Parenting With Chronic Pain

Dealing with chronic pain alone must be stressful, but being a parent on top of that must make it almost unbearable. I’m extremely grateful and lucky enough to have never experienced chronic pain, but after reading an interesting article from the Atlantic on how chronic pain can affect parenting, it breaks my heart for parents who DO suffer from it.

Parenting With Chronic Pain

How Does Living With Chronic Pain Affect Kids?

The article dives into the author’s experience with living with chronic pain and references several studies on just how much chronic pain affects your relationship with your children. The first study that was referenced, which was published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing by experts from Kent State University, showed that children suffer when their parents suffer from chronic pain.  According to the results, children with parents who suffer from chronic pain are at risk for adjustment problems, behavioral issues, and are more likely themselves to complain about pain.  In the other referenced study, which was published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, children found that their parents were more likely to be uninvolved and physically, emotionally, and were more likely to be hostile, irritable, or unpredictable.

As I mentioned previously, I can’t speak directly from experience; I had back pain earlier in my life before I had children, but I can’t say that it was anything like what chronic pain sufferers experience. Even when I don’t feel well or if I’m not 100 percent myself, I can tell that I become more irritable, I start to lose my patience, and I become less responsive to my children’s needs. The author of this article seems like a truly amazing person who wants to be at her best for her children, and it’s heartbreaking to hear that she can’t always do that.

Parents, have any of you ever dealt with chronic pain? How do you cope? Please weigh in on the issue by leaving a comment and sharing your experiences and advice. 

We all want to be great parents and not yell or become irritated with our kids, but when we aren’t feeling like ourselves, that can be extremely difficult to do. No parent should have to live with chronic pain, and no child should have to suffer as a result of it.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check back for more! xo

  • I suffer from chronic pain and it hard but what I do is try not to let my daughter know. I don’t back down on her rules because I feel like if I do than she will think she can get away with it and I don’t want my daughter growing up thinking she can get her way all the time. Chronic pain is the most scariest thing when being a parent. These question run threw my head all the time. What does my daughter think if I tell her I’m in pain? Is this pain ever going to go away. The answer is unknown I have had 2 surgeries in two years and it not going away.

  • Jess

    I suffer from chronic migraines and it is so hard to look after my son in what I feel is a good enough way. I struggle to hold him, play with him and even feed him when I have a migraine and makes you feel like you’re failing as a parent 🙁

    • I think you have to take care of yourself and not feel guilty — when you are feeling good, spend as much special time with him as you can. When you have a migraine, take care of Mom. In the end, your son will likely understand and become a more caring person for it. Hang in there! Melissa

  • Judy

    I suffer with chronic pain. Some days are harder than others. I have learned that by taking better care of my health I am than a better mom. I decided to no longer feel guilty for putting my health as a priority. I pray, meditate, listen to music, go to the gym, do yoga, plan and make healthy meals, I do let my family know when I am not feeling well so they can adjust their expectations and respect my need for rest. When I am better than I plan a fun activity with them. I thank them for their cooperation and understanding. I think that In a family we all need to learn communication and empathy. I feel for any parent living with chronic pain. I am that parent. I hope these thoughts will encourage you today.

  • jayme

    I suffer with chronic pain and I havr some days that are better than others I have arthritis in my lower back and hands and I also have abscess unside that are not going away. And have had about 11 surgeries since I had my daughter and I am getting ready for more. ( my daughter was born 2011) and also my liver keeps going bad. Maybe that’s why its taking so long to get her off the bottle and to potty train. 🙁

  • Rachel

    I just found your article and I wanted to comment. I am a mom of 4 who has suffered with chronic pain for 34 years because I was ran over when I was 11 month old. I became an amputee a year ago after 2 years of trying to save my leg. That is only part of the pain I deal with. I now live my life in a wheelchair. Maybe one day I will get to use a prosthetic. I also have Complex Migraines. Chronic pain can control your life. I struggle everyday to be the vest mom and wife I can be but my family suffers. It doesn’t help that most Drs answer to the issue is to give you more pills as if 5-6 a day isn’t enough. One day at a time with God by my side that’s how I live my life.

  • dragonfly

    Please go check out this link and read it
    Fist full of tears – pain , judgement, life struggles, humanity