parenting 101

The decision when or if to become a parent is a highly personal one. Still, strangers seem to be OK with asking about it without pausing to think that maybe that’s not a question they should be asking of someone they’ve never met before.

As of yet, I do not have kids. I don’t know if I ever will. I go back and forth on this one. My PSA certainly has a huge impact on this, changing the language I use when I talk about the possibility of having children and the potential problems I see with raising them with the challenges I deal with day to day.

When I have a good day — I’ve slept well, my energy is up, my bones and muscles don’t ache and protest whether I move or keep still — I begin to think that yes, of course, I could have children. It would be difficult, sure, but my husband and I could certainly handle children. We’ve been through our fair share of challenges and come out the other side stronger for them. When I’m feeling well, I see all the wonderful possibilities children bring into people’s lives. When I’m feeling well, the difficulties children bring along with them don’t seem so hard to manage.

Sure, I know that raising kids isn’t easy, but on good days, I see kids and smile.

But on bad days, everything changes.

Take yesterday. Yesterday, it was hot — more than 90 degrees outside — and so, so humid. Yesterday, I had the worst bad day I’ve had in a long time, a combination of PSA flare and a migraine that just would not let go. I was quite literally brought to tears by the amount of pain I was in. On a day like that, how in the world would I handle taking care of a child? On a day when my hands were so swollen and achy picking up a glass of water was almost unbearable, how would I hold a toddler? On a day when my mind was foggy and my head exploding, how would I sooth an infant’s cries? On a day where sitting was painful, how would I keep up with an energetic 4-year-old?

On bad days, the realities of my condition hit me full force. Taking care of a cat and a dog can be hard enough when I’m not well; taking care of a child might be more than I am up for. Still, I know it can be done. People with PSA, migraines and all kinds of chronic conditions have raised children before. I’m sure I — we, my husband and I — would figure something out, some kind of way to make it work, if we decide having children is something we really want to do.

And though the idea of having kids fills me with all kinds of questions, the logistics of how it would work — would I have to stop working, would I be thrown into a flare after giving birth, would adoption be a better route for us — I know if we decide to have children, it’s something we will have to figure out. For now, I can enjoy other people’s children and take pleasure in the fact that I can simply give them back if I am no longer able to handle them.


4 thoughts on “parenting 101

  1. That was beautifully written! I understand your concern. I also have PSA, among other chronic illnesses. We decided on adoption b/c it would just be too hard physically for me to carry a baby. The adoption process has been a tough one–6 years. But it is worth the wait for us. We want a baby. We have always wanted a family. I think that no matter how sick or disabled you are, you can make it work. It takes so much strength and courage to get through life with a chronic illness, that you already have it in you to take care of a child. That is what I tell myself all the time! Good luck to you!


  2. Thanks Nessie. I’m at the same place you are…. I go back and forth too. My husband and I are exploring the adoption process because I am now infertile because of chemo and radiation, but I just don’t know. I’ve at least decided to start the process so I can gain more information, but we’re still undecided as to whether or not we should do it because of my health issues. Glad to know I’m not the only one who wrestles with this issue. Thanks for sharing!

    Blessings to you,

    • Hi Laura:

      Thanks for your comments.

      Good luck with the adoption process, if you decide that’s the way to go. It’s definitely hard to figure out and intensely personal. I hope you and your husband can decide what will work best for you!

  3. The answer to your question is that – on the really, really hard days – you rely on family and friends and people who love you, because by default they will love your child too. During our very rough week over here, my daughter has been soaking up the attention from all her ‘aunties’ – some of them permanently childless-by-choice advertising chicks in stilettos who look ill at the very idea of sticky toddler fingers – and loving every moment like the tiny diva she is 🙂

    I’m sorry that people bother you with questions. That’s so unfair. I can’t completely relate, but I know that I get the ‘when are you having another one’ question. We aren’t having another one. I can’t physically handle having another one (the first one was a surprise – the most terrifying and also the best surprise of my life). It’s ridiculous to me that people don’t/can’t/won’t consider our health challenges before they ask questions like that. Or that people ask anyone questions like that in the first place.

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