Mom on a Migraine
There is no easy down time when parenting with migraines. You may find yourself forced into a quiet, dark room. To some that may sound peaceful and like a dream. However, what this really means is you feel an intense amount of pain followed by the guilt of not being the person you want to be. That is the vicious cycle I have found myself in at times.
However, I will share that despite these challenges being a mom or parent with migraine is still my greatest joy and is something that we can still embrace with hope and confidence. Migraine does not mean you can not love and parent. It takes heart and intention. We show up for our kids and they see with so much love how much they mean to us.
Rising Above the Migraine Pain
Despite the pain I am present all the time I can be and that is a lot. My migraines are a part of my life and that of my family’s, but they cannot take over our whole lives. In order for that to be true it takes a team approach, grace, and love. I must be given space to heal and compassion to know my family understands this is not my fault.
This invisible illness knows no mercy and has no ounce of kindness. We have to find the heart and strength to fight through. Sometimes this fight can feel like the fight for our lives. In these times we must remember our lives are worth fighting for. Remember you deserve a life you can love. We won’t get a perfect life, but we should get one we can embrace wholeheartedly. Otherwise we wouldn’t have reason to put up much of a fight.
Parenting with Migraines: The Challenges
“Mama, there is your doctor.” Driving by the hospital with my little ones recognizing the ER as my “doctor’s office.” Luckily we have an amazing hospital, but not quite what I was going for. So many wonderful moments in their lives, but I know there have been some moments migraines have stolen from me.
Another example is the school carnival. We had soccer games, a picnic, and then the carnival. I made it through the picnic and then I went down. My little ones came into the bedroom and looked at me with those big eyes. They said, “We wish you could go mama.” Oh my heart. I was in so much pain and just hoping I was able to control it at home. I sent them on as my heart was sad, but I was also praying I got better. I knew there would be more moments and they would still have a lot of fun.
Most soccer games you will find me on the sidelines with my mama bear phone trying to sneak a picture cheering my boys on. However, there are the games that migraines steal. I see my boys in their uniforms, socks almost too tall, cleats and all. Yet again, my heart hurts.
These are the things we must remember to tell ourselves. That game, party, event is one important moment. However, it is not the only moment. It may feel like it at the time and it can feel gut wrenching when it is an illness that causes you to miss it. It’s not due to supporting your family or a conflict with another event. It can’t be blamed on a family emergency or bad weather. It is your body in pain and you have absolutely no control. Listen very closely. It is not your fault.
Making Life Happen
So we try to do all the things we can to care for ourselves. Use all the tools in your toolkit. You know what I am talking about. Medicines, ice packs, masks, rest. Allow yourself to have it all and get better. Healing is the only way to get back to your loved ones. I have learned the hard way rushing recovery does not work.
Not allowing your body to rest will resort to an all out attack on you of your senses. I have felt more intense pain and all the migraine symptoms that typically come with it. So whatever you experience during a migraine pushing yourself could cause that experience to magnify. That is not something I would wish on anyone. Prevention and shortening an attack are sometimes the best we can do.
Lessons from Parenting with Migraines
Parenting with migraines can be such a challenge when in pain, and yet there are some beautiful lessons to learn. I have seen these in my boys. Empathy and compassion are gained when we see someone we love go through a migraine and even more so when we get to be there for them. The other day at a soccer game a car alarm was going off for quite awhile. I had gotten over a migraine and was just cheering my boys on. My sweet little one came to me stood in front of me, kissed my cheek, and covered my ears. Through what seems like a monster I am raising the sweetest gentlemen.
I never wanted my boys to be burdened or miss out on any life due to me. What I learned was they were growing the biggest hearts. From their first day, they have had all my love. They have prayed for me, comforted me, and carried that kindness over to others. Those lessons will stick with them throughout their lives.
Sweetest Moments from Parenting with Migraines
“Mama, I prayed for you.” The precious words have been said by both my boys, who are 5 and 7. It doesn’t get sweeter than that. Through all the pain kids just show up when you need them and they never hold anything against you. My boys give me nothing but love, and it is their love that sometimes makes the biggest difference. Something about a 5 year old’s cheeks, my oldest child’s leadership when mama is down, and both their giggles. I can’t imagine loving them more and yet everyday I think I do.
My little doctors are the best. My boys are happy to bring me my migraine cap, face mask, or even turn on my migraine lamp for green light therapy. Their special delivery makes them that much more effective I am just sure of it. This also helps them not only learn compassion, but helps us stay connected.
Parenting with migraines is no easy job, but it is filled with love. You have to decide to be diligent about your health, be your own advocate, and be present all the time you can. You must also give yourself grace, forgive yourself, and remember you are the parent who was chosen for your children. It is easy for me to have mom guilt, but I know that I love my children with every ounce of my heart. We make memories together, do homework, and cheer each other on. Migraines or not this is a life to love.
More to come at migraineroad.com. You will hear more of my journey, find more migraine resources, and I will be covering topics such as stress and sleep with migraines. Connect with us on Facebook here and Instagram here.
Also read about the power of gratitude and migraines here. I wish you all the best friends. You are always welcome here for support and community.