I don’t consider myself a “bipolar mother”.
I have bipolar disorder. I am a mother.
I have three kids to love, protect, teach, discipline and care for. I would do it bipolar or not. Because I don’t let bipolar disorder define me in general, I’m certainly not going to let it define my own motherhood. God gave me three precious and rambunctious boys, including twins. So if he’s not going to give me more than I can handle (which I believe he won’t) then I know I can handle motherhood and bipolar disorder.
Raising kids is hard. I’m not going to lie. But it’s also rewarding and unlike anything else I’ve experienced. But it’s hard and rewarding for non-bipolar mothers too! Motherhood is why I work so hard at my stability. For my kids. But I also work at it equally for my husband. And I work at it for myself. For my own peace, happiness and well-being. My kids need me, and they’re a top priority. I know stability is not as simple as just wanting it and working at it but those are important aspects. For me, I have to be constantly on top of my health (medical and mental). I need to take care of myself, so I can really take care of them. Again, this is also true for non-bipolar mothers!
I see my psychiatrist routinely on a six-monthly basis for about fifteen minutes (I call it maintenance), but if I have a need or concern, I call him during the in-between times. It never fails that I will go to my appointment and have nothing of note to report to him and with in a couple of days something comes up. Ha, just the way it is sometimes I guess. That’s not a rule, or advice I’m giving you regarding appointments. It’s just something kind of dumb that happens to me, all the time!
And, yes, to tackle a tough issue and a question everyone has in their mind, I have thought about the genetics, about passing bipolar disorder on to my children. Don’t think for a second I haven’t thought about it, worried about it and prayed about it. Do you think that I shouldn’t have had children on the chance that I would have passed it on to them? My babies will always be my babies and they are perfect and precious gifts from the Lord. I hope you can understand why I think it’s absurd for people to generalize and say bipolar people shouldn’t have children. (It’s a more common thought than you might think).
The thought of my own children having bipolar disorder makes me want to vomit. I can barely talk about it. It is hard to think about it. Rationally, it could be argued that I’d be the perfect person to parent a child with this disorder, because I know how to deal with it first hand. But I also know the depths of the darkness and wouldn’t wish that on an enemy…let alone my precious children. And, if I can be at peace and have contentment with my disorder, then it’s maybe hypocritical to say I don’t want my kids to have this. But that’s how I feel about it, and I think anyone in my shoes would feel the same.
Statistically it is possible and one day I might have to face their own bipolarity…typing that out just hurts. But I pray God doesn’t do that or allow it. But we also have bipolar disorder elsewhere in the family. It is in the boys’ genes.
God is bigger than all that and the fact of the matter is this: (and it’s been my point all along) bipolar disorder can really suck, but I’m here to show that you can live a successful, stable life. And, learning to be content goes a long way, with or without bipolar disorder.