined with the feeling of the onset of the flu, every day of your life. We do it all with that feeling and still manage to smile. While you might wake up in the morning and need a cup of joe to get you going, we’ll see your cup of coffee and up you a handful of pain meds and vitamins which still won’t prepare us for the pain and fatigue we are getting ready to face for the day. If a headache stops you in your tracks, you wouldn’t last a day in our shoes.
4. We survive on determination. Without an incredible sense of determination, us chronic moms would never make it. It doesn’t take much for a normal person to get up in the morning, head off to work, come home and do the mom thing and sit down to a glass of wine and Netflix at the end of the night. That’s just the routine. But for us it takes a full day’s worth of determination. We will ourselves out of bed in the morning despite feeling as if we were hit by a Mack truck. Every moment of our day relies on determination. We push with every fiber of our being just to accomplish tasks like going to work or doing laundry. Our bodies have challenged us to a daily battle, physically and mentally, and we accept. Our bodies tell us we can’t do it, we will fail and we should just quit but we are determined to prove otherwise.
5. Our strength is unmatched. Women are strong. Far stronger than men if you ask me. But when faced with a chronic disease, we can choose to quit or to keep going. To give up or to accept what is coming and take it all on. With chronic pain, depression and anxiety are anticipated symptoms. The depression is as debilitating as the pain. We can become isolated in our disease, unable to be social or fake it anymore. But we choose not to mourn our past selves but instead we carry on despite the pain and depression. Would it be easier to give up and just stay in bed forever? Of course, But we decide not to and we take control of our lives and accept what we are faced with, continuing to parent, work, write, run businesses, run a home and have hobbies. We discover strength inside of us that we never knew was there until we became chronically ill. We don’t get thanks as chronic pain is invisible. We look OK from the outside, but inside we are crumbling and crying. We show up. We participate. We choose life. We choose to be stronger than our pain.