Being a good parent means taking care of yourself too. These tips can help you do both.
It only takes one Google search to realize that not very many people are writing articles or books on single parenting with chronic illness. And when you are looking for answers and can’t find them, parenting alone with chronic illness could be confusing and scary.
Whether you are a single parent by choice or by circumstance, you know that single parenting brings with it many unique challenges and joys. Many of us feel as if we are just muddling along day-to-day and getting it wrong. Add chronic illness to that scenario and single parenting suddenly becomes even more complicated.
Doing it alone
In 2008, shortly after my youngest child was born, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the joints and organs. Not long after that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a medical condition characterized by chronic widespread pain, sleep issues, and problems with memory. And two years later, I was parenting my children alone while living with two chronic illnesses.
Even though much time has passed and my diseases are well controlled, I still worry about my health and the effects that it has on my children and their future. But I also have the same worries every single parent has—not enough money, time, love, and discipline.
I am trying to raise well-adjusted children to the best of my ability and single parenting isn’t all rainbows and flowers. In fact, it makes the hardest job on earth even harder. With chronic illness in the mix, my single parenting is neither messy nor successful—it is just somewhere in between.
How do you do it?
You probably didn’t choose to be a single parent. You didn’t choose to be chronically ill. And you sure didn’t want to raise your kids alone with chronic illness.