Motherhood Mantra: The Power of Resilience

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                                                                         My mother and I

                                                                         My mother and I

It's often said we don't really know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have. Growing up with a chronic illness has taught me the relevance of this motherhood mantra, which my mom instilled in me at an early age. Not many kids experience daily aches and pains like I felt as a child having been diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Obstacles became temporary roadblocks until I found a way to navigate around them. Whatever goals I set for myself, my mom remained firmly at my side encouraging me every step of the way. Despite setbacks, the power of resilience became a way of life for me. Looking back, I am thankful for those early struggles because I learned of the strength I had inside.

                                                                                     My sons and I

                                                                                     My sons and I

As a mom, it's been challenging raising two boys while suffering from a chronic disease. Simple daily living tasks like opening a jar or walking to the mailbox become Gargantuan chores when I'm suffering from a flare. I have never hidden my illness from the kids for the simple fact that my struggles are real. We all have challenges, but it's how we deal with them that determines our true character. Having the determination and will to succeed has enabled me to reach my goals as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

                                                                                  My sons

                                                                                  My sons

As my boys approach different milestones in their lives, college graduation for my oldest and the final year of high school for my youngest, my hope for them is simple. When life doesn't quite turn out the way they expect, I hope they dig deep inside themselves for the courage to persevere. Bouncing back rather than throwing in the towel will be easier said than done. I can attest to that. Yet, as their mom, I truly believe my disease has taught them a very valuable lesson. I may not be able to run a mile, climb the highest mountain, or swim across the sea, but my resilience has enabled me to reach my personal best. Whatever that may be for them is truly in their hands. The one thing I know for sure is this. Like my mother, I will be alongside my boys encouraging them to be resilient in times of adversity at every chance I get. Happy Mother's Day from one mom to another. May your journey lead you to a life filled with love and happiness.

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