Taking care of kids during a migraine

Though I’m not a parent myself, I probably have more baby and kid experience than a lot of my non-parent friends combined.

I’ve been babysitting since I was 11 (yup, 20 years ago) and would venture to call myself a former professional nanny. That’s stretching it a bit, perhaps, but suffice to say I have spent much of my life taking care of little ones.

Kids’ creativity and hilarity never cease to amaze me, but I have to admit that playing house and family with young elementary kids can get, well, downright boring if you’re not their age.

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And babies and toddlers can be just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, but five hours into a seven hour day of one-on-one baby time can certainly have you staring at the clock, willing it to tick faster and faster.

But no amount of baby boredom can compare to the terrible, awful way I feel when I am babysitting and have a bad migraine.

The families I nanny for understand that I am reliable and good with kids but that I have a chronic condition that may cause me to cancel once in awhile. It’s far from convenient for them, but it’s a tradeoff they accept. It doesn’t mean I feel any less guilty when I have to call in sick due to migraine.

These days I babysit much more rarely than I used to, but once in awhile I pick up some hours here and there. A couple of weeks ago I was feeling unbelievably terrible—my head pain was intense, I was totally nauseated and tired, and I had menstrual cramps to boot. But I had already driven 20 minutes to babysit little B., who at the time was as cute and colicky and cry-filled as can be. It was a long four hours. I drove home in a daze and had to cancel everything for the next 2 days. I’m telling you, it was bad.

And all this got me thinking: you migraineurs out there who balance childcare with the rest of your life are HEROES. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to take care of kids 24/7 and have migraine disease on top of that. Kudos to you, and kudos to you for having found this website—I hope you are able to track down some good ideas to help you cope better.

My hats off to you.

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