When I first got over the initial shock after finding out that I was pregnant with our son, my first major worry was whether or not I would be able to be a good parent to him with all of my health problems. What one person considers good parenting may mean something totally different to the next person. I just recently read a great article on the National Fibromyalgia Association’s website about parenting with Fibromyalgia and I learned a lot through the article. Some of the information helped to ease the guilt that a lot of us with chronic illness feel when it comes to parenting. Here are some great points I gathered from this article that I thought were really worth mentioning:
Being physically limited does not stop you from giving your children what they need and being a superb parent.
- Parents with physical limitations tend to worry or even feel guilty that they can’t take part in rough-and-tumble activities, but what children tend to value most is your time and attentionwhich can be given in so many different ways.
The UK Disabled Parents’ Network says thatparents who have physical limitations often make the best parents because they take life at a slower pace and they need to have more of a routine and children respond well to that.
- Parents with physical limitations also are more apt to teach their children how to be more independent and resourceful. I know with my son I have worked very hard since he was just a toddler at teaching him how to do things for himself and he loves that. He feels like a “big boy”.
Children are very adaptable.
- When children are little, they don’t know what is “normal” or “not normal”. Whatever they grow with is what is normal to them. Normal for our son is knowing that mommy has to nap daily and that I’m not always able to play with him. He is a physically and emotionally healthy, active, and intelligent little boy.
As your children grow up and become more independent, then the physical strain of caring for them can lessen.
- As your children get older they will become more inquisitive and wonder why you have to rest, why you don’t feel good and why you can’t playwith them right now. Explain to them without getting too complicated. Let them know what Fibromyalgia does to your body and how the pain and fatigue can affect your mood and sometimes can make you irritated. Let your children know it is not their fault that you are sick.
Most importantly, ENJOY being with your children.
- They are little for such a short time it seems so enjoy each moment. Cuddle with them, read to them, love them and you will be okay!