I was reminded recently that moms of children with chronic illness often bristle when others view them as “saints” whom God has chosen. It may feel like rubbing salt into a deeply painful wound when a mother is told that God has selected them to care for their fragile child “because He knows that they can handle it.”
For this reason, I am re-blogging this post from May 2014.
Life is extremely taxing on the mother (father and the entire family) when a child lives with a chronic medical condition. Moms are often relied upon to be the “rock” for the child and the family.
In many ways, it is almost impossible to describe this experience.
Every mother is unique.
Every child with a chronic medical condition is unique.
Every family unit is unique.
- clinical depression and anxiety (which can occur at twice the rate in this population)
- isolation and stress brought on by the high cost of medical care
- inadequate support from their spouse
Fortunately, research has demonstrated that struggling families of children with long-term medical afflictions can be strengthened by the experience.
I have witnessed this with my own eyes. Some moms say they have the “rock” of faith. Others cite phenomenal support from extended family, friends and physicians. Still others say that both faith and social support helps them to cope.
But, the fact remains that these moms are dealing with extremely stressful situations. Some families don’t fair as well as others. Divorce may ensue.
For any moms who are looking for online support, here are some resources:
For now, I send to my dear friends (you know who you are) a big hug, a non-judgmental ear whenever you may need one, and the promise that I will NEVER say that you are a saint for dealing with such demanding day-to-day care. I know how much that bothers each of you! It is unfair and no one has the right to interpret why you were given this child to raise. I know how deep your love is for your precious one. The rest is for you each to understand in your own way.
Sending each of you my love and the promise that I will ALWAYS be there (if God allows).For those of you who may have family members or friends with a chronically ill child, please share this post with them (if you feel it is appropriate).
Believe me, they need all of the support they can receive.