A question I get asked a lot is about how I handle a one year old, while also dealing with the effects and pain of Crohn’s. And quite honestly, I wouldn’t be able to do it if I didn’t have my mother. She has been an amazing grandma (Lulu, as we like to call her) to my son, Caspian, and has helped me so much throughout this journey of sickness.
Caspian currently lives with her and my step dad. I have my own little apartment about ten minutes away and a major reason he doesn’t spend the night with me, is because nights are usually the worst for my pain. I sometimes am not able to even sleep on my sides and just a few nights ago, I wasn’t able to lie down at all and had to sleep sitting up against my wall. I find myself screaming and crying in pain and quite honestly, I would prefer my baby to not have to hear that while growing up. On top of the sleep issues, there are days I am unable to get out of bed, eat, take care of myself, or even lift up certain things, let alone a 20 lb baby. And for some reason, people STILL seem to think that I am just choosing to not raise my child. Which is absolutely not the case. I go to my mom’s nearly everyday (that I’m feeling alright) and hangout with him up until it’s bed time. I take him to his doctor appointments, day care, even the mall. I do as much as I’m physically able to. But having a chronic illness while being a 19 year old single mother, isn’t as easy as it sounds.
What really rubs me the wrong way is that people find ways to belittle my efforts in being a mother. I know I am very far from perfect, but I also know I am not a bad mom. I can’t exactly be super mom at the moment when my body is in a full out intestinal war with itself, alright? But I’m doing the best that I can.
Mom shame-rs are great, right? Not only am I not trying hard enough but I’ve actually heard people say that there are “people with worse conditions“. *Eye-roll* You are so right, Brenda, I’m sorry I wasn’t diagnosed with something more severe. I should just push through the pain and let myself pass out while holding my infant so then, he can be in pain with me too!
Now, as I’ve mentioned before, in February of 2019, I will be moving back to Ohio temporarily to seek out treatment from The Cleveland Clinic due to their excellent CD department. People still keep asking me that same question of “Oh! Will Caspian be coming with you?” or “Is Caspian going to live with you as well?” and I’m sorry, but what in the hell makes you think that I will be physically able to raise my son ALONE, without the help of my mother, when I can’t even do it now? I understand people don’t get the extent of how bad CD can be, but seriously, guys, I post all the time on Facebook about the pain I’m in or about how I’ve gone five days without eating or being able to leave my apartment. Like just use your heads, it’s connected to your neck for a reason.
Let me explain something, my son lives an AMAZING life out in Arizona. He loves my mom and step dad so much and they have such a close bond with one and other, and yes, I would love to have my son living with me, but that would be a very selfish and irresponsible thing to take him away from his happy life out here and to just confuse him more, and then for me to not even be able to be the mother I can only hope to be one day. Not only is he in day-care where he has already made friends, he has his whole life here. Everything he has grown to know, is at my mom’s house and he is just the happiest baby I’ve ever seen, so who am I to take that away from him? I will fly back to Arizona every month to see him and he will visit me in Ohio as well. Like I mentioned, this is a temporary thing until my health is back on track and I’m feeling able to move back out there.
Being a mother is already hard enough as it is. Being a mother with Crohn’s Disease is even harder. So to the people who sit there and talk about how I’m not doing enough, please try to remember that everything I do is for my son. If it weren’t for him, I don’t even think I would have put up this much of a fight to get better. Don’t judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. We all have battles and sometimes we have to lose a little bit, to win the final war.
And if you can’t see that what I am doing is what is best for my son, and the love I have for that child, then I guess that’s your problem. But one thing is for certain, he will always be taken care of and have an amazing life and I will always be in it, every step of the way.