Are you a parent — or a caretaker of children — who also copes with episodes of migraine?
You have our respect for your hard work and dedication! We know it’s not always easy, and you’re doing great.
Caring for kids can be quite a challenge if you’re also managing a chronic condition like migraine. But that doesn’t have to stop you from being the best parent that you can be. The Mable Support Center is here to help in any way we can.
If you’re trying to find your optimal treatment plan while navigating parenthood, know you’re not alone — it’s a process, and it may take longer than you’d expect. In the meantime, here are some suggestions that might help make day-to-day activities a little easier for you and your children:
Communicate with your family about your condition! From time to time, your little ones will witness your pain or distress, and that’s completely okay. Try your best to explain your life with migraine to them. Although they may not fully comprehend what’s happening or how your migraines feel, it’s likely they can better support you if you share your story.
According to a 2018 observational study, 82.5% of kids ages 11-17 who have a parent with migraine report that they learned everything they know about migraine from their parents. However, migraine has a genetic component, and this same study noted that 30% of children with migraine themselves say they don’t know enough about their condition as their parents hesitate to discuss it.
The good news is that almost 50% of these children say they’d like to understand how to help and care for a parent with migraine. So communicate and help your kids to understand what you’re experiencing!
Of course, like you, everyone around you leads a busy life. So you might hesitate to reach out to your personal community for help. But requesting an assist during a migraine episode is actually proof of your dedication to your family and to your healing journey.
If feasible, ask your partner and/or friends to help you in the event of an unexpected migraine. Having an advance plan for daily activities that you can share with a helper can make them go a lot more smoothly or potentially prevent emergencies in the course of a migraine day. Perhaps text a “safe word” to your support system when you need someone to step in with the kids for a bit while you recuperate. If you have little or no available network, expand your community by connecting on social media with others who experience migraine — and maybe make some close friends in the process!
You may not be able to predict when a migraine will strike, but you can be prepared to start managing it quickly by creating a migraine relief kit unique to your specific needs. Here’s a basic list to get your kit started:
Keep frozen foods or prep meals in advance so you and your family can continue to eat healthily on migraine days. Ask your family or friends to bring you a snack or help serve the prepared food.
Once you explain your experience of living with migraine to your kids, it’ll be easier for them to help you through your migraine day — they may prove more helpful and supportive than you think! As you rest, kids may also help you by practicing breathing techniques and even meditation with you. Or perhaps they can simply perform a quiet activity (such as watching a movie with headphones) beside you as you bed-rest.
By following some of these tips, you may find that your migraine journey becomes a bonding experience with your kids, assuring you of their appreciation and support as you all manage your migraine day…together.