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When Someone Referred to Me as the 'Lazy Mom in the Shade'

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It always seems the school year goes slow, then without any warning summer arrives.

I used to dread summer.

Summers are hard for our family. With severe photosensitivity because of my lupus, I have a short window of being able to be outside. Before 9:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m., otherwise I am useless for at least a day or two. I spent the summers watching my kids from the window or the shade of a tree. The kids knew I wouldn’t be joining them on the playground or in the pool.


Then there was the day, while I was sitting in the shade, when one comment broke me. The “lazy mom.” It was only one comment. My heart hurt. My kids were 4 and 2. I knew they were safe, they knew I was always in view. My kids never complained.

So, why did I let one comment bother me? In all honesty…it was what I thought. I hadn’t dealt with what parenting with lupus would look like.

As the kids got older they never questioned why we went to the park at night or had limited play dates outside. They didn’t know any different.

woman's feet in the shade with just her toes peeking out into the sun

Parenting with lupus will have its challenges. There will be events I miss. Lots of naps. Sudden stays with friends. Visits in the hospital. Dad will cook via take-out. Summer days spent binging on TV. Challenges are what we face every day and have strengthened our family. We wouldn’t have become the people we are without challenges. We have to take the good with the bad. And maybe we appreciate the good a little more.

I don’t dread the summer as I once did. I’ve become quite content to sit under my umbrella. Watching from the shade, I’ve slowly embraced my limitations. I will never be afraid to speak up and share what having lupus is like to someone who is quick to judge. But, most of all, I no longer believe I’m the “lazy mom.”

This post originally appeared on Normal for Us.

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Originally published: June 8, 2017
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