Lying in the dark, impatiently waiting for a Migraine to pass, noises from another room remind us that once again, life moves on. Our minds begin to wander.
We remember all the times we’ve been stuck alone in the dark, unable to be the mothers we wanted to be. Every missed recital, game, and holiday haunts us. We berate ourselves for the countless takeout meals and frozen dinners served when we were too sick to cook a proper meal. We remember all the times we told innocent littles ones, “Mommy can’t right now.” The guilt washes over us like a tidal wave, drowning us in shame. We fight back the tears, reminding ourselves that crying only makes it worse.
Even without Migraine, moms inevitably feel guilty for one thing or another. Each of us has our own ideas about what it means to be the perfect mom. It’s a standard that none of us can ever meet. So, if we can’t possibly live up to the unrealistic standards of “perfect mothering” without Migraine, what makes any of us think we can do it with Migraine?
Good mothering doesn’t require us to be or do everything. Of course, mothers with Migraine have some unique challenges. Success depends on how well we’re prepared. Backup plans, volunteers, and advanced planning are essential. Yet some of us still feel guilty simply because we are not living up to unrealistic standards.
- There is no shame in asking a friend to take your child to school because Migraine makes it unsafe to drive.
- An occasional cheeseburger or PB&J sandwich isn’t child neglect.
- There’s nothing wrong with asking a child to choose quiet activities until the Migraine has passed.
- Creating “Migraine rules” teaches our kids to have compassion for others.
We all do our best. It’s time to let go of “Migraine mommy guilt” and give ourselves a break.
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Headache disorders counselor and advocate Tammy Rome maintains a private practice specializing in treating clients with Migraine and other headache disorders. She also volunteers as vice chair of the American Headache and Migraine Association and as president of The Cluster Headache Support Group. You can read more of Tammy’s work on her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.