There is not a more beloved position in the world then the role of being a mother. As with any mom, from the moment you find out you’re pregnant you visualize this precious bundle of joy coming into the world and changing your life for the better. You can’t wait to watch your child grow because you know you will appreciate every precious moment. You want to be the best parent possible by teaching, guiding, loving them, and being a great example. However, with all those wonderful intentions, parenting is not for the faint of heart! It brings so much joy but just as many challenges. Adding a chronic illness or cancer into the mix makes it even harder!
Having a little one depend on you is a huge responsibility. It’s one that I don’t take lightly. This is why when I first found out that I had cancer my children immediately flashed across my mind. I decided to stand firm on my faith. I also vowed to go through any and all necessary appointments and procedures to ensure that I would be here for them. As the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months I started to realize just how much cancer has not only changed my life but there’s too!
Days when I was literally too sick to get out of bed, to cook, do the laundry, make bottles, change diapers, or help with homework brought a certain aspect of guilt. I didn’t look like the mom they were used to. My hair had fallen out and I didn’t want them to see me as “different.” It was a daily struggle filled with self-blame, anxiety, and remorse. I found myself missing all the things that used to annoy me, like being covered in spit up or tripping over toys! Lol
I’m used to being extremely active with my children. I found joy in planning the next big trip or adventure. We were always on the go. It all came to a halt once my health was on the line. Living with guilt was starting to tear me up inside. I would frequently ask my husband, “Am I still a good mom?” He would of course assure me that I was, but it didn’t always feel that way on the inside. Once I realized that feeling this way wasn’t going to help make things better, I decided to stop complaining and get creative! I’m going to share with you 5 reasons you should NEVER let guilt get the best of you!!!
1.) YOU ARE SHOWING YOUR CHILDREN THE TRUE DEFINITION OF STRENGTH! There’s something to be said about a woman who can get up every morning and fight while also holding down a family. They see bravery in YOU….. that’s right! It may not be the way you wanted, but trust me; you are showing them a great example of courage.
2.) YOU ARE TEACHING THEM EMPATHY. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone and that’s easy to do, but teaching them how to understand and share the feelings of someone else is a valuable life lesson. I will never forget, one day my two year old son randomly brought me a throw blanket when I was lying down on the couch. He could tell I wasn’t feeling good and said, “Mommy’s sick,” then he hugged me. I could see that this was his way of relating to me and trying to make me feel better. He’s actually become quite the little helper. It makes me proud that he’s able to pick up on certain things and how much he wants to make a difference.
3.) YOUR HEALTH IS A PRIORITY! The old saying goes, in order to be good for anyone else you have to be good to yourself first. This holds true especially in this situation. There will be days where you will be weak and tired. Sacrificing some of the things you used to do to get extra rest will slowly but surely help you become strong again. So listen to your body and don’t try to over do it!
4.) YOU’RE SHARING THE LOVE! Thankfully my husband and I have a huge support system. Grandparents, family members, and friends all want to help us out. This includes loving on the kids. It’s allowed me to see just how loved we are. It’s allowed the kids to see and spend more time with other loved ones….. and that’s a good thing!
5.) YOU’RE CREATING MEMORIES! So you can’t get out to the amusement park today. Maybe all you can muster up is a short walk around the neighborhood or a movie night at home. Believe me, it’s all the same to them. They will have just as much fun spending time on the floor building “Lego Castles” and making snowman out of play dough then going anywhere else. My kids are little, but you get the picture. We get real creative sometimes! Lol I also cannot express how much it’s meant to have the extra time bonding with my baby girl. I wouldn’t have this opportunity if it weren’t for me being at home more.
So, in a nutshell, YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH!!!! Your worth as a mother is not determined by being able to complete EVERY single chore or making EVERY single event. It is already embedded in the heart of your child from the moment you laid eyes on them. This is just a season so don’t get discouraged. Show yourself a little mercy and grace. Try to find the positives in even the smallest things. Enjoy being there another day to kiss and hug your babies. You are valuable, you are loved, and you are irreplaceable just they way you are!
“Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him.” Psalm 127:3
From one mom to another, I hope this helps!