1. It can be really easy to give up on life when you are always feeling terrible. My kids however do not give me a choice. They need me and so I am not given the option of laying in bed and feeling sorry for myself as I might otherwise.
2. Laughter is the best medicine and my kids sure make me laugh every day. Children carry such joy with them, they are always giggling and telling jokes and their laughter is infectious. My children often come to me with very earnest questions that are very serious to them but hilarious to me. For instance, my son asked me what my trouble name was and I was very confused by the question. What is a trouble name? It eventually came clear where he got this from. Apparently my son only gets called by his full name when he’s in trouble, so to him a trouble name is first, middle, and last name said all together. I just about died laughing when I figured this out.
3. Forced exercise. No sitting around and letting your muscles atrophy from lack of use. My children never stop running from dawn to dusk and I have to run after them. Also, carrying my son has given me some pretty good arm muscles. When I was at my sickest a doctor asked me if I was lifting weights. I laughed in derision, but even though I thought I was doing nothing I really was because of all the kid carrying!
4. Children force you to be social. I suppose if I had antisocial children this wouldn’t be true, but my kids are both very friendly and don’t like to be stuck at home. My daughter is very social and would ideally spend her whole life with friends. I dedicate a lot of my time to arranging her social calendar (she can’t do it herself yet). This helps me to meet people I wouldn’t normally meet. I love people but my health often prevents me from getting out as much as I would like so it’s great that my daughter forces me to be out and about.
5. My kids will be better people for this experience. Though I often feel guilty about not being the ideal mom, my kids are learning important life lessons. They are learning that illness in part of life and to not take their health for granted. They are learning independence, compassion, and love among other things. They’ll never be one of those self centered kids who think the whole world revolves around them and what they want.