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This episode of the podcast is dedicated to all you brave mamas who are fighting chronic illness while raising their family. Tanya Fierro is joining me on the podcast to talk about the challenges she's faced and how she's learned to navigate them. Click here to tune in!

Motherhood & Chronic Illness: A Podcast Episode with Tanya Fierro

Every time I connect with one of you fellow spoonies who’s also a momma, I am so inspired by your strength. On top of the layers of struggle that sickness brings, somehow you wonder-moms are raising your kids with so much heart and care.

You’re tackling what you can in the home. You’re showing up whenever you can for the big moments, and embracing the small ones on the daily. You are patient. You are giving. And you are rockstars.

Since I don’t have personal experience in this area, I wanted to chat with someone who could share their experience and encouragement with other parents who chronically ill. Someone who understands the unique challenges of balancing a life of pain and mothering (or fathering).

A chat with Tanya Fierro

So today, I’ve brought on Tanya Fierro to chat about her own experiences with motherhood while living with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. She writes over at My Fruitful Home, sharing inspiration and helpful tools for living life fully with chronic illness.

Tanya’s had her share of heartache and struggle. Her understanding of loss has been an encouragement and comfort to me as I continue to live with the memory of my own. And I know that her story will inspire and connect with so many of you, too.

So whether you’re a mom, chronically ill, or hoping for motherhood someday, or just want to listen, you are welcome to join us on our virtual couch today. I’m telling you guys: her honesty and kind heart are such a light.

You can tune in below to hear us talk about the challenges she’s faced and what she’s learned through more than 20 years of motherhood and illness.

What is one thing that helps you navigate motherhood while living with chronic illness? 

Want to connect with Tanya? You can find her on her blog and on Facebook. 🙂

 

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For All You Moms. And Those of Us Sitting Over “Here.”

mums

While in honor of Mother’s Day, this post is truly for all women. The mothers, the aching child-less hearts, the grieving one who lost their precious babe(s) and to the woman who never plans to have children. We all have a role to play and a reason to be loved this Mother’s day and everyday.

My Mom lives a solid 9 hour drive from me currently, so I’m wishing her a happy day from afar today.

She is one of the most giving people I know. She’s given away more free furniture, gifts and time than I could ever think possible for one human to give. She even gave away her wedding dress one year to a bride who wasn’t going to be able to have one for her wedding. I’m pretty sure giving is her superpower.

She strives to always be a phone call away for her kids –  excuse me, her babies, as she reminds us (thanks, mom) – and I would say she excels in that area. She tried working outside the house for a couple of years during our childhood and simply felt her calling was to be at home with us kids – all four of us. So she left her job and came back home and I’m thankful for all that she sacrificed to do that.

I have fond memories of how fun she would make summer vacation and all the ways she tries to make our birthdays special. Her mashed potatoes will forever be untouched.

I’m also blessed to have my mother-in-law, Joyce, in my life. She instantly welcomed me into the family fold, offering me their spare room to live in during our engagement months.

She is kind and generous and has helped us so much in these last two years of fighting this disease. From weekly doctor’s visits to helping out in the home, she hasn’t thought twice about helping us in any way she could.

We share a love for country music, and even though neither of our guys are a fan, we still have managed to sneak it into the car mix on a couple of road trips. Because girls must stick together. I’m thankful to call her mom, too. <3

Mother’s Day can bring such a wide range of emotions to each of us women. For some it is a time of gratitude for the children they’ve been blessed with. For others, they are celebrating the mothers in their life today and the beauty of their relationship as mother-child.

Yet, it’s a hard holiday for those who have a strained relationship with their mom, or maybe don’t know who or where their mom even is. And for even others, there is grief on this day. Grief over the child(ren) who’ve been lost or the desire of motherhood yet to be fulfilled.

It’s a day where motherhood is needed most. Sensitivity and compassion can often be replaced with questions of “when are you going to start having littles of your own?” or “are you going to be a mother this year?!”

The simple phrase of “happy mother’s day” can be every bit as happy as the words suggest, or it could be the very thing that sets off a flood of tears and pain. But, the act of mothering, of caring for another – that is what is most needed today.

Let’s muscle up those mothering hearts we’ve been entrusted with as women and remember to be sensitive to the fact that not every woman can easily have children. There are also women who may not want to have children of their own.

Let’s resist our knee-jerk questions and phrases and replace them with compassion and awareness, love and listening. Let’s embrace the mothers in our life while also being soft to those who are hurting.

If you are a mother reading this today, I wish blessing and love all over you. Hold those precious littles (and bigs) tight today. You all are amazing and fulfilling such a beautiful calling, even on the days of overwhelm when you feel like you’re just not quite giving enough. I declare you are rocking the mom gig!

To the single or married woman who doesn’t plan on having children, you, too have such an important role. I’m sure you’re tired of the disbelief and questions of why you don’t want to have children of your own. But I’ve seen you. I’ve seen the way you inspire and give so much of yourself, the ways you invest in the children of friends and family and give their parents a beautiful breath of fresh air through adult conversation and encouragement. Keep being you!

And for you, sitting here with me in the land of dreams or aches or grief. I see you and I hear you. This holiday can be so hard. The questions, the waiting, the wondering “will I have my moment? Will I have this gift?” For some this day brings back memories of what we’ve lost and it cuts to the core. I’m sending big hugs and so much empathy and compassion your way.

Wherever you’re sitting as this Mother’s Day approaches, I pray you feel loved and reminded of your value. Your heart has much to offer this aching world.

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