Motherhood and IBD is not all or nothing

Being a mom with IBD can be complicated. You want to be everything to everyone and you often feel like your needs and your health are at the bottom of the totem pole. I laughed to myself today because I've been so productive.

I woke up before the rest of my family and got dressed for the day, led a presentation over Zoom to a middle school class about TV performance with both of my little ones in the room, tried out a new crockpot recipe so we're eating dinner at 6 pm, did five loads of laundry, and the list goes on.

Caring for myself while in pain

Yesterday I was dealing with so much abdominal pain I couldn't rock my baby before her nap and my three-year-old asked, "Mama are you going to be ok? Are you sad?"

Rather than trying to take on household chores or be productive, I snuggled him while we watched a Disney movie. I worried about what the next few hours could hold but realized I needed to listen to my body and slow down.

This is what mom life with Crohn's is like

It's capitalizing on the feel-good days and recognizing when you need to rest on the painful ones. It's making the most of the moments when you feel carefree and able to take on the world and knowing when you need to cancel work calls and lay on the couch while your babies nap.

It's communicating with your partner that you're struggling and keeping him or her up to date on what's going on. It's having leftovers rather than trying to whip up a delicious dinner.

Just like there is give and take in life with loved ones and friends, please take time to give to yourself, too. You are doing more than you realize each day. Some days just being awake is a huge accomplishment. These times are especially challenging. So much worry. So much unknown. You're juggling a lot and so am I.

Focus on all the accomplishments

Find your lighthouse, find your reset. When you feel like you're not keeping up or doing enough, try and focus all you accomplish each day rather than what's left on the "to do" list. Flip the script for your life.

Chances are you put your children and partner before yourself, make sure you take time for you. Whether it's getting up an hour earlier or disconnecting from your phone once the kids are in bed, make little changes that can make big differences in your overall well-being and ability to take on the day.

Little changes that can make a big difference

Simply showering rather than wearing pajamas all day makes a huge difference.

Simply keeping your phone in another room allows you to be present.

Simply throwing together a few ingredients in the crockpot and turning it on makes mealtime a lot less stressful.

Simply taking a moment to breathe and unwind can allow you to decompress and de-stress.

Even though our focus and identity shift big time once we become a parent, the person you were prior to having a baby, is still in there. She deserves some love, too.

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