I am the mother of two boys, ages five, and six. I also suffer from Bipolar Disorder. Motherhood is a hard job to begin with, add a mental disorder to that and it becomes tricky. My mood swings make it difficult to be consistent with them. One minute Mama is very patient and the next totally without patients, yelling one minute and hugging them with tears in my eyes the next.
I was diagnosed about ten years ago. I had been on medications for years before getting pregnant. However, the moment I found out I was pregnant my doctor and I tried to wean me off or at least decrease my medications. I was unable to wean off the medications entirely. My pregnancy was carefully monitored and I was fully aware of the possible effects they may have on my babies. Thankfully, both my boys were born healthy and normal.
Now that my oldest son is in kindergarten, his teacher is concerned with his behavior in class. He often will go into “his own world” of play when the teacher is trying to give a lesson. I immediately blame myself for any behavior problems. Is he having this problem because of my medications; or is he just a high-strung little boy that will grow out of this with age? My mind is constantly circling with these thoughts, leaning one way one minute and the other the next. That is the problem with this disorder; I can never seem to shut my mind off. It is both tiring and depressing. None of this is fare to my boys and I so desperately want to hide my problem from them. However, sometimes it is like trying to hide an elephant in the room. I want the best for my boys and that includes a normal mother. Despite this, I am a good mother and always nurture and encourage my boys. As for me, I have been going to therapy learning cognitive skills to deal with my disorder. Therefore, it seems that both the boys and I are a work in progress.