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Tips for coping with pain and motherhood

I have had chronic pain for over a decade now. A couple of months ago the How to Cope With Pain blog published my guest post Lessons From a Decade of Pain. I hope that it is a blessing to someone! There are many, many other posts on this blog from people in worse circumstances that may be encouraging to those who are suffering.

Another help in coping with pain is to remember that I can't control what people say to me, but I can aim to control my response to it (with God's help). In recent months I have found it difficult again to respond graciously and calmly to people's suggestions and comments about my pain, particularly in relation to being a mother and taking care of my home. My physical limitations mean that I need to mother differently from others.Other mummies may be able to carry their toddlers around on their hips and cart around heavy prams, but that won't be me! Many mothers talk about not sitting down all day, something that would be extraordinarily difficult for me. 

I have found that over years of chronic pain it is necessary to re-evaluate in every stage of life, and to accept my limitations again. There are many benefits that God has brought out of having chronic pain and being a mother. I am sure he will continue to do so. I have recognised more deeply the need to be sensetive to others' situations and to avoid offering unsolicited advice (still working on that one)! My little son has developed lots of physical independence as he climbs into the car and pram himself, walks with me rather than being carried, and no longer has the side on his cot.

Father's Grace Ministries  – (October 19, 2010 at 8:22 AM)  

What a wonderful and honest post, Sherrin!
I too have physical limitations that mean I can;t parent as others do, and I often feel judged.I had a car accident during my first pregnancy,injuring my neck and back (but Praise the Lord I walked away from it and my unborn baby was fine!) I also have had a knee problem that has caused problems since my early teens and to keep them mostly pain free, I can't kneel or squat, making things like rolling around on the floor with my kids an impossibility.If I took our kids to our Christian playgroup, I'd be sitting on a chair with the Grandmas, and this would be where I'd feel the judging looks the most-even though the leaders are good friends of ours, and know my situation.
That said, my children have all enjoyed a lot of couch time and reading time with Mum. I've carried 4 of them, including twins, for which I am truly thankful.I'm not having any more though due to my age and the multiple surgeries I've had to have on my uterus to remove fibroids and to bring all but one into the world. I pick the boys up more than I should, but am trying to excercise greater wisdom here.
All in all, God gives us the children He has foreknown, knowing our capabilities as well as our problems.
You are doing a great job, Sherrin!

Faith  – (October 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM)  

Such an honest post...thanks for sharing your story...I will keep you in my prayers when I think of you! I am sorry to hear you have chronic pain...but..our God is a BIG God...He gives us things to cope with for many reasons...and it sounds like you are doing a remarkable job! I, as a teacher of kindergarteners, think it is most wonderful that your son has some independence with walking, etc. And I'll bet you are still able to give him tons of hugs....it's actually better for children to learn to walk without being carried so much....i carried my youngest far too much and she was a "late" walker...no problems...just late and lazy....lol

Sherrin  – (October 19, 2010 at 3:03 PM)  

Thanks to both of you for sharing your encouragement!!

Claire, I think it must be really hard for people who don't have many physical limitations to understand what others learn to live with and how they have to adapt their lives. I am encouraged to hear of what God has enabled you to do. I took Natey to a playgroup and also found it difficult . . . you look neglectful if you sit down, and it is so hard to follow a child around for two hours when you are not 100% physically. Like your children, my little boy loves to sit and read with his Mummy.

Homemanager  – (October 28, 2010 at 4:22 AM)  

Hello Dear Sherrin!
I have not been able to keep up with your blog (let alone my own!) :) but I am so thankful to the Lord for your wonderful example. I think all Mum's are judged on some level because the enemy of our souls want to keep us discouraged and insecure. You are doing a wonderful job! The Lord is bringing forth fruit in you and in with your family! Glory to God!
God's Abundant Grace to You,
Karen

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