At the age of 23, I had a four-year-old, a 15-month-old and a newborn. My last pregnancy catapulted my migraine into the early stages of becoming chronic.

With three very small children and a new form of migraine that I was not familiar with, I felt extremely overwhelmed.

As my children grew, so did the migraine. Motherhood took on a whole new meaning for me, and I had to parent differently due to the pain and symptoms I was experiencing.

What I realized is that although being a mom with migraine has its challenges, it’s still possible to raise healthy and happy children.

Even if I’m bedridden some days, managing the household can still be done. Within my marriage, there were new parameters because pain was the third wheel.

Yet, we figured out a way to make it work. My children are now 20, 18 and 17 years old. My husband and I will be celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary this September.

Over the years, I’ve developed a set of management skills that helped my family thrive despite the intrusiveness of migraine. If you’re a parent living with migraine, consider if incorporating these tools and suggestions into your life can make each day a little easier.

Be open to help your children understand

Children are smart and resilient. When my kids were in preschool, kindergarten, and grade school, I experienced migraine attacks that were very frequent and interrupted our lives. They noticed that mommy acted differently than other mommies.

It was important that I was honest with them about why their mommy couldn’t be in bright lights or why strong smells would make me sick. No matter how old they were, I used terms they could understand to explain what migraine is and how it made me feel.

If I couldn’t play with them, help with homework, or go on a field trip due to a migraine attack, it was important that they understood it didn’t mean I loved them any less.

When they saw me in bed, covered up by my blankets in a dark room, they knew that mommy was sick and needed quiet and rest.

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