Fibromyalgia Action UK

How do people with fibro cope with the physical demands of having a child?

help! I really need peoples advice!!! After 4 years of debate about whether to adopt a child or not and me being petrified because I cannot even empty the dishwasher sometimes and recently held my friends baby and now have a permanent hypomobility problem in my shoulder which the excercises for seem to be hurting me and causing me more problems. Chronic fatigue has also increased this year and I'm having some thyroid investigations to see why my eyebrows are now falling out and my muscles are weaker. I felt terrible for not being well enough to be a parent but couldn't take the emotional strain and got chronically depressed. Now the pressure is off a few months later I am now feeling like I really want a child! how crazy is that? I'm due to turn 40 this year and wonder if its something to do with that. Its eating me up and I am very worried its a passing phase and we cannot afford to hire help. Last time we started the adoption process we asked them if we could have help and they said no they'd never come across that situation before where it wasn't a family member. how do people with fibro cope with raising children when you cannot even pick them up? What do you do when you are not well enough to cook them dinner or take them to school? What happens when you are in so much pain and it makes you grumpy and you are not your best self with your child? I wasn't thinking of going for a baby probably of a child of 4 or above but energy levels are so low and I think the hayfever season really effects my chronic fatigue too which I do take medication for. Its even had an impact on my husband this year. Sorry I know its a bit of an essay but I'm desperate. I'm a very loving person and have a lot of love to give but cannot take the fact that I could be a bad parent and would hate to disapoint anyone its bad enough disappointing my husband! My period is also due and I wonder if that's having an effect on how I'm feeling right now.

9 Replies

im a single parent teagan 5 and ryan 9. ryan has behavioural problems and hardly sleeps. ive also got spine problems as well as fibro. how do i cope? i just do! yes some days is doing bare minimum but you survive. i have a carer 2 mornings a week who do housework and wash my hair. even in the middle of bad flare you learn to cope, kids are very resiliant, and you have husband to help!

dont let fibro dictate what you do in your life, it will be a struggle but you will get there! there are so many children desperate for homes, my advice is DO IT xxxxx


I recently posted a link to this Ouch! article on the FibroAction Twitter account...

Caroline Jephcott: Nine top tips from a physically disabled parent

Having help is quite important IMO, otherwise there is a minimum that has to be done however rough you feel. But there are ways to make it easier - e.g. if you have a baby/child in nappies, having a change station downstairs can help or having healthy meals in the freezer (we love the Little Dishes range for our toddler) for days when you can't cope with cooking is good.


I have four children age 13, 11, 8 and 3 and a very supportive husband. My children mean the world to me and I think that if you want a family you will find a way of coping. When I'm well I do what I can with the children and when I'm not my husband takes over as main carer. If it's what you want in life I think you will find ways to adapt and cope. Good luck.



i have three children-some how i manage- not sure how though


Hi I just wanted to say that I have been through the adoption process and they are really strict on all aspects of you life especially your health and support. i have a history of depression but that was my only health issue at the time. Because I was anxious about the health issue and didnt want to go through the whole process and then be turned down so the social worker arranged for me to have my medical assessment first. thankfully I passed and adopted a 5 year oold boy who is now 17. i dont want to be a killjoy but just wanted to let you know. I hope all goes well for you whatever you decide. xx



I wanted to let you know that if its really what you want, then fibro doesnt have to prevent that.

I took on full time care of my 2 grandsons 4 years ago, within weeks of triggering fibro. I had abdominal surgery that went wrong and i had a hole in my stomach for 6 months.

When i took on the boys, with the help of my supportive partner they were 1 and 2 respectively. They both hae adhd and behavioural issues. They are now 5 and 6.

I wont deny its hard and there are days when i wonder what i have done but i wuldnt change a thing!

I adore the boys and as they have grown with me they understand i have limits. As long as they are warm and fed and i can give them the love and security they need, thats the main thing. Everything else just kind of falls into place.

Please dont feel that because you have fibro that it has to put a halt to your dreams of being a mum. Granted, it takes a bit more organisation but it can be done

I really hope you come to beleive you can do it.

Love and gentle huggles

Chilli xxx


Hi im a divorced mum and gave been rearing my kidz alone after walking out on a violent marriage when my youngest was 5 months (shes turning 18 in march). I've been living with fibro for approx 5/6 yrs and its been a learning experience for us all. All i can tell u is that children are very adaptable and that they soon learn to pick up on the many cues and clues which indicate when ur having a bad day or are in the midst of a flare up and bless em they do their best by offering age appropriate help - in relation to my older children this would be things like washing my hair. helping me dress, cooking, cleaning, shopping and generally taking over the running of the house(im so lucky nd extremely grateful for their suport) in relation to my grandchildren aged 3 this might be a hug, a lick of their lollipop, or they mite even sing me a song lol.

Only you trully know ur family circumstances so you are best placed to judge the amount of support family nd friends would be willing to realistically offer if a child became an addittion to your family. Some of us had r children pre- fibro, so had no option but to carry on with family life whilst makin changes to accomodate our new limitations and despites the ups & downs we have survived and pulled together as a family.

There is an old african proverb which states - it takes a village to raise a child. This means it required a group effort, so parenting a child should not be ur responsibility alone. I think the question you need to answer is are you, ur hubby, and extended family a functioning village??

if so then embrace the idea of sharing the parenting delegate duties to ' other villagers' in order to ensure you dont over work yourself striving to be supermum( cuz none of us are)

Keep a sense of humour relax and have faith that whatever you nd hubbydecide is the right thing for you :-) take care x



my kids are fantastic. i let them know that we (the family) are a team, we all make the mess so we all clean up the mess! i have had to adjust to not running around with my kids (8 and 10) but i adapt. when we play cricket in the garden, i bat and bowl, i hurt loads afterwards but you just get on and do it! i figure that it hurts when i dont do stuff so i might as well get on and do it then atleast il know why im hurting!

i once saw a doctor who had a great analogy - he said if you hit your thumb with the hammer whilst hammering - would you never hammer again?? no you wouldnt, you just have a little talk to yourself and then get on with it!

i recently had a hysterectomy with a vertical cut straight up my tummy. that was worse than fibro because i couldnt hug my kids properly. we are now on catching up on those we missed!!

i used to work in the public sector and worked closely with social services. they had an unofficial saying that 'good enough is good enough' .

have you also heard about the 70% rule? when working they say just work at 70% capacity. no one can keep up 100% indefinitely.

if this is what you want to do then you will find a way. i have friends who are currently going through the adoption process. they are given so much help and support along the way, and its not like they will be given the child and left to get on with it! there is on going help and support.

with full admiration



Hi everyone I have 2girls one almost 7 and one almost 18,the eldest is away at college but helps when at home and the youngest is my star ,she is my little helper along with my hubby who does more than his fair share and although I feel guilty sometimes about not being the mum I want to be to my youngest she's so cool with it,yet my eldest got the best of me as I wasn't ill until 3yrs ago,I have to say though I wouldn't change it for the world and yes there are times when I think jeez i'm knackered but everyone does there bit and makes allowances and if you want to be a mum or dad then there is help out there as who's to say you can or can't.Really it's upto you and how you feel and I give you my best with your decision and I know you'll get support from all the forum without judgement

big hugs to you xx


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