When you’re a mom, it can feel like you’re holding a ton of weight, and we don’t mean that metaphorically. Between carrying toddlers, loads of laundry, and bundles of groceries, it can feel like the physical weight of the world is on your shoulders.
This can take a toll on your body, especially if you struggle with chronic pain. Unfortunately, our schedules often don’t slow down just because our bodies hurt. If you need help to keep going, check out these tips and tricks for parenting with chronic pain.
Be Open With Your Child
Our first instinct as a parent is to protect our children from everything dark and unpleasant in the world. So we often try to grin and bear it and pretend we aren’t hurting. But kids can sense when something is wrong, and not explaining things can be more distressing and detrimental for them in the long run.
You don’t have to explain every clinical detail to your child, but it’s good to explain to them the basics. Discuss your limitations and bring up all the things you can still do. Then, allow your child to express their emotions on the subject. You will all grow closer as a result.
Build Plans Around the Pain
Chronic pain can make easy things more difficult. But just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In many cases, it just takes more planning to make them happen. Building these plans will ensure you don’t miss out on the little moments with your child.
Here are a few ways to plan around your chronic pain:
- Encourage your child to tell you about events, like recitals or games, in advance
- Build extra travel time into your schedule when you’re going places
- If you’re going to a building, call ahead to ask about things like elevators and ramps
- Adjust how you participate in activities
- Identify places where you can stop and rest at different venues
Communication is also key here. If there’s a time where you have to stop, it’s good to keep your family informed and have a plan in place to stop and rest.
Try Natural Pain Remedies
Depending on the source of your chronic pain, you may already have prescription medications you take to manage your symptoms. Still, it can be helpful to add a few natural pain-relieving remedies to your routine, such as:
- Increase exercise, especially stretching
- Improve your posture
- Partake in heat and cold therapy
- Get a massage
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods, like turmeric, tart cherries, and ginger
Additionally, along with these methods, you’ll want to ensure you get enough sleep. Sleep loss can increase pain sensitivity. For those who struggle to fall asleep, you’ll want to create a restful environment. Low lights, reduced noise, and cool temperatures all promote a good night’s sleep. Additionally, there are several essential oils that can improve sleep—consider investing in a diffuser to fill your room with a calming scent each night.
Finding ways to parent with chronic pain isn’t easy, but you’re not alone. Be open to accepting help from those around you or community resources. And when in doubt, your kids are some of the best helpers you could ask for.