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Parenting and arthritis

This was in a post on the excellent RA guys website:

They don’t want their momma to feel pain and when I do, they feel insecure and uncertain about how to rescue me.

This was in the comments section, it made me think

It is going on two years for me with my journey with RA and Fibromyalgia. My older son is nine and a half and the baby turns a year old next month. The hardest part for me is dealing with the fact that the baby will never have the same mother that my nine year old had.

This also made me wonder whether I am strong enough to conquer anything and everything. Am I, as a parent, required to be unbreakable or always be confident about myself, about my parenting skills and about preparing my children for the world? I guess the answer to that is that we are all learning as we go.

http://www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/2009/08/parenting-ra/

I can understand that kids find uncertainty frightening so I can understand hiding your arthritis from them as much as possible.  I can also understand the need to be open and honest with your kids without scaring them. A difficult balancing act.

As this post points out, it’s not the pain itself that is frightening, it’s not knowing what to do that is scary. So if the pain is bad giving the kids a task like getting a wheat pack or a glass of water (something/anything) is better and less frightening for them, because then they have something useful to do.

How much do you want to let your kids know?  How much are your kids going to tell their friends/friends parents/teachers?  How much can you ask of your kids? How many chores are too many? (or not enough!).

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