Chronic Pain and Parenting
Last updated: June 2019
Parenting at its very best is...well- I am not really sure what exactly the correct word would be to describe parenting. In fact, I am actually not even sure that there is one word. In reality, parenting is a string of words, adjectives, and feelings, it is moments that make you laugh and moments that make you cry. There are times when you want to burst with pride, likewise, there are days that could see any sane person heading to the hills with a bag packed, a book, some wine and no one else. We all find our feet with this, the good always outweighs the bad and alas we are never to be found heading to the hills. And if you spot us heading in that direction, it will no doubt be with our kids in tow. Parenting when you are contending with one or more autoimmune diseases, can make it that much more challenging.
Day to day coping with chronic pain
There are things in our every day that need to happen washing, cooking, working and the like. I think the difference for me is that when I needed to do it just for myself it was easy not to. You know what I talking about, procrastination station, not without good reason either. I will do it later or tomorrow. Some days your body feels like the pain will never stop and you struggle to carry yourself from moment to moment. There is always later, you tell yourself as you fall over onto the couch, feed yourself some crisps and tuck into a movie. There is no way you could possibly stand and cook now. Kids are not so understanding of this, besides when you are the parent in this scenario, you feel differently about this. The kids need to be fed a nutritious meal and you will stand until your body physically no longer allows you too. You find your limits and then push yourself far beyond them to get done what must be done for them.
Is this sounding familiar yet? Do you run on full steam till you cannot anymore, once your kids are asleep do you collapse on a heap and cry yourself to sleep? To the parents giving it your all and then a bit more, I see you. I see you trying your best to give your best and then some. I see you trying to be strong for your kids when you can barely carry yourself. After all, this is what parents do and we would not change it for anything in the world. Please do not forget yourself in all of this, do not forget that you truly cannot pour from an empty cup. It may sound a cliche, I swear it's the truth, my truth anyway.
Shedding some light
My personal opinion is that being straight with your kids about how you are feeling is worth a shot. There is no need for it to be a big drama either. I think educating them on what is going on will help them and you deal with it so much better. They might not need to know everything, but not knowing what is going can be very scary for children, no matter their age. They may not know how to address this with you, so be open to talking to them about it. Allowing them to help you with things when you are in a flare, It will help them feel as if they are helping in a way too. I cannot stress how important this has been for us, my daughter just wants to help when I am really not well. It gives her a sense of purpose and makes her feel like she is helping me.
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