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How do you parent with chronic illness?

I get asked a lot how I do it. How do I parent two kids, one is too young to do anything independently, with chronic illness?

The short answer is that no one gave me a choice.

The long answer is time management and learning to let things go. Take today for example, it was my son’s last day of preschool until next year so I was planning to spend the morning resting in order to prepare myself for the next three months (I wish it worked like that anyway). Aaaaand, then my daughter complained of ear pain and I had to spend my last morning of freedom at the doctors office because it turns out she has pneumonia (parenting fail #1).

Soooo, my awesome plans did not turn out how I expected. I’m tired and hurting from sitting in the doctors office all morning and now my son is home from school full of energy. Blerg. So instead of being a fun mom as planned, he is sitting in my bed with me playing kindle (parenting fail #2). I used to get really upset and down on myself when things like this would happen. I should have know my daughter had pneumonia, I should be playing with my son this afternoon like I planned, I should be the awesome Mom I had always planned on being. But what I have learned is you can’t dwell on the shoulds. Yes, things would have been better if I had handled things a bit differently, but at the end of the day my daughter made it to the doctor and my son is still perfectly happy and well loved. Neither kid is going to be scarred from this experience because they have a home with parents who love them and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and that’s what life with chronic illness is all about.

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