Dealing with a Long-Term Disability Diagnosis as a Mom

If you become a mother, it goes without saying that your life will change dramatically from that point forward. Maybe you planned the pregnancy along with a spouse or partner, or perhaps it came as a surprise. Either way, if you do decide to carry the fetus to term, you’re going to have to take care of this new life you’ve brought into the world as best you can.

 

Becoming a mom may be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done, though it will doubtless come with its unique challenges. No two pregnancies are the same, nor are any two children. Once your baby is here, you may feel like they are a perfect little angel, or they might drive you to distraction with their inability to sleep through the night.

 

One thing is certain, though: you will be much more capable of taking care of the child as they grow if you’re strong and healthy. If you’re having physical or mental issues of your own, that can make child-rearing considerably more challenging. For instance, think what it might be like if you receive a long-term disability diagnosis during your child-rearing years.

 

This is definitely not an ideal situation, yet it happens sometimes. We’ll talk about this scenario a little more in the following article.

 

What is a Long-Term Disability?

A disability, as a healthcare provider usually defines it, is a physical or mental condition which renders you unable to perform the duties at your job of which you were formerly capable. There are thousands of conditions that a healthcare provider might consider to be disabilities.

 

It could be something like fibromyalgia, which impacts about 2-3% of Americans. It could be a severe

back injury, a cancer diagnosis, a brain injury, or lupus. The list goes on and on.

 

A healthcare insurance provider, though, usually defines a long-term disability as one which prevents you from returning to work for three months or longer. With a long-term disability diagnosis, you might be able to return to work after three months have passed, or maybe you need six months or a year to recover. It could be longer than that, or the injury or illness might be severe enough that you can never return to work at all.

 

If that happens, the healthcare policy should continue to give you long-term disability payments for the rest of your life. That all depends on the policy’s details, which you will need to carefully study if something like this occurs.

 

What Such a Diagnosis Means for Moms

A long-term disability diagnosis is a hard pill to swallow. If you used to be able to do many things, and now you can’t do most or all of them, it’s challenging coming to terms with that. If you feel like you’ll recover eventually, you can try to focus on that, but if your condition is permanent, there will be a natural mourning process.

 

It’s hard enough having to deal with that on your own, but what about as a mother? Now, you’re mourning not just what you can do in your own life but also what you can no longer do with and for your child. For instance, maybe you can no longer drive, so you can’t take your kid to their school in the morning and retrieve them each afternoon.

 

Perhaps you can’t play catch with your child in the backyard, give them a piggyback ride, or push them on the swings. It all depends on the condition’s severity and whether you will recover somewhat in time.

 

Now is the Time Your Family Must Come Together

The best thing in this unfortunate situation is if your family can draw together and support you. It will be an adjustment for everyone.

 

If you’ve got a spouse or partner, they will need to change their routine to accommodate you. If you have some older children, you will likely have to rely on them to handle more responsibility than they otherwise would.

 

You might find it helpful to seek therapy to talk about your feelings. Sadness and anger are natural. Your life has changed, and it can be hard to find any silver lining.

 

In time, you should accept the new routine and lifestyle, and everyone else in your family will as well. It will not be easy, but you may be able to find a groundswell of strength and fortitude within yourself that you never knew you had.

 

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