Parenting with a Chronic Illness – Some tips for being a great parent even with a long term illness

Being a parent and being ill
Being a parent and being ill

A couple of days ago we are our readers on Facebook what advice they had to share about being a parent which a chronic medical condition such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

Given challenged such as pain, fatigue and insomnia which are attached to all these conditions it makes the roll of being a parent much harder.
We results of the request for tips was overwhelming – so when have chosen a cross selection of the responses. Please feel free to share your tips in the comments section below!

For Shanice it was just two simple words “Plan ahead”.

Heidi concurred “plan ahead, EXPLAIN yourself when you can’t do things. Let them help you, they will learn how to me compassionate caring adults because of you. If they help with chores, (mine do most of the chores) it helps you and teaches then life skills…how to be a team player, how to be observant, how to be patient, how to do simple household necessities….”

“I’m honest with mine. But not overly. My two oldest learned about my illnesses to have better understanding. Get up and move every day. Find ways to spend time with them that lets you rest. We read, watch movies, play board games in my bed. We have picnics in the living room. Love on them, let them feel special.” This was Rebecca’s view.

But “Don’t feel you need to compensate and buy them lots of “stuff” its love that counts. My kids think it’s great when we all bundle into my bed and watch a film, even if I often fall asleep.” Shared Becca.

Carrie told us “I’m honest with them when it’s a bad day. They are finally old enough to understand when I say maybe our we’ll see about something they want to do in a few days that it depends on my health. Also I had to learn to pick my battles what’s a priority to push them for or about…”
“Do intimate things like read books, finger-paint, buy a bunch of colored paper and make things…don’t push yourself. They will love you no matter what you can or cannot do. Children just need our attention, reassurance and love. Activities are a bonus. Take care of you….teaching them to take care of themselves on a cloudy day!!” was Michelle’s excellent advice!

Claudia shares “I told my children about my fibro but they already knew about illnesses during my cancer. They would spend time in my room a lot. We’d watch movies cartoons whatnot on TV. We’d play games on the floor like board games. Kept active. Made sure they were active in activities outside the house. I’d attend all their games.”

“Eat right and stay moving. Once you stop you’re done. I think that’s the only way I can actually sleep is by staying active. And having 3 boys help with keeping you going” was Elizabeth’s very practical advice.

Judy was very down to earth “1) Always make sure you have colouring and activity books to keep them busy just in case you need a few hours of rest in peace and quiet. 2) Teach your children about your illness so they’ll know what to expect and won’t be scared. 3) make sure to keep quick and easy to assemble lunch and dinners handy JUST IN CASE you cannot stand to cook a lot.”

Jayme had a different perspective – that of having been the child of somebody with multiple sclerosis “Also checks the psychology of the children. I was told my mother has MS at 8 years old. As an 8 year old, we are the mind-set of “Step on a crack, break Mommy’s back”. So, I assumed, that it was my fault she had MS, since she told me, she had her first attack, when she was pregnant with me. Talk openly about it and how it affects you. I spoke to Mom at length about her life decisions due to MS; my brother didn’t and came away with a totally different concept of her.”
So what about you? Do you have any tips for parenting? Or do you have any questions?

Either way why not share them in the comments box below.

Thanks very much in advance.