Being Chronically Sick…Does It Affect Your Parenting?

chronically sick and parenting

Whether it’s your kids, your grandchildren or even nieces and nephews; children can be a handful and from what my parents have said even when they move out! We all know that when you are “normal person sick” it is hard enough looking after yourself sometimes let alone with little ones running around. So being sick all the time has got to have a negative knock on affect right? Well not everyone thought so!

I haven’t like many people known what it is like to be healthy for such a long time (being 10 when I got sick meant I never really knew) so we just get on with it and take each day as it comes. But I know what it is like to be relatively healthy, then decline really rapidly and recovering with mild side effects. I found the days where I was rocking back and forth in pain desperately counting down the seconds till 00Steve came in so I could take my morphine, because I refused to take it whilst I was alone with my two year old very stressful. The times she wanted to play and run around with me hit me right in the heart as I would have to say “Go ask Daddy sweetie.” she has actually just stopped asking me to do the active things with her even though now I can play so that sucks.

But the times she would be strong and not cry when I was ill or in hospital made me realise that it hasn’t made me the worst mum in the world because I have been sick, it has just taught my child early to be more empathetic and understand others feelings are just as important as her own. For instance she would come and stroke my face and sing to me, to make me feel better; or she will bring her doctors bag to the hospital to give me a “Proper check up because the doctors aren’t doing a good enough job!”

A lot of people find that being chronically sick does have it’s hardships but they find that their children pick up traits such as empathy, caring and well rounded. Some parents found that activities such as reading, drawing and imaginative play became a favourite as it’s something parents can do without moving too much etc but the child still gets a lot of interaction.

My friend gave me a quote on what it was like before being, during and after his ill health:

Before I got sick I absolutely loved being a dad.. I was able to take part in all the normal fatherly activities and looking back really took them for granted.
Being sick was a horrible time, I felt a complete let down as a father, wasn’t able to run and chase my boys in the park, couldn’t get on the floor and play cars or wrestle because of the arthritis. All in all I felt completely useless & that I wasn’t believed.
Since I have become well again (fingers crossed) I am now able to run around with my little boy, play tennis etc and be a lot more active, even though I no longer live with them.

I included his quote because for starters it is always nice to hear a males perspective and he has experienced being healthy, severely sick and now other than his arthritis and some other issues (small in comparison to how sick he was) being fit and healthy he could give a more well rounded approach.

Some people that voted yes to whether being chronically sick affected their parenting felt it was more on how they were as a parent rather than the child and I personally think this is because we unlike children have this idea or ideal in our heads of what a parent should be. Yet I also bet every single person that voted yes would say the main thing that never changed was their love for their child just the being an active parent changed.