Parenting… with a Migraine

I can remember being told how hard a job being a parent is. Anyone who tells you that parenting isn’t hard is either lying or has the patience of a saint.

What I didn’t realize was how hard it would be when I’m alone. With Logan. And I’ve got a migraine.

Tonight, Brad is on afternoon shift. And guess what? I’ve got a migraine. 

Logan is now at the age where he knows when I’ve got a headache. “Your head hurts, Mommy?” he whispers. He rubs my head softly. Then he goes back to playing. Loudly.

Tonight, although it’s beautiful out and I’d rather be outside playing, hiking, biking, walking, doing anything besides lying on the couch, we’re having a movie night.

Logan helped me make popcorn and we watched Moana.

So, moms and dads with migraines, I feel you. I have written a post here about my tried-and-true remedies for treating migraines but it is just a little different if you’ve got to parent with a migraine.

Here’s how I get through those days and nights….

Make it a Novelty

I knew I wasn’t getting off the couch last night. So, I drew the curtains, pulled out pillows and blankets, made a treat (popcorn) and put on a favorite movie. 

Rest for me and something different for Logan.

Did my migraine go away? No. But I made it through the night without the sun glaring in my eyes and without Logan begging me to play outside. I called it a winner.

Enlist Help

If I’ve got a big headache and Brad is home, I’m napping. If it occurs when he’s working (which is inevitably what happens) I’ve got a list of people who can step in to hang out with Logan.

Of course, headaches don’t occur when it’s convenient. They often occur when my backup crew isn’t available. Commence backup plan.

Have a Backup Plan

When my headache is that bad and I don’t have family or friends around to help, I go to the backup plan.

If I don’t, I’m a crying mess (if you ask Brad, this happens anyways)

The backup plan is a list of things I can do with Logan that keeps him occupied that doesn’t require a whole lot of work on my part. It may mean leaving the house (ouch) but he’s probably going to whine less, which means less pain at some point for me.

Examples include the library and the park. These places allow me to sit on a chair or a bench and quietly watch Logan. 

Pinpoint the Cause

Sometimes I can figure out why I have a headache – and fix it. Allergy season? Pop an Allegra. Dehydrated? Slam extra water. Not enough coffee? Drive through McDonalds (let’s be real – that’s rarely an issue.) Anxious? Call or text a friend.

Sometimes, a headache comes from no where. That, my friends, is when we all pray for naptime.

Do Yoga 

I know – yoga hardly sounds like fun in the midst of a migraine.

However, I’m not talking about flipping into a handstand, wrapping yourself into a pretzel or doing an hour-long power yoga class

I’m talking about a yin yoga or restorative yoga practice.

These types of yoga practices are slooooow moving and are typically practiced with your body sitting and lying horizontally on the mat.

Yes – lying down.

Click here for a great, short yin yoga sequence for migraines.

The best part? Logan imitates me. He thinks it’s great when I roll out my mat. “Mommy do yoga?” he says.

So there you have it, folks. Parenting with migraines. It ain’t pretty but it is (sometimes) possible.


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