Learning How To Navigate the Challenges
Migraine disease not only gives me head pain, but makes lights too bright, noises too loud and odors too smelly. Kids by nature want to play in the sun, make lots of noise, and find all sorts of terrible odors. My children are now at the teenage stage of life. While my kids are certainly more self-sufficient, they are still kids. There are days it’s just tough to be a parent. While I do not have it all figured out, here are five tips I’ve found along the way.
Self Sufficient Kids Are Empowered Kids
Teaching kids how to do things for themselves is helpful for when I have a migraine. But, it also empowers them. When my daughter was 3, instead of feeling defeated that I was struggling to make her a sandwich, I tried to celebrate that my 3 year old could make her own sandwich! It taught me to reframe my perspective, and that has been incredibly helpful ever since!
Spend Time Together
I always felt I needed to be teaching a skill, going on an adventure or some other notion I have in my head from watching the commercials on TV showing the perfect parent. That wasn’t reality for me. There were many days when we’d just curl up on the couch and watch a movie or a TV show. Now that my kids are teens, we still have movie night where we camp out on the couch and just relax while watching a movie (or two). These are memories too! They can be just as special as the “adventures” we wish we could have with our kids.
Doing Self Care Teaches Self Care
By doing self care, you teach your kids to do self care. When I take care of my needs – when I acknowledge I don’t feel well and take a time out – my kids are watching, and they are learning. The flipside of this is true too. Which skill set do I want for my kids? I want them to learn to say no, acknowledge their pain, and most of all, I want them to take care of their needs.
Always Be Prepared
Being prepared can be really helpful. I can be a worst case scenario person, however, I am talking about the basics. I want to make sure I have my medications filled and where I can easily access them. Having a list of things I can do, or just having the items accessible that help me ride out an attack best helps me act quickly. Knowing those things and having them ready is important to me. It helps me feel more confident as a parent. I know that I am doing everything I can do to take care of myself, and that is empowering to me!
Focus On Today
I live the best I can each day. If I have a tough day it’s ok if all I can do is give my kids a hug and tell them I love them. WHen I have an amazing day we might go on an adventure.. It’s not always easy, but I am trying to let each day be its own treasure. If I have a tough day, the next day starts a new day and I try to not bring any negative feelings about myself into it. I also try not to be tough on myself on the bad days by thinking why can’t today be like the great day I had the day, week, or month before.
Let Us Know
So, what tips would you share with other parents who experience migraine? What has worked for you and how does living with a headache disorder impact you as a parent?