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The Good Thing About Being a Parent with IBD

I would like to start this post by saying that I am not a mother. I had a miscarriage a while ago and ever since, things have been a bit complicated. I am, however, a godmother and an auntie. I’ve watched the parenting struggles and stood by my sister through her toughest days of being a mother. I’ve helped raise this baby since she was only a few months old.

My role in this child’s life

I remember this time last year I was making bottles and mixing formula. I know her favorite food. I know her greatest joys. I know what makes her sad. I know her fears. I am not a mother, but I play a very important role in this young girl’s life. It takes a village to raise a child. Whether you’re the parent or playing a different special role like myself, it’s important.

I was looking at my god-daughter the other day. Admiring the young lady she’s becoming. I asked her “who loves you?” And she always replies, “Auntie!” She is truly my little best friend. I was thinking about how things would change as she got older. Wondering what kind of little person she would become. I know a lot of people struggle with parenting with a chronic condition. I know a lot of people are hard on themselves. Always thinking about what they can’t do, or how much more they wish they could do. Many friends and even family members have told me things like this. But looking at her, I see it differently.

The good thing about being a parent with IBD

Because Tamia has me in her life, I’d like to think she’s going to be a better person. Because she knows and loves someone living with IBD, I think she’ll actually be more caring and understanding of the situations of others, especially those living with disabilities.

Health shouldn’t be taken for granted

You see, the good thing about being a parent, coparent, friend, cousin, brother, whatever you are, is that you’re teaching your loved ones. You’re giving them a better understanding of the world. You’re the one showing them, first hand, that life isn’t always smooth sailing and your health isn’t something to take for granted.

Tamia sees me living with IBD. She’s there on my good days. When I have energy and I can take her to the park or the mall. But she’s also there on my bad days. Days when I can’t even make it out of bed. She’s loved me through them all. I know when she meets someone living with a different disability, those days will pop in her mind. And when it does, I hope she uses it for good. I hope she uses those memories of my bad days to help someone else in need have a better one.

Teaching love, patience, and empathy

Living with IBD is so complicated. From our diagnosis to treatment options, even finding a good physician. Don’t be hard on yourself. Your condition doesn’t make you any less of a parent. You’re teaching your children love, patience, and empathy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    7 months ago

    Such a nice perspective. I am not a parent either but I will say, I feel like you nailed some very true points. A child will be able to see first hand what it is like having chronic illness. I believe too, that they will learn love, patience and empathy this way. And those traits are so valuable to have in order to navigate this unfair world.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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