When I was four years old I was diagnosed with chronic migraines. When I was fifteen we learned that those chronic migraines were mini-seizures caused by epilepsy. I’ve had migraines several days a week since I was a baby, so I have had to learn ways to survive through a migraine. That only became more difficult when I became a mom. Kids don’t always (or ever) cooperate, so I’ve depended on these 5 life-changing strategies for parenting with a migraine.
5 Life-Changing Strategies for Parenting With a Migraine
When I have a migraine, I just want to hide in a dark room and hide from the whole world. Unfortunately that doesn’t work so well with parenting a large family. If only my kids wanted to turn off for a day every time I had a migraine, that would be the best! For now, though, I’ll hold onto these strategies for parenting with a migraine for dear life!
Teach Your Kids About Migraines
One of my very biggest tips for parenting with a migraine is to explain migraines to your kids as early as you can. Even my three year old can understand that Mommy’s head hurts and some basic ways to help with that.
You don’t want to harp on and on about it, but your kids should know that sometimes your head hurts and when that happens, they can do their best to stay quiet and be helpful! Now, this doesn’t mean that immediately your kids will behave every single time you have a migraine. It does, however, mean that when you have a migraine you can tell them and have a better shot!
Plan a Quiet Escape
Every mama that suffers through migraines should have a quiet escape plan. Whether it means escaping to your quiet dark bedroom when the kids go down for a nap or having a movie that you keep in your back pocket for the days you need the kids to quietly cooperate (more on that in a little bit), you’re going to want something planned.
Now that Chris is home full-time, he takes the kids so I can really escape. But when he was out of the house 7ish-7ish every single day, I had to figure out ways to keep the kids occupied so that I could escape. Even if that “escape” was hiding in the bathroom with the light off for ten minutes.
Save Something Special for Migraine Days
When you have a second baby, they tell you to find a special toy for your older kiddo to have only while nursing to keep it special and fun. I’m about to tell you, this makes all the difference in the world when you suffer from migraines!
Find a few special things, whether that’s movies, toys, books, or whatever, to only use when you have a migraine. In our house, this often means Netflix. Netflix is a beautiful thing because it auto-plays the next episode. When we turn one of the kids’ favorite shows on Netflix, I know they’ll be occupied at least until Netflix asks if we’re still watching!
Keep Gatorade, Excedrin, and Caffeine on Hand
There is nothing worse than having a migraine and realizing that you have no migraine medicine in your house. It isn’t like you’re going to drive down to the store with your migraine and all your babies to try to get some, so you just suffer without. The results aren’t pretty!
So if you’re going to be parenting with a migraine, make sure that you have everything you need for your migraines at your finger tips. For me, that means I always have Excedrin Migraine, red Gatorade, and some caffeine (soda, chocolate, or coffee) on hand.
Have Grace with Yourself, This isn’t Your Fault
Sweet mama, I know that you’re going to feel guilty. When your family is at the park and you have to cut it short because you have a migraine, or you ask the kids to “play quietly” for the thousandth time in one hour because your head is pounding with their every sound, you’re going to feel guilty that your migraines are a burden on your family.
Have grace with yourself. It is not your fault that you have migraines. It isn’t your fault that you have a sensitivity to light or sound. It is not your fault that your brain works differently than others and can cause you intense pain. Your family loves you, even during your most frustrating migraines.
Use these strategies for parenting with a migraine and do your best. You’re already doing awesome in my book!
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