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Originally published on 31st March 2018 Last updated on 9th May 2021
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.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include “Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate” and “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”.