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Being a parent with TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Waterbear, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Waterbear

    Waterbear Peer Supporter

    Ever since I started to have pain in my joints, I've been concerned about this. One day, I think I might want to be a mom. I'm very scared that I won't be able to be a good mom if I can't move around well.

    I was incredibly active until only 1 year ago. My friends used to say that I never lost my 2 year old energy. I bet those genes are good and strong in me. I was a very active kid too. My parents would play soccer with me and take me hiking. On the weekend, I'd make arts and crafts with my mom.

    I've had pain in both elbows and knees (among other joints). I'm not concerned if I'll be able to carry a child. I'm afraid I won't be able to raise a kid well.

    I'm afraid that I'll never be able to teach my child how to kick a soccer ball, or how to play basketball, or even just play with with him/her. I'm scared that I won't be able to carry my baby without terrible arm pain. You can kind of see the trend here. I have many of these thoughts. I don't want to be some lump that can't play with their kids.

    So if you're a parent and in pain, how do you do it?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. mousemom

    mousemom Peer Supporter

    Hi Waterbear! We'll I'm a mom in pain for the past 10 years. I'm in the worst flare up the past 8 months now. Without my incredible husband & boys I might have given up. Don't let having a baby put fear into your heart, that will only continue the cycle. I can't lie and say it has been easy but I would do it all over again. I don't think the physical part of being a parent is the hardest it is the emotional part. Especially for a mom who tends to worry too much about their children. I'm not saying dads don't worry but us women tend to over worry. The blessing my pain has taught me is to talk to my kids more about how they are feeling when their neck hurts etc. so hopefully they won't suffer like I have.

    I can't always play with them either but they know where to come pain or no pain to cuddle, laugh, want their back scratched, homework help, or just to talk. I still make 95% of their sport activities & play video games (even though I don't know what I'm doing most of the time when I'm playing them). So I guess what I'm saying is don't be afraid to have a baby because your motherly love will shine through no matter your limitations & they will love you. There will many ways to bond with your baby. You'll be a great mom!!
    Ellen and Anne Walker like this.
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I remember so well being concerned over how I was going to be able to have children when I could barely lift a phone book because of my back pain. Ha! Phone book! When is the last time you picked up one of those? Then when I got pregnant I was pleasantly surprised that my back didn't bother me at all. It was morning sickness! I lugged kids and strollers all over the place, played baseball, and did it all. Having always been a fearful person, it was empowering to be responsible for a helpless little creature that forced me to be brave. Nurturing them to feel safe and secure ended up reassuring me as well. If you are a perfectionist, like many of us here are, it is hard to feel as if we are ever doing enough for our children. That is something to watch out for. My kids have grown up with me being in pain, I often felt like I wasn't truly present with them because of the pain, and yet they are turning 13 and 15 this month and they are fantastic, happy kids. I did a good job in spite of the pain. There is no way to predict if you will still be in pain when you have children, but however you are, you can still be a great parent. You don't have to worry about that. Love is what children need the most.
    Ellen likes this.
  4. Mermaid

    Mermaid Well known member

    Hi Waterbear,

    I would highly recommend you read "The Meaning of Truth" by Nicole J. Sachs. She deals at length with the problems motherhood creates whilst recovering from TMS. She was crippled with pain from a young age, but is now totally recovered.

    I hope this helps :)
  5. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hi Waterbear,

    It sounds like you are taking the fear created by your pain and projecting into the future. My suggestion would be to adjust your focus and bring it more into the here and now. TMS pain's purpose is to act as a distractor, creating fear and anxiety. This fear often arises and is amplified by looking down the road at future scenarios and becoming terrified of what they will be like with symptoms. Will I ever get better? Will I be able to figure out what's causing this? Or, in your case, will I be able to be a good mother? These kind of thoughts put an immense burden on you! You are basically pressuring yourself to get better or figure this out or else you will suffer terrible consequences. A very important component of healing is learning to treat yourself with love and compassion; telling yourself that unless you get over your pain you will be a terrible mother is not a very compassionate stance to take with yourself. Now of course I recognize that this fear makes sense. If motherhood is something you want and have looked forward to, of course you will worry about your capacity as you reflect on the consequences of your symptoms. In other words, don't feel like you're crazy just for having these fears. But I think it's important to recognize how the pain can create fears that "go for the jugular" and attack us where we are most vulnerable and susceptible to fear and anxiety.

    So what to do? I think you need to begin to focus more on yourself in the present than what the future may hold. While it may seem heartless to tell you not to care about your future children, I think that you must first prioritize yourself and your well-being before you can be the kind of caring mother that you want to be. What is getting in the way of you healing yourself now? What triggers your pain now? How do you care for yourself now? If you are able to confront and address your symptoms now you will be able to gain a sense of empowerment so that, should they arise when you finally do have children, you will be able to understand them for what they are: non-structural expressions of TMS. By allowing them to generate fears of the hypothetical, you will be unable to confront them in the present and they will continue to hang over your head.
    DanielleMRD likes this.

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