Fibro and Parenting

Hi everyone, my name is Josh and I’m new here. I’ve had fibromyalgia symptoms for a bit over two years…and I’m dad to a two-and-a-half year old boy.

My greatest struggle right now is keeping up with this active toddler while I’m in pain. While I’m grateful to have this little personal trainer in my life, I often overextend myself for the sake of just doing daddy things…and then I pay for it later.

It feels like there really isn’t much of a way out, at least not until he grows old enough to understand why daddy doesn’t feel up to playing sometimes. I don’t want to disappoint him right now…but man, it’s tough.

(To be fair, I think my expectations for myself as a dad are higher than his are for me…so I fully acknowledge that I may be putting some undue pressure on myself here.)

Not sure what I’m looking for as far as responses go…but thanks for letting me share!

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Hi again Josh - sorry I missed this post of yours!

My very active kid was a welcome outlet for all my energy, decades ago. Now my kid’s kid is the same and I’ve had to learn to fake activity with voice, face, gestures and eyes. But we also find other alternate ways of quality time, like “playing sleeping” and other more passive fun & games. I’ve still had to learn to limit the dose tho, often enough I can’t manage more than 20-30 minutes, on best days 2h - even running & climbing a bit, but with lots of rest / time-outs.
Not the granddad I’d wanted to be. But again I make up for that by looking eye to eye a lot, smiling, stroking, listening actively & speaking consciously, honestly and openly, which has made for our bond very strong all the same.
Luckily my wife can take over when I have to be off home again. We hardly meet at our home, cos then time out and off limits aren’t possible with that “bag of fleas”…
So I very much understand!

Not fibromyalgia, but I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis with a 5 year old and a 9 month old. Fatigue was a huge problem for me, especially at the beginning. For me, it was a combination of taking naps with him, and quiet activities, as well as low stress movements. So we would take a walk most mornings and then come back home for nap. As he got older and more active, we would go to playgrounds, visit the local farm, etc, where he could run around.

Truth be told, I’m still not sure how I made it through that stage. I napped a lot. I would often fall back asleep after breakfast, take a long nap with the toddler, and then lay down/rest for a stretch after my husband got home from teaching.

Sharon from ModSupport

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