Dear Mom with the Autoimmune Disease,
With symptoms like fatigue, difficulty breathing, hair loss, mouth sores, sensitivity to light, joint pain, skin rashes, brain fog, and dizziness, daily tasks can seem insurmountable.
Now add taking care of a baby or toddler, work, school, grocery shopping, extracurricular activities, and all of the other things that come with being a mom. To some, this seems to be a recipe for disaster, but this is your life.
You are the definition of extraordinary. You are navigating through motherhood with an ominous cloud hanging over your head. Because of that (and so much more), you are brave. You are courageous. You are strong.
At times, this invisible disease makes you feel unseen, misunderstood. There are moments when you want to wear all of your symptoms on your sleeve like emotions, but you know it won’t do any good, so you press on. Why? You are a mom. The fire that burns deep inside of you is brighter, more intense than the fire that surrounds you.
Let me be the one to tell you, it is okay to show your pain. It’s okay to ask for help. I know family and friends simply do not get it sometimes. “You look fine, you don’t look sick,” they say, but you are. You are not making this up, you are not crazy, they are the crazy ones for not truly seeing you.
It is totally fine to have days where you and your children are in your pajamas binge watching Daniel Tiger. The battle is tough; it’s long and hard, so you need a break. There are days when it takes every single ounce of energy to get out of bed, but you plant both feet on the floor and push through. You are not lazy; you are a warrior! You are still standing as you fight every single day for your life and for the life of your children. The fire that burns deep inside of you is brighter, more intense than the fire that surrounds you.
You may have a to-do list they never gets done or a house that never seems to be clean enough. Dinner may be pizza or chicken nuggets more often than you like, but none of that truly matters. What matters most is that you give your heart to your child every single day. They are the sun. They are the reason why you roll out of bed, stiff, achy joints and all, and love the best you can on that day.
Just remember, your autoimmune doesn’t define you. Yes, this disease does demand a lot, but ultimately you are in control. The other mothers you see have their own story, so don’t compare yourself with them. You are a good mom, so be gentle to yourself, offer yourself much grace. You are your child’s hero. Again, you are extraordinary.
I am you. I have an autoimmune disease. I know the struggle. I know the pain. I know the exhaustion of powering through days at 40%. I see you, and I am thinking about you every day, hoping that you remember that you are a survivor. Mothering with a chronic disease is tough, but you are built tough.
From one warrior to another,