A typical day for Mummy and her baby
Explaining fibromyalgia to your child can be hard. I have always been a busy, 100 mile an hour type of person even when I received my fibromyalgia diagnosis. I am the type of person who organises her days and weeks in advance and I have found this useful when I became a mum. As I decided quite early on I wanted to be a stay at home mummy, I needed this routine and structure as I wanted to make other mummy friends and socialise my little boy, as much as possible. Therefore, every day, we have a group or an event to go to; sometimes two or three times a day. We go to the children’s centres, soft play, libraries, coffee houses, baby groups you name it and we are there. All these experiences are shaping my child’s physical, social, emotional and mental health.
Did you know that a child’s brain is developing form the moment they are conceived until early adulthood and what helps it develop amongst many things are the experiences a child has with other people and the world. Ensuring healthy brain development of your child can even begin before conception with the mother’s health like taking folic acid and eating a varied diet. For further information on brain development and how we shape a child’s brain visit the CDC page.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a complex, chronic condition whose main symptoms are debilitating pain and fatigue. It causes wide spread pain often found all over the body or on specific trigger points like your back, arms, legs or shoulders. Alongside the main symptoms, can also come brain fog, difficulty concentrating, poor sleep and unrefreshed sleep, anxiety, depression and IBS. The NHS website lists more of the signs and symptoms, treatments and causes of this condition.
The fatigue you feel with the condition is often so overwhelming that many of us need to sleep or nap during the day or pace ourselves to conserve energy.
Learning to slow down
Because of the socialisation and groups I go to with my boy, he is so friendly, outgoing, sociable and a happy ray of sunshine. However, I have had to learn that actually it is okay to stay home sometimes and necessary for managing a chronic illness. It is okay to stay home and watch a film together, or play with his toys, or run about the garden and play in the mud.
Unfortunately though, I do find staying at home and resting so difficult. How do I explain to my boy that mummy needs to rest or that mummy is in pain?
Useful articles on explaining fibromyalgia to a child
One useful article I found on explaining chronic paid to a child states that it is important that we have an open and honest dialogue with our children surrounding our chronic illness. Using simplistic language like you hurt or you have pain or you are tired can help younger children understand and you can try and introduce more details about your condition as you get older. Furthermore, they suggest using picture books to help explain, too. However, I found that there weren’t really any suitable books out there and so I started to get inspired to write my own mini children’s story explaining about mummy having a chronic condition!
Mummy the Fibro Warrior: Explaining fibromyalgia to a child
Mummy the Fibro Warrior Top Tip:
- A helpful parenting tip for you to remember is that you do not have to go at a 100 miles an hour every day. Your child will be fine not going to that baby group, or library session or soft play adventure today. As long as they are with you, they do not matter where they are. It’s okay to stay at home sometimes.
If there is one takeaway I would like you all to remember today is that your child is happy spending time with you and if that is at home snuggled up with a film for the afternoon then so be it. A fibro warrior knows when she needs to rest. I need you to know you are doing the best that you can, your child/children love you just as you are and you are Mummy the Fibro Warrior.
p.s. You can now purchase a downloadable PDF of my eBook to share with your children!
My downloadable eBook can help you to explain fibromyalgia to your child in simple, rhyming terms.
This is my self care checklist for all week with actionable self care ideas for you to try. There is also space to add your own self care activities.
Until next time,
p.s. How do you explain fibromyalgia to your child/children? What things do you do at home together when your symptoms are bad? Are there any other stay at home mums out there? Please do comment and reach out to me below!