What can we learn about parenting from a single mom of 3 who struggles with debilitating illness? A lot, it turns out.
Listen to the stories and wisdom shared by Jenny--about the beautiful mother's day gift her daughter made for her and what she learned one day in a Walmart parking lot.
The Compassion Parenting Podcast Hosted by Dr. Mary Wilde
Episode 6 - Seasons: On Sickness & Health (part 2)
I recently saw a social media post that said “Maybe you think someone doesn’t have a lot on their plate compared to you. But maybe their plate is smaller than yours and doesn’t have a lot of room to begin with. Or maybe their plate is paper, and their flimsy paper plate can’t hold as much as your sturdy ceramic plate.” @thehappyslothclub (Jan 18, 2021) Another mom shared the post and added, “My flimsy paper plate is wet and soggy. HBU?” @lessonsfromtheminivan (Jan 23, 2021)
Our capacity for outward things fluctuates day-by-day, partly based on our emotional and physical state and the intensity of the needs around us. In these fluctuations, there’s always room for compassion. Compassion for ourselves and compassion for others. So often we’re carrying more than even we ourselves realize. And doing a pretty amazing job of it too, all things considered.
In parenting, one circumstance that can take a major toll is illness. Last week we talked with Micah, who has a son with a chronic health issue. She shared her perspective and suggested ways to effectively support parents in her situation. (Make sure you go back and listen if you didn’t catch it!)
In today’s episode you’ll meet Jenny, a single mom with 3 daughters who deals with her own debilitating illness. Jenny suffers from recurrent seizures and hemiplegic migraines. I first met Jenny when I volunteered (along with other women in our church congregation) to help make sure she took her medications on certain days when her daughters weren’t available. Little did I know that she’d become a good friend with so much to teach me.
In our interview, I asked Jenny what she learned navigating parenting in the context of her own health issues. Listen especially for the story of the plant stand and think of what it could symbolize. Here’s the interview:
I loved the insights Jenny shared. These are the notes I took from her words:
Trust that life itself will teach your kids important lessons
Know that your kids may be more capable than you give them credit for.
Instead of micromanaging, look at the bigger picture.
Show appreciation, even when your kids have just done the bare minimum.
Hold onto your enthusiasm, not just with young children, but with teenagers too.
Even amidst the struggle, look for miracles.
Laugh together every day.
Trust each other; trust God.
And finally, and perhaps most importantly, you are never alone. Even those times you thought you were will prepare you to lift someone else’s burden, perhaps on a Sunday afternoon in a Walmart parking lot.
© Mary Illions Wilde, MD
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