Lupus Super Mom . . .Because Mothering with Chronic Illness Calls for a New Definition of "Super"

I am interested in more than just skin care and UV protection. 
Nothing means more to me than my role as a mother.  As any (honest) parent will admit, it's a tough job on a good day; add lupus to the mix, and it can be a guilt-ridden roller coaster. 

For months before my diagnosis, I was dragging in energy and spirit without explanation.  I felt terrible that I was "failing" my children by needing rest and struggling to keep up with them. I had a toddler and twin babies desperate for my energy and attention, but I barely had the energy to move. Every day I was failing to live up to my own expectations, never mind my aspirations.

I wondered what was wrong with me and why I couldn't snap out of it. My mysterious symptoms eventually led to an electrolyte crisis that necessitated a few days and nights in the ICU.  A few months later, I was diagnosed with lupus.

The diagnosis gave me an explanation for my symptoms, but it still didn't give me back the endless energy and patience I want to give my kids.   I figured out pretty quickly that wallowing in parenting guilt zaps what little energy I have, so in addition to coming up with a broader definition of beauty, I've also decided to redefine what it means to be a "super parent." Perhaps I do less as a mom, but I try to do it with attention and supreme love. I'm not failing when I need support, and neither are you.

This is a theme I hope to touch on from time to time, for myself as a mother and for any parent (or person) struggling to meet their own expectations in the face of illness.

As odd as it sounds, we have to realize our limits and strive for self-compassion in order to stay well for our children.

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