The Challenge of Parenting with Hashimoto’s

April is back to share with us what life is like living with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. We encourage people to leave comments about their own struggles along with resources you have found. Feel free to add them in the comments section or out on our Facebook page.

January is Hashimoto’s awareness month, so why am I writing about it in February? Well, I meant to but then I forgot, was too tired, and did I mention forgot. You see, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid. The thyroid gland produces hormones which regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development and bone maintenance(Thanks Google!). Basically, it makes me exhausted, cranky, and achy. So it’s a super awesome funtime! I do do things so I can function semi-normally on daily basis. Exercise & eating right are important but even they can not help when my body really has it in your for me. There are days I really need to lay in my bed binge watching Netflix while eating powdered donuts lamenting about why my body hates me so. Another fun side is depression and anxiety. I have to remember to be kind to myself. It is not my fault that my body thinks my thyroid is the enemy and must be destroyed. Soon it will quit fighting and my thyroid will swing into action with a burst of energy!

The holidays are the worst. Every fall, I think that I will get on top of the holidays. I’ll get all the shopping done for Christmas and Hanukkah early so I can spend the time baking, decorating, and enjoying life. Nope, not even close. All of a sudden, it’s winter break for the tiny human and nothing is accomplished. Winning! Of course, I am surprised at where the time went. With two weeks before the festivities and I end up having to scramble to get things done. With the help of the tiny human, I throw up Christmas lights everywhere. Seriously, if it will hold a 3M hook then lights get attach to it! My husband always makes fun of it but I really like the soft lighting it creates. This year, Hanukkah and Christmas were at the same time so we decorated the house with a cheery mix of cultures. Here is where my anxiety kicks in, I think is this enough?! I have to remind myself that the holidays are not about ‘stuff’ but being with loved ones. I forego fancy cookies for store bought and elaborate time consuming meals for easy simple ones. Though I am determined to make a German Stollen cake next year! Ok, I say it every year but I really mean it this time. Really.

The big thing this year was getting a real tree. We lived in a condo for 12+ years and never wanted to drag one up to the fourth floor then drag that bad boy back down again. We did have a lovely potted Norfolk Pine tree that got decorated. Now that we have a cute little house in ‘burbs, the husband decided that we should have a real tree. This was done in a timely matter as he was in charge of it. We had family funtime picking one out, getting it home, and setting it up. Now, I was in charge of decorating it so can you guess when that happened? About a week later. Winning!

After worrying about food and the house being festive, I forget about gifts. Now it’s one week left and we have nothing. Crap! If you don’t know about Amazon Prime then let me tell you it’s a life saver. Two day shipping is amazing! I click through everyone’s wishlist and, boom, it’s on the way to my house. Except, if a snow/ice storm hits the Pacific Northwest like it did this year resulting in nothing getting in or out. More anxiety hits but I remember to be kind to myself. I forget this quite a bit. I must remember that it is not that I am lazy or not trying hard enough. Stupid body trying to destroy me! So deep breaths and a little spiked eggnog to calm the nerves. At one point, I printed out a picture of the gift to put in our eldest’s stocking. We ended up celebrating all the way up to New Year’s eve as packages came in.

So, what did I learn this holiday season about my limitations? That it’s not the end of the world if things are a bit out of sync, Hashimoto’s isn’t the end of the world but it sucks, and cut yourself some slack. The last is the biggest thing. You have to take care of yourself before you can care for others. Especially, Moms. We tend to put others first but you have to remember that your health and well being is very important too. So it really doesn’t matter if things are not Pinterest perfect or the fact that you forgot to send out holiday cards. (I can’t even begin to tell you about how I have failed at that one the last two years or that last year’s ones are still sitting on a desk in our office.) So I remember that some days will be harder than others and not get too worked up about it. In fact, the tree is still up. I finally did take the decorations down but the tree is slowly dieing in our living room. I plan on doing it this weekend. Hopefully…

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