How Fibromyalgia Has Impacted My Role As a Mom

Carol Rhodes: How Fibromyalgia Has Impacted My Role As a Mom
Carol Rhodes Fibromyalgia

I have a 22 yr old son with autism, bipolar, severe anxiety and depression who doesn't want to leave the safety of the house. A husband who works part time but is trying to be both of our career, along with him getting skin cancer cut out every 6 months, last one was his 1st skin graft. He also has 4 children from a previous...

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How has fibromyalgia affected you as a mom?

My son is more understanding of my disease than my step sons, so he is more supportive and will come and check on me during the day. He has also learned to pick up on bad days and not be so demanding then. When I was young I used to push though a lot more but then also be in more pain, take stronger medicines. I used to work long hours and my husband stayed at home working only part time but the pressure and stress I put on myself is probably the reason I got this disease. I had to change jobs and go part time for less stress to help deal with my disease. It did make things easier for a while then I got a workplace injury so had to stop work. 

How do your children inspire you to keep on going?

I worry who will look after my son if I or my husband can't? but I am trying to slowly make him more independent. People with autism don't like change so have to slowly change things, as he has only just been diagnosed in the last 12 months we are now starting to get support which is making a difference. Given time and no major setbacks hopefully things will work out.

What advice do you have for other moms with fibromyalgia?

Take each day as it comes, do what you have to, don't stress about the mess, look for short cuts to make life easier, use a slow cooker to make bulk meals, prepping tea in morning when you're feeling bit better and have more energy. Choose a chore a day, Friday, to wash toilet etc. If children are younger, sleep when they sleep and try and get them to have a nap or quiet time watching movies in the afternoon so you can have bit of down time to recoup. Give yourself time out even if you have to put them into day care once a week. Get older children in activities where you can sit and watch them run around or swim using up their energy. 

Try and have a date night once a month with your husband just to get away and have adult time, sit and watch the sun set in the park or a beach. On a budget? Just go to a restaurant for an entree or sweets. Make the effort and dress up for him so you feel good about yourself and he appreciated the effort.

What do you wish your children would understand?

How you have no control over when you are going to be sick, but sometimes you just have to get away from the noise.