4 Lessons I Want My Children to Learn From My Life With Chronic Illness

Being a parent in today’s world is not an easy feat. Being a chronically ill parent in today’s world can feel like a trap. There are days I feel like my parenting is the best I can expect it to be; and then there are days I want to grab my chronic illness by the throat and throw it across the room for how it impedes my ability to be a typical parent. As I walk this parenting journey with a unique perspective, there are a few things I want my children to learn from our situation:

1. Always be kind. Be kind to your friends, your family, your allies and even the bullies. You never know what someone is living through behind the scenes, and being kind just may make someone’s day. Smile as you pass someone on the street. That smile may go farther than your heart can imagine.

2. Never give up. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. Tell yourself you’re capable and work hard for what you want.When you hit a dead end on your voyage, turn around and try going another way. Life is not easy, but giving it your best, despite any hurdles, is always worth it in the end.

3. Do what makes you happy. Yes, it’s important to be able to support yourself in a world where life continues to become more expensive. But choose something that brings a smile to your face; no one wants to wake up each day and head to a job they don’t enjoy.

4. Never take what you have for granted. Not your family, your friends, the roof over your head, or the ability of your legs to hold you upright day after day. Nothing in life is promised, so show your gratitude for all that you have.  Wake up each morning knowing how lucky you are to be living this day.

Take it from me – I’ve seen some dark days during my chronic illness journey. But this darkness has shown me the light. It has given me appreciation for the small things and made me more empathetic towards those around me. Being kind, courageous, and thankful will provide you a solid foundation for a happy life. Remember that no one is perfect and sometimes it’s easier to forget these simple habits than to follow them. So when you need a hand to help you get back up, know that I’m right there walking this journey alongside you.

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