Caring for your family and loved ones is hard enough when you have the flu, but it can be debilitating when you suffer from mild-to-moderate migraine attacks. The good news is that there are ways to cope and manage your day-to-day responsibilities.
Education is key
Don’t keep your kids or family members in the dark about your migraine. Let them know that your body works differently than other people, you are not contagious, and teach them what you need from them to get better. Dim the lights. Grab an ice pack. Practice ‘quiet time’. Once your family members understand how they can help, coping will become much easier.
5 ways to parent with a migraine
- Get a migraine buddy
Find someone who can help you and your family when you are experiencing an attack
- Have an attack plan
Alert your friends and family that you get migraines, so they know what to do, whether that be caring for your kids or helping you get home from work.
- Plan for the pain
Prepping lunches, doing laundry and other household chores ahead of time can help. Delegating responsibility works well, too.
- Choose quiet activities
Silence is golden, but that can be difficult when you have kids. Dim the lights, have movie night or read a book together.
- Don’t forget to eat
Skipping meals can increase the pain. Make sure you pack snacks in your purse, briefcase, or even your car so you can eat on the go.
The more you plan for an attack, the more you can rest easier knowing you can take care of yourself, and your loved ones.
5 ways to care for a migraine sufferer
Your loved one may be the one who suffers from migraine, but you both suffer. Here are a few simple ways you can care for your family member or friend when they have an attack.
- Practice quiet time
Loud noises are a migraine trigger, or they can prolong the pain. If you have kids, and even if you don’t, get in the habit of practicing quiet time so the whole family can help ease the pain when an attack strikes.
- Avoid wearing cologne or perfume
Scent can also be a big migraine trigger, so it is best to be fragrance-free when you can.
- Don’t take it personally
Migraines can be debilitating, which means intimacy or adventure may not be in the cards for the migraine sufferer. It’s important to not take it personally and be compassionate. The migraine won’t last forever.
- Practice patience
Migraines can attack at anytime, anywhere. Remember that although an attack can last from 4-72 hours, it won’t last forever.
- Help out
From keeping the migraine sufferer hydrated and diming the lights to turning on a calm playlist or assisting with housework, there are many ways you can ease the burden and the pain that comes with migraines.
Know that you aren’t alone. Join a support group. Lean on friends and family for support.
The more people you have in your corner, the easier it will be to take the time to get better.
- “3 Ways to Support Your Partner with Migraine | American Migraine Fdn.” American Migraine Foundation, 14 Feb. 2019, www.americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/3-ways-to-support-partner-with-migraine/.
- “Adapting to Life with Migraine.” American Migraine Foundation, American Migraine Foundation, 17 Aug. 2017, www.americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/understanding-migraineadapting-to-life-with-migraine/.
- Dumas, Karl. “How to Cope When Your Wife Has Migraines.” Migraine Again, 13 Feb. 2018, www.migraineagain.com/when-your-wife-has-migraines/.
- Dumas, Paula. “Parenting with Migraine: How to Be the Best Parent, Despite Your Pain.” Migraine Again, 12 May 2019, www.migraineagain.com/parenting-with-migraine/.
- “Guide for Parents and Carers.” The Migraine Trust, The Migraine Trust, www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/coping-managing/young-sufferers/guide-for-parents-and-carers/.
- “Migraines Pictures: What Aura Looks Like, Tracking Triggers, and More.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/ss/slideshow-migraine-overview.
Reviewed by Stephen D. Silberstein, MD on August 09, 2017
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Migraines: Steps to Head off the Pain.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 10 May 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/in-depth/migraines/art-20047242.
- Uscher, Jen. “Migraines and Parenting: 6 Tips for Moms and Dads.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/features/migraines-and-parenting#4.
Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on February 12, 2012
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