Managing Parenting and Fatigue When You Have Allergies
Being a parent is a tiring job. And life with allergies often comes with fatigue. Together, fatigue and allergies can leave you feeling completely exhausted, even defeated.
Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness that often does not improve with rest. It can be a symptom of allergies or a complication of them, the medicine you take for them, or a side effect of treatment. Fatigue can also be caused by constant stress, something that many of us with allergies also live with.1
Fatigue on its own can be incredibly challenging to manage. When you add a child or family responsibilities to the mix, it can feel like an unbeatable battle.
Expected and unexpected parenting stresses
You may have expected physical limitations to come with allergies and their treatment. But you may have been completely unprepared for chronic fatigue and how it impacts your ability to function day to day. Parenting with allergies comes with its own set of challenges, such as:
- Feelings of guilt for not being the parent you envisioned yourself being
- Constant unpredictability
- Fear of the future
Combatting fatigue while parenting
While fatigue may seem unbeatable at times, there are strategies for managing it. We are hoping parents will find these especially useful. But anyone with fatigue can benefit from practicing these strategies.
Move when you can
It may seem impossible to think about exercising when you are not feeling great or have physical limitations. But even a few minutes of low-effort exercise may give you a boost of energy. Think about exercise that will allow your child to join. Activities you can do together can help you get the exercise you need and give you special bonding time with your child. Examples include:
- Walking around the block
- Taking your dog out
- Yoga or stretching
Fuel your body well
What we eat has a large impact on how we feel. Ideas to improve energy include:
- Cutting back on processed foods
- Reducing the amount of sugar you eat
- Drinking plenty of water
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is also a great way to show your child the importance of healthy eating. Eating well together can help you stay on track. It also teaches your children a lesson that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Stick to a routine
Although life with allergies (and children themselves) can lead to unpredictability, keeping a routine may help you improve sleep and stability. Work with your child on developing a daily routine. Bedtime routines will be especially helpful. Stick to your agreed-upon schedule the best you can. Routines may help you both:
- Stay on track
- Get good rest
- Feel energized
- Prepare to take on each day
Take human time each day
As small as it may seem, taking a few minutes away from your kids can help you reset your mind and body. Examples include taking time to:
- Have a hot shower
- Put on clothes you would wear in public
- Brush your hair
Anything you can do that makes you feel more like a human being, and less of a stressed-out parent, can make a difference.
Similar to taking human time, it is also important to practice self-care. Think about activities that help you refresh your mind. Practicing these can also give your body energy.
It may seem hard to practice self-care while parenting. But the 2 do not have to be exclusive. There are activities that bring you joy that you can share with your child. For example:
- Reading a favorite book together
- Watching and discussing a show
- Playing a board game
No parent can do everything, especially when living with the demands of allergies. Communicating with people you trust can help you create a support network. Others may be able to step in when you are in need. For example, if your child wants to play outside but you do not have the energy to watch them or your allergies are flaring up, you might be able to ask:
- Your partner
- A friend
- A neighbor
- A nearby family member
If your child participates in group activities or team sports, get to know their friends' parents. That way, you can have a backup if you need to skip a game or your child needs a ride. There is no shame in asking others for help.
Navigating life as a parent and having allergies are challenging tasks on their own. They can feel overwhelming together. Let us know if you have any suggestions for parenting while managing fatigue and allergy symptoms. What helps you get through each day?
Would you be interested in reading articles with different allergy-friendly recipes for food and/or cleaning products?