I Am A Really Good Mom, Bipolar and Parenting

I contemplated titles for this article for a long time.
I’m Bipolar and a Really Good Mom
I’m a Really Good Mom and I’m Bipolar
But, no, I’m just a really good mom. Period.

Bipolar has so little and so much to do with my parenting skills. If anything, having bipolar has made me more sympathetic and aware. My kids’ emotional health is stellar because of this. They know what healthy boundaries are and can be themselves 100% of the time with endless amounts of love. They feel safe and heard, things I didn’t know when I was a kid.

Unfortunately, Bipolar also makes me questions my skills as a mother. On the days when I am depressed and can’t get out of bed. On the days I’m manic and react harshly to a messy room. On the days that I am stable but still feel too anxious to leave the house. In the moments where I’m not proud of myself or who I am at all, how can I properly guide little souls through the difficulty of life.

The truth is, I think in my family’s case, having a bipolar parent is making them stronger and as long as I continue to teach them that they have no effect on my feelings, reactions, episodes, they will become stronger and more compassionate humans than I could have ever imagined.

My kids are smart and genuine and honest and understanding and caring and accepting like no kids I’ve ever met before. My eight year old understands concepts I wouldn’t dream of understanding at his age. He recently accused my husband of not carrying his share of emotional labor in our house and pointed out how unfair that is to me. When my suit clad uncle questioned my six year old’s “picnic dress” he responded “I wear what makes me feel good, how do your clothes make you feel, boring?” I didn’t teach him sass, he learned that from Junie B Jones he says. Regardless, I’m proud as hell.

Yes, some days parenting is hard because I’m bipolar; but it no way does it make me a good or bad parent. I decided I was going to be a good parent. I believe every parent faces challenges. Mine are getting out of bed, staying consistent and being even tempered. I face those struggles daily to be a good parent, but because I’m determined to raise good children it is not a deterrent, but a teaching opportunity. I firmly believe those who struggle with bipolar disorder can successfully raise healthy children and advocate for families to make the best decision for them regardless of diagnoses.

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them down in the comments. Thank you! -DQ

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26 thoughts on “I Am A Really Good Mom, Bipolar and Parenting”

  1. I relate to this so much as well, some days I feel like I’m doing a really crappy job, and others I’m able to see what makes me a great mum. My 17 year old daughter struggles with mental illness as well, so it can be tough, but she thinks I’m an awesome mum so that’s all that matters to me.
    Your kids are gorgeous and there’s clearly loads of love in your home 😊❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. With you there all the way.
    My boys (now 44 and 41!!) tell me they had a great childhood. That’s always good to hear especially when I’m having a major guilt trip inside. I loved being a Mum – building lego towns, sharing stories, just chilling – and looking back, that kept my act together while I popped my meds. Now with autism tucked inside my belt alongside the bipolar, dyspraxia, etc I realise even more firmly that my boys did as much for me as I did for them.
    Now I’m a very proud grandma to four wonderful young individuals. And I’m even prouder to be known as Marvellous Marilyn / Groovy Grandma by the two eldest. I do wonder whether being manic a lot of the time has been a real boost to my street cred! 🙂
    So love reading your posts. X from North Wales

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Curse that Junie B. Jones! It’s like, yay! My kids are reading! But, wait, what? Don’t say that, don’t do that, no, you don’t hide in the school to go to the bathroom and then call 911.

    Anyway, thanks for this post. It’s hard sometimes to look past our mental health attributes and realize they don’t define us as people or as parents. My husband was recently diagnosed as bipolar and this really hit home for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. so so nice of you that you have written this. you have so beautifully mentioned parenting in the best way possible under a trying circumstance. Every parent should read this post, bipolar or not. After all, understanding the emotional needs of one’s child(ren) is what good parenting is all about, because this is the single skill that makes the kid(s) for who they are for the rest of their lives!

    What are your thoughts on a male counterpart with this very condition undergoing the same experience. pretty similar isn’t it or do you think that is something more special just because kids are usually more bonded to their mothers because of laws of nature 🙂

    Lots of love from Bangalore, India

    P.S: the kids are so adorable…you are really blessed…my prayers for their well-being.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wish I rocked the consistency thing, but I am really hit or miss.My daughter does know that my depressions have nothing to do with anything she does.

    You’re rocking the mom thing, bipolar or not, and happy kids with high emotional intelligence are the proof.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You are an incredible mother! Your right year old, I love His approach! I wish I had his confidence when I was 8! I can sense he is going to be an awesome advocate for equality!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It takes quite an internal churning and coming to terms with one’s own reality and pen it down in such a lucid manner. It took me most of my school and graduation years to understand my moods and pattern of behaviour, and now my relationship with my children is much better. Heartening to read your evocative and personal expression. Wish you and the kids, well being and happiness. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, I am also a mother with bipolar. Through the years it was very diffucult. But my 2 beautiful daughters, now 26 and 28, are absolutely awesome kids. They know me well. My meds are monitored so that I take it and now with the dementia, they look after me. They always tells me and others that I’m a great mom. But things over the years wasn’t all good, but we survived and are a strong family. I can asure you that you and your family will be just fine. Just stick to your medication. 🌹❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Prior to medication I was not the best that I could be as a parent, and my 26 year old WILL tell you all about it, how horrible and violent I was. But once I got on the right meds, I believe I’m a good parent.My kids are smart and open-minded. That is my favorite thing about them, their open-mindedness. I want them to see the many different views, and they do. I think having a mom who thinks outside of the box and is unconventional has helped them in this area. It makes it more “normal” for lack of a better term.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. For a long time, I beat myself up about my depression break down and hospitalization that happened when my kids were teenagers. I seemed to forget all those years that I had been a good mom to great kids, and I focused on that week instead, and the depression that followed, that I had to dig myself out of. But now I see that my kids understand mental health issues – they’re informed because of personal experience, which makes them patient with themselves and others. They’re wiser for what we went through. I have wonderful relationships with two kind responsible adult children, and I’m still a good mom. Our mental health challenges don’t define us; indeed, they can make us stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I so needed to hear your words when I was raising my own children. Your words and experience encourage me, just the same. I know there are other mothers out there going through their own experience. I hope they all get the message!

    Like

  12. You are a wonderful mum for identifying all the special qualities your gorgeous children have. You love them and are there for them, and that’s the main thing. I too struggle with getting out of bed and was beating myself up about it today but I know my son loves me. I like how you say bipolar has so little and so much to do with your parenting – I know exactly what you mean and feel the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is absolutely amazing, and so are you! It’s tough for us moms-we are still stigmatized for having a mentall illness. But if we just keep disproving the negativity and keep advocating for ourselves and eachother, we can slowly start to change perspectives. You go mama, you’re doing amazing! ♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m a bipolar parent to one child, and it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. It sounds like you’ve got a good thing going, and it’s really awesome that your kids are understanding. Stay kind to yourself as you go through your episodes. Peace 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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