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Originally published on 31st March 2018 Last updated on 19th March 2023
To the mother with hypothyroidism this Mother’s Day,
I know at times you feel tired, achy, frustrated and strained. You push yourself each and every day to keep on going, keep on raising your family with love and kindness despite your own body fighting against you.
You may even feel a sense of guilt for having a thyroid condition, as you question whether you’d be a more active, more fun parent and better parent without it. But on this Mother’s Day, let the guilt melt away as I tell you that you are enough. You are doing enough.
Being a mother with thyroid disease can make parenting even more of a challenge. Many mothers with hypothyroidism are even more exhausted, even more stressed and struggle even more so mentally, as well as physically, than other parents.
And I’m recognising this.
Other people, including other parents, may not fully understand how hypothyroidism affects your energy, brain fog and mood or mental health, among other things, but I and the large thyroid community do.
Never feel ashamed to ask for help from those around you as you juggle having a chronic illness and being a parent. Yes, you may need to be dependent on help from others in order to just get through the day, but you’re doing the best you can. You’re a super mum.
On ‘bad thyroid days’ or flare ups, pulling the laundry out of the washing machine can be too much. Showering can use up all your energy and cooking the family a nutritious meal isn’t even an option if you’re so fatigued and in pain that you’re struggling to stand.
But listen to me: you are not a failure.
In fact, you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. You accomplish so much each and every day.
It takes someone very determined to get up day after day, feeling like they have the flu, wiped out and running on empty. And on top of all that, you’re responsible for another human being’s life.
Getting out of bed can be difficult enough on bad thyroid days, but running a family is that extra cherry on top that can tip you over. I know that. I’ve been there too.
Juggling medications, doctors appointments and check-ups for yourself, let alone all the ones for your child or children too, can become overwhelming. The lack of sleep on top of thyroid fatigue can be cruel and the unpredictability of your body can be frustrating.
So you shouldn’t feel guilty if you need to cancel plans. You’re not being unreliable – your body is. You’re entitled to feel the way you feel and take care of yourself.
Being a parent with hypothyroidism can be difficult when you already struggle to look after yourself some days, let alone anyone else.
So here’s a special Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers with hypothyroidism.
I think you’re amazing.
Take care of yourself.
– Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism
(a mother also)
You, Me and Hypothyroidism: When Someone You Love Has Hypothyroidism, a book for those who know someone with hypothyroidism. It looks at how parenting, fertility, home life and more can all be affected by hypothyroidism, and what you can do about it.
DaxMarch 26, 2020 at 7:52 am
Hey Rachel have you ever heard of endocronologist Dr. Raymond Peat? He has some material on the progesterone and cortisol relationship. He also has a website with mainly research articles
Best of wishes.
HollieApril 12, 2019 at 8:08 am
Cannot empathize enough with this. The exhaustion is so debilitating some days, but you have no choice but to keep on going! Currently working a 4 day week as a Program Manager, (although basically a 5 day week job) and raising my 14 month old daughter, and running the majority of the household jobs as my partner works such long hours self employed, whilst feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt and almost grief that I cannot be at home with her everyday as currently this isn’t an option financially. Also the overwhelming feeling of wanting to grow my family but knowing the hypo/hashi is going to make this very difficult. Need to carry on though! On a massive health kick last few weeks and hoping to get my antibodies in check over the next few months, last check they were at around 1360 :O Anyhow just to say your blog is really inspiring, and also provides a bit of comfort in knowing there are other women going through the same struggles and battling on with life! Not to say its all bad of course, just an extra big challenge!!
sarah colliverApril 3, 2019 at 7:11 am
Wow. You just brought me to tears. All the guilt which eats me up – all the times I have to say, “I don’t feel well”, I worry, that my now grown up boys, will just think of me as always ill. I am about to drag myself to work, despite the fact my body is begging me to sleep and try not to cry. I am just so relieved that this really is an issue, it is not all in my head. I have ordered your book and cannot wait to read it. Thank you for all you do.
MarinaMarch 31, 2019 at 5:15 pm
Thank you I really needed this today! Xxx