The Daily Challenge of Parenting When Chronically Ill

parentingCaring for our own illness while parenting our children is a challenge. Laura shares where we must find our strength.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Strength: the quality of being physically strong. The quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way.

As parents living with chronic illness the last thing we feel is physically strong. Our bodies fight us constantly and our mind often goes along for the ride.

I know one friend through my internet connections that barely gets out of her chair, yet she teaches her children all sorts of things. They know about perseverance, courage, faith in God, and to look at the little blessings in life.

I’m sure there are many difficult moments in their family–like many families–but there are also happy times that they share; quality time they will cherish forever.

Early in my illness I found myself crying on the floor; snot dripping from my nose; tears running from my eyes. It was not a pretty site.

My 11-year-old was much younger then. I distinctly remember crying out “God help me,” and in bounced my young son. He lied down on the floor, put his arms around me, and began talking about our favorite hockey team. I’m convinced he was sent by God at that exact moment to help.

We eventually got up off the floor, continued our conversation, and my tears stopped. I was reminded that I had much more work to do on this earth.

I’ve had many rough spots on this journey and have made mistakes as a parent, but my three kids are learning empathy. The understand more about the fragility of health and value little things. They see me rely more on God and I pray this helps them grow in their faith.

We are our children’s greatest teachers and despite our illnesses are a tremendous value to them.

We have strength regardless of our physical weaknesses and must not forget this.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for helping to remind us that we have strengths despite our physical ailments and we are important and vital to our families. Guide us as we fill such as an important role in life as a parent. In Your name, dear Lord, Amen.

About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three children. She is a retired elementary school counselor who discovered her love of writing about 35 years ago. Laura is the disability/chronic illness advocate for her church and also enjoys running a HopeKeepers group. She is writing a book about her illness, dysautonomia: the deregulation of the autonomic nervous system. She had a pacemaker implanted in October 2013 as a result of dysautonomia slowing her heart rate.

How have you learned to balance living with a chronic illness and parenting?

I understand just how hard parenting can be when you are ill–and your kids need you desperately. This song, “Not For a Moment” with Meredith Andrews has some real comforting lyrics–whether you are a parent or not. It shares of how no matter how much it feels like God takes a break from our lives, He doesn’t leave us for even a moment. Bless you today. -Lisa