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Mother’s Day as a chronically ill parent
Mother’s Day never seemed like something worth celebrating to me for some reason. While I love my mother, it was just another pointless “holiday” in my mind. I’m also not really the holiday type in general. I’m the “recognize my loved ones everyday” type and give them gifts on a whim when I come across something I think they’ll love.
This is my first Mother’s Day where I am the mother in question. Last year I was 8 months pregnant but my husband bought me a succulent and an air plant anyway. The succulent has since had its own baby so it’s actually kinda fun.
My husband is big on family. Now that we have our daughter, he’s going full force into everything he possibly can. I knew it was coming, but I still don’t care for holidays.
But alas, I am a mother on Mother’s Day. I will be subjected to loving attention and presumably a gift of some kind. How dare my husband love me and our family so much.
What I Truly Want for Mother’s Day
As a chronically ill parent, there are certainly other things I would prefer on Mother’s Day.
I want to get all of my undiagnosed symptoms sorted out. With my illnesses only partially discovered, I am left in an uncomfortable limbo. Of the known illnesses, I want to know my daughter won’t have them someday too.
A father with Celiac Disease and a mother with IBS and GERD doesn’t bode well for a great digestive system, but those are manageable. At least we will know early if she has those issues. We know what we’re looking for.
My other issues, not so much. It’s seeming like I do have fibromyalgia and POTS. Those are tentative diagnoses though. I don’t particularly want to pass those on to my daughter, but at least I would know what’s going on if they are confirmed.
It also seems like I might have some hypermobility going on. This is unconfirmed at the moment, but I do know now that my hips have been subluxing for years. But is that all that’s going on? Perhaps some of my other symptoms go together with hypermobility and are part of something else entirely.
What I Know I Cannot Have
Not knowing everything about my health makes me worry about my daughter. My husband’s side of the family has some particular illnesses that we don’t want her to have. My mother’s side is all over the place. When it comes to my father’s side, he was adopted and we know absolutely nothing about his family. Just one more unknown.
My daughter is perfectly healthy at the moment. She’s only 10 months old though. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about passing on chronic illnesses to her. Even though I know we could manage anything just fine and would support her as much as possible.
But I want her to be free of stigma, judgement and pain. The desire is for her to have an easier life, because this world is just not good enough for those with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities. I don’t want her to have to experience skepticism and a lack of accommodation. I don’t want her to be told she is faking it if she does indeed become chronically ill.
So all I want for Mother’s Day, as a chronically ill parent, is to know my daughter won’t have to struggle in the future and put my fears to rest.
Do you have similar desires for your child?
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May 8, 2021 at 6:19 am
Yes, this is why advocy work is so important. We need to get the stigma, understanding, supports, and resources greatly improved. Thank you for what you’re doing via your writing.
Are you looking into EDS?
May 8, 2021 at 12:56 pm
Thank you, Katie 😊
I’ve kinda skimmed some EDS resources and I don’t think it’s the issue. I might be on the lower end of the hypermobility spectrum though. Hopefully it’s sorted out soon. Too many overlapping symptoms!