Fibromyalgia Action UK
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am i the only one that feels guilty as a wife and mother

i wish i could just take my illness and get on with it.. but i am troubled with guilt cause i am at home all day and my husband and children are out at work all day, i feel i have to keep the house looking reasonable tidy( not as to how it used to be ) it kills me doing it.. even preparing tea and putting it in oven seems such a chore.... i force myself to do it.. seomtimes i feel i cant even lift my arm, if i am in bed all day i feel it shows them i am ill. if i am up i feel i have to do those things.. anyone else feel like this xxx

11 Replies

hi diane I know how you feel it is true every little thing hurts some days even cleaning my teeth hurts like hell I try to pace myself ( easier said than done ) I have to sit down to do the ironing and then suffer afterwards they are good days bad days I honestly cannot do anything I hope you get some ease soon take care love beth x


Totally sympathise have told my OH many times he would be better off without me but yes I feel guilty cos my son has aspergers and sometimes I just don't have the energy for the endless discussions he presents us with.... Fortunately I get lower rate dla and that spent on a cleaner.. I would prefer to spend it on other things but I just can't clean anymore. So try not to feel guilty cos there are others like you.




I also feel guilty about all these things, some days i lie in bed all day and send taxis to pick up my son from school (hes 17) because i cant lift my head from the pillow. Ive lost count of the number of times they have had take away for tea. I also feel guilty because my husband works away and is only here at weekends and instead of resting he has to do the jobs i havent done through the week. My family are very understanding but it doesnt stop the guilt. I do have other health issues, I have APLS and osteoarthritis and menieres disease so im unsure which symptoms are from fibro, I just know i hurt and im so fatigued that no matter how long i sleep i never wake up refreshed.


Hello Diane

we have all been there (or are there), my advice to you is to firstly let go of all the guilt, frustration etc it really doesn't do YOU any good. I found that going and getting hypnotherapy really helped me accept the changes that fibro bring and it helped me to put things into perspective.

secondly have you sat down with your family and told them how you are struggling and tell them all your concerns and maybe ask them to read the spoon theory if you haven't already - link below

my daughter is now 21 and sometimes working a 12hr days, but still she needs to help around the house and now I have no car she has to help me do the shopping. as she knows that if I could do it I wouldn't ask her for help, she also does her own washing and ironing and cooks tea (sometimes) i feel that as a parent we need to teach our children to be able to look after themselves for when they leave the nest and have to fend for themselves.

so maybe ask your children to start taking on a few house hold chores (even if it is their rooms and the dishes/hoovering the stairs etc) their chores will all add up and be less for you to worry about.

i am having a pyjama day today because I need it, no guilt here as i need yo look after me to be able to look after anyone else.

keep smiling x


As your children are at work,if they don't want to

help with housework,can't they pay for a cleaner? This way you wont feel bad because the house would be clean and they wouldn't have to do the housework when already tired.I have just started having help for an hour a week and I have to pay £12 ,it's worth every penny (and I haven't many!) I prioritise which jobs I'm desperate to get done and the cleaner does them first.I'm hopingfor more hours if I ever get benefits!!


He'll yes!! I'm tormented with guilt all the time. My partner works split shifts and long hours but still gets up with my 2 grandchildren who we are bringing up as our own due to my daughter decided being a mum was not what she wanted. They are up around 6 am every day, he feeds them n gets them ready and does the school run, then does housework till he has to go to work. He comes back, picks them up and takes care of all of us until time to go back to work 7pm. He often works til the early hours, then he does the same thing every day.

Due to the situation with the boys they take alot of care, having food allergies, attachment issues and behavioural problems along with suspected ADHD. He does most of it bless him! They wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him as I just couldn't handle it. There's been so much serious illness in my family this last year I I became very I'll with stress gastritis through worrying. My mum and dad both had heart attacks in the same week and we nearly lost my mum and my brother in law lost his dad and his mum had a heart attack, my sister of which I have 4 was diagnosed with cancer several months ago and we had no idea what the prognosis was. Luckily, her treatment has finished now and she is recovering, in the last few weeks another sister was told she has possible ovarian cancer as they had found a growth on her ovary. She has had cervical cancer twice, the last time she had to make the heartbreaking choice of terminating her pragnancy at over 5 months gone so that she could have treatment. The Xmas just gone she had a little boy 2 months early. He is absolutely fine now though. Another sister had a little girl who was born with the same stomach problems asme and also food allergies. My heart breaks for her as it's so horrendous to have and at the moment they are giving her tests to see how they can help her. She's 8 months old for gods sake. She doesn't deserve this!

With all this and so much more going on the guilt ate me up inside because I wasn't capable of doing anything to help. The gastritis meant ive lost alot of weight as I couldn't keep anything at all down, this was 4 months ago and is only very slowly getting better now. At the time I felt like I was dying I was so I'll. I've stopped being sick now but still have alot of issues with food. At the time I couldn't even keep a sip of water down and taking my meds was impossible so I was also going symptoms which just added to how I'll I felt. I can take them now but am not getting much relief. My gp changed my pregabalin to duloxetine to see if that made a difference but the fatigue and pain haven't changed. I thought it had made me more emotionally stable but obviously not so back to the drs to see what else I can do. My sleep is even poorer than usual as I have to sleep sat up and I'm feeling the effects of that physically but felt much better and really believed that I had found something to help! I was more motivated too and we were planning on getting the house redecorated and having essential work done. I've still got that motivation just but don't have any faith in myself and abilities any more and am reluctant to do things as I feel I'll do a bad job or make the wrong choice and things will get so much worse. I can't win

Despite all this I felt ok emotionally and we were actually getting into a routine. I feel So guilty about the boys as they are such hard work, especially emotionally. I also felt they were missing out on so much as they never went anywhere or did anything with me and that I wasn't doing my best with them and I was letting them down. They are difficult to control at the best of times and I felt that I was letting them run wild and they would be dragged up and turn into hooligans! They are 5 and 6 and already they laugh in my face! They are also wonderful, kind, intelligent boys and I can see the potential in them to be the same as adults but I don't know if I'm up to the job of teaching them how. I've felt like it for a while but always said that I'm not ready to give up on them but now I'm not so sure. I did worry about it but not the way I did yesterday! I've got no idea what happened or what could have set it off. all the stress isn't helping but there was nothing I could call a trigger.

