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Parenting is never easy. Let alone when you have issues that limit your function, like arthritis or other disorders than leave you with physical pain. Pain can make it hard to lift your children, get down and play or can even impede your happiness!
In Canada, 1 in 5 people has arthritis! Over 6 million people! It also affects women more than men.
So with this in mind, how can you parent when you are dealing with intense physical pain? It isn’t easy!
What Is It Like To Live With Arthritis
The primary complaint that patients with arthritis deal with are a lot of pain. Chronic, long-lasting pain. It also can be coupled up with joint stiffness and swelling.
This can be worse when you are dealing with rainy, cold weather or depending on where you live in relation to where you are at sea level.
You can feel slight discomfort or complete debilitating pain. You also may go back and forth on that spectrum depending on the day or the hour.
However, this can set you up for other conditions. If you are pent up in your house because of pain, or even if you find yourself not being able to do the things that you used to, it can put you at an increased risk for depression and weight gain. This doesn’t include when you are throwing a baby in the mix! You can’t nurse your joints, you can’t sit and take a break. It can be very hard to deal with!
How To Deal With Arthritis While Parenting:
- Ask for help. Many moms feel pressured to try and have it all under control and never need help. However, you need breaks when your joints are bad. Don’t be afraid to find a mom tribe and ask them for help!
- Talk to others dealing with the same issues. They can give you ways they feel better or things you can try.
- Talk to your doctor about relief aids. They may get you to try medicines or creams like Voltaren.
- Play your days by the weather. If rainy weather affects your joints, try and get your housework and other things done when the weather is forecasted to be good.
- Take small bites of tasks when you can. Housework and laundry can always wait. Try setting a timer for ten minutes at a time to work, and then rest.
- Ask your doctor about options like TENS machines. They can help reduce inflammation.
- Try experimenting with heat and cold when you have pain. Heat packs or ice can help subside some of the pain.
- Manage your weight. This can help if you have pain in your legs or knees.
- Try different exercises targeted at your problem joints.
Arthritis isn’t fun. It can leave you dreading doing everyday activities. It can also leave you to feel down in the dumps, even depressed at not being able to chase around your kids. If so, speak up to a doctor and find some friends who can understand how you are feeling.
You can even check out places like Facebook groups for a support group or local places in your own area for support during this time. Never under-estimate the power of a good routine and exercise to keep healthy and active. Never neglect your health! It isn’t easy with children and busy life, but if your health takes the backburner, so will your happiness and family.
Mom blogger, job coach, ESL teacher and mom to my little girl.