Fatherhood and Migraine

Written by Lorene Alba | June 17, 2023

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there! And a big shout out to all the dads who have migraine, are parenting children with migraine, or both. Even though women are two to three times more likely than men to have migraine, men also experience migraine attacks that can seriously impact their daily lives and ability to spend quality time with their families.

Dads Parenting a Child Who Has Migraine  

Having a child with migraine can be an emotional and challenging journey. Feeling powerless to provide immediate relief for them when they experience migraine attacks can be heartbreaking. However, this is also an incredible opportunity for a father to be a strong support system for his child. My

dad was there for me since my first migraine attack in kindergarten. He took me to see doctor after doctor to get me help. He made sure I had a quiet, dark place to rest when I had symptoms, and he worked with my teachers to ensure I could catch up on missed schoolwork. My dad became my caregiver, advocate and source of comfort. In some ways, he still is. When children can’t attend the dance they have been looking forward to, or can’t play in a championship game due to a migraine attack, our dads are there to pick up the pieces.

Dads Parenting Through Migraine Attacks

Parenting with migraine can be extra challenging. Migraine attacks can strike at any time, causing debilitating symptoms like throbbing head pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances. These intense attacks can last for hours, days, or more, and can disrupt the time you spend with your children. Missing out on important life events due to a migraine attack can be devasting. When you are unable to do basic things such as helping your child with their homework or playing a game with them, you may feel guilty or disappointed. As a dad you are likely to try and push through the pain to be there for your children, but that’s simply not always possible. It’s important to communicate openly about your migraine attacks with your family. Work to put together a migraine toolbox that is effective you. And… practice self-care so that you can spend as much time as possible together with your loved ones.

Dads Overcoming Migraine Stigma

Migraine is often misunderstood, therefore, there is a lot of stigma around this disease. Although more women than men are diagnosed with migraine, it is a “migraine myth” that men do not get this disease. This may mean men feel especially stigmatized for having a “woman’s disease.” We applaud the fathers who are willing to be vulnerable and honest about their pain, understanding that it takes strength to prioritize their own health and well-being. When dad takes care of himself, he can take better care of his children. We thank all the fathers who openly share their migraine journey with others to help reduce stigma and foster a sense of community. We encourage all men with migraine to become advocates to raise awareness and educate others to ensure they do not suffer from migraine in silence.

Migraine Meanderings is here to support dads with living with or caregiving for a child with migraine. Our free, online support community is a safe space to ask questions, share your tips, and connect with others.

To all the dads out there who are taking care of children with migraine, managing their own migraine attacks, or trying to manage both – we can never say thank you enough!

Let Us Know 

Are you a dad living with migraine? How do you care for yourself and your family? How do you support your children with migraine?

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