Supermom? Not Today
Being a mom who is full of energy and healthy is hard enough; being one who also has to cope with fibromyalgia is too much for many moms. How can you survive motherhood while dealing with your illness and raising your child or children well? Here, we offer a number of suggestions that should help the mom with fibromyalgia to balance her illness and her responsibilities.
Create an Energy Chart
One great idea is to create an energy chart that you can print and laminate and place on the refrigerator. It will serve as a daily barometer to indicate to the rest of your family how you are doing. This avoids the daily check-in where people ask you how you are feeling and wonder how they should act towards you. Of course, this chart won't work with very little children. You'd be amazed, however, how much a three or four year old can begin to understand. This is a brilliant way to keep everyone in the house in the loop and informed about how you are feeling, and what you think you are capable of on any given day.
Going Out with the Kids
Taking your children out when you feel great is hard enough. How can you cope with it when you are dealing with fibromyalgia? One way is certainly only to go out on your good days. Do only those errands and activities that are essential. If your child is going crazy and needs to get out, either go to the park where he will be occupied without your help, or hire someone else to take him. You may want to have a bag of tricks that you always carry with you. Put his favorite toys, some coloring books and art projects and a few travel games into it. This can keep a child occupied when you are ordering in a restaurant, waiting in line, or driving a far distance. Remember, however, that everything doesn't have to get done today - it is alright to push things off when you don't feel great!
Living without Multi-Tasking
Everyone today seems to multi-task much of the time. One thing that might be important to learn as a mother with fibromyalgia is that you don't need to multi-task! Yes, things will get done more slowly and your life won't be as efficient or organized. You may find yourself feeling more sane and more able to cope with your many responsibilities - and this is worth a lot in your life as well. Pick one task at a time that needs to get done and make that your target for the day. Take breaks as necessary, and try to get this one task done. Give your children chores in the house as well, and help them to understand that housework and responsibilities can be a group effort. This is a great way to teach them about responsibility and about helping others.
Most importantly, as a mom with fibromyalgia, give yourself a break. You are coping with many things in your life right now and doing the best that you can. Sometimes, just getting through the day and keeping your child healthy and fed is all that you can do. And that, too, is alright.