Sitting in my bedroom with the lights off and door closed, I hear movement from one of my two children. “Please don’t come in. Please don’t come in.” I hate this thought of mine, but it’s real. It comes from the pain brought on by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and/or the fatigue that RA just can’t ever seem to shake.
Then a second thought: “I am their mama; they need me.’” This thought hurts my heart almost as much as the pain from RA inflammation because I know I don’t have the energy to meet the needs of my children that day. As a parent with a chronic illness, I feel guilty as they continue past my door and I let out a sigh of relief.
Somedays I am not the mom my heart guides me to be. Being part of the chronic illness community, I know I am not alone in the feeling of guilt that comes when your health takes priority over everything else in life. But when your child, no matter the age, needs you and you can’t provide, it is hard to not feel guilty.
To read more, check out my tips on dealing with the guilt that comes with RA or any other type of chronic illness and parenting at HealthCentral.