Yesterday I went into a complete meltdown and couldn't stop crying, I decided that I was failing the kids completely and that maybe they should have gone into care after all. Somebody else would do a better job at helping them grow up decent if you know what I mean and maybe I should stop being selfish and do what's best for them in the long run. I felt so pathetic, weak, helpless and frustrated, devastated completely useless in every way and had not a thing to contribute in life. I have always had such a lust for life and found beauty all around me in this wonderful world we live in and yesterday, for the first time ever, I feel that I've lost that lust. This isn't a life, it's a life sentence and if I don't get a grip I might as well give up. I won't do anything to kill myself as I know the pain I'll leave behind but it all feels too much right now and in just want to run and not look back, go into hiding and exist there alone until I fade away and die. I haven't a clue how to solve this. I'm on 120mg duloxetine at the moment for pain and fatigue but not for depression. Shouldn't this be helping that too? on this dosage? I didn't even know I felt like this!

I'm so sorry to hijack your post, it all has come spilling out. I really hope you learn to let go of the guilt. You never asked for this and are as much a " victim/slave to it as your family. Hate those words but head is playing up and I can't think. You and your families life is dictated by it and to be honest the only time you really should is if you don't do things and it's just down to laziness but every one of us on here knows people who have fibro and other debilitating illnesses, we don't choose to be like this and would give anything to be well again. Your family knows that and they love you. That's why they do all these things. They know you need help and they are giving it. Use the time to rest and gather a bit of energy if you can as they want you to feel better and know it wil, help, or at least not make things harder than they already are.

By the way I'm good at the advice bit but maybe I should try it more often lol

I hope you start to feel better about things Hun. Pm me if you need to talk

Love and gentle huggles

Chilli xxx

I just want to say sorry again for the very long post and hijacking your post x


Have you noticed that guilt seems to be a predominantly female trait? I am not saying men never feel guilty, of course they do but I think they process it in a different way ie buy a bunch of flowers, chocolates, say sorry etc... but us females well we take it to a whole other level. More than anything else, children (and partners) need love. That is the greatest gift we can give to our family. We should not make our health worse by fretting about what we can't do but focus on the positive. We can still give love, encouragement, sympathy, advice - when needed and we can listen. These qualities are priceless and this is why our partners stick by us through thick and thin. A loving home is so much more important than a dust free and tidy one - I know for a fact that my man can't see dust or mess anyway! My true friends do not judge me, they clear a space to sit, find the kettle and say they feel more at home amongst a bit of clutter - and I love them all the more for it. Children too thrive much better in a loving environment rather than a spotless one. Knowing that they are loved, cherished and wanted by family is worth so much more than almost anything else in life. A timely cuddle (albeit a gentle one ;))when needed is priceless.

So come on ladies, forget the guilt trip and think of all the things that we can do rather than what we can't. It is much better for our health to be positive although I know it is easier some days than others.

I'll get off my soap box now.

Love to you all.

Jane x


Yes, we all do! My husband does full days at work, does the housework, cooks and looks after the kids. I do what I can on any given day. I hate what this is doing to him and my oldest's behaviour at school as he is only 6 1/2 and can't process it so he lashes out. His school is worth is weight in gold - they are being really helpful and have set up a CAF so both him and me can get the help we need including benefits, parent help with dropping/picking up kids etc. I also have Tourettes on top so I know how stressed I am getting about the Fibro and its effects with how twitchy I get which also hurts! My mum is helping by driving mu husband to work when she can so I can drive my kids to school/preschool and back and like you I have to grit my teeth get on with it and know I have to deal with the consequenses later when it catches up! I allow myself to feel chuffed over the smallest of achievements and know that a house full of love is more important than anything else! cuddles are free and you can lie in bed while giving them! XD


Jane you have hit the nail on the head ... I know my hubbie and family would rather I be with them chatting and having fun than cleaning and dusting .. Who says women have to do everthing to hold a family together ... Women do !!!!!!!!!! .. No guilt here .. I married in sickness and health and didnt ask to be so ill .. I feel for my hubbie having to do so much but if the tables had been reversed I would do the same for him ... We as a family have lived together with this for 25 yrs .. So much love and happiness can be given from a chair or laying on a sofa and this what life is about ...


It took me a long time to learn that lesson but it has certainly been a valuable one in terms of saving my sanity. My kids are also much more relaxed now I am no longer the 'tidy freak' as they used to call me and my OH actually said today how he prefers it now I no longer tidy everything away cos now he can find things (usually on a floor somewhere). It would seem that it was only myself I was pleasing! J x


so sorry not been on to reply to u all..... thanks so much... i wiill have to keep this very breif i am in a flare up and everything i do... even trying to type its killing me.. i am at the stage i want to run away from the pain as its not under control.. bet u all know this.... chilli my heart goes out to u... ur a saint taken in ur grandchildren,, even as a mother i would hate to be in that situation if i was well but when ur ill it must be terrible.. send u a hug.. to all the others thanks for replying to me and i will think about taken up the advice about a cleaner.. though my husband is a very proud man dont know how he would feel.. as i said thanks.. but i have to go and lie down... again xxxx


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