Parenting is hard – but parenting when you have a chronic illness is even harder

Becoming a parent is one of the hardest but equally rewarding jobs you can do.

No matter what your health status it can be a trying time; when you have this little dot of a person yelling at you for the fact you cut their bread wrong or they NEED to stay in the park forever.

Your little baby is slowly becoming a strong-willed independent person, most of the time this can be hilarious even though you constantly tell them to stop growing up and stay your tiny baby forever.

But try having ANY form of chronic illness and this becomes a whole new ball game.

I suffered through my pregnancy with flare ups but everyone (including me) thought it was pregnancy pains and the fact I had a huge scar down my tummy to contend with.

The whole of my daughters short 3 years I have been ill. I haven’t much patience to begin with when I’m in pain, but couple that with working, being tired and being diagnosed with pouchitis made me feel like the worst parent ever.

I’m sure we parents have all been there, been wound up a bit too tight for whatever reason and snapped at our little darlings (terrors) and felt bad afterwards especially if it had nothing to do with them.

When I started to go downhill rapidly (that’s what it felt like for me) health wise whilst waiting for my surgery I felt like the worst mum ever.

My husband picked up the slack massively (she is a daddies girl so it wasn’t too much of a hardship!) I couldn’t play with her due to being in debilitating pain. I refuse to take pain killers when I’m alone with her and back then I was on morphine so I would suffer till Steven, my husband, came home.

I would snap at really insignificant things that if I was fine I probably would have ignored. I hate that for such a long time she was scared to sit with me in case she hurt my tummy, honestly the look in her eyes as she shrunk back from my hugs pointing at my belly is something I will never forget.

She became tearful as she learned what the hospital looked like and knew that even though it meant more daddy time, I wasn’t going home with her.

I felt like after my Ileostomy surgery everything would get easier I could be the mum I always wanted to be, unfortunately that wasn’t meant to be – or at least not yet!

I am only 5 months in after all. I’m so tired all the time, I’m hoping that at some point I will work out what helps me feel less so.

Don’t get me wrong we have climbed a local ‘mountain’ by ourselves and then again with her dad, done the race for life and had days out. I make the most of my good days, but the days that aren’t so good I still snap and feel like I can’t do either her justice as a mum or I feel like I can’t cope.

I know I am not alone in this feeling, I guess I’m just glad that she is that little, that as we look to the future she will have the healthy, happy, hopefully more patient(!) mum that she and any future children we have deserve.

I hope that she doesn’t wholly remember the bad days I have had or may have but can understand that throughout this journey she is the best thing to have happened to me (and her dad) and I love her with every fibre of my being.

In any case I know I must be doing a good enough job as she is happy, healthy, bright as a button, loving and polite, what else can I ask for really?

Words by Steph Simpson

Author: Stephie

Hi there! I'm Stephie. I'm 29 and just had an Ileostomy after suffering with Ulcerative Colitis for 19 years and 8 years with Ileo-anal pouch. This is my space in the vast existence of the Internet to talk about my experiences on my journey to getting my life back!

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