Life With A Chronic Disease: Making Memories With Your Kids In Spite Of Fatigue

2892807 - a pretty mother and cute son sitting on porch at homeDoes this scenario sound familiar? Your kids come home from school in a tornado of boisterous laughter, fighting and snack guzzling. You want to go and talk to your children about their day. You don’t want to miss out on this period in their lives when school is exciting and there’s so much to look forward to. However, your chronic disease keeps you in your room, away from those cute kids of yours. As much as you want to, you can’t find the energy to get out of bed and spend some quality time with your sweet children.

There may be many days in your future that feel very similar to the above scenario. There will be days when your chronic disease may keep you from spending quality time with your kids and other loved ones. The fatigue that comes along with your illness will make getting out of bed feel a victory all on its own. But that leaves little energy left for the little ones who mean so much to you. Thankfully, there are still low-energy activities you can do with your dear children to make sure you’re making memories with them that aren’t completely regulated by your chronic disease.

These are some fun-filled, low-energy activities you can do with your kids that your chronic disease can’t stop you from enjoying:

1. Tell them stories.

There’s likely so much about you and your life that your kids don’t know yet. If you have a day when you can’t seem to get out of bed, invite your children into your room. Tell them the story of how you once broke your arm or when you first drove a car. These are things your children will delight to learn about you. If your chronic disease has made it a difficult day, go with a shorter story so you don’t have to use too much energy.

At first, you may feel like you don’t have many stories that will keep your kids entertained. It’s often hard to compete with the cartoons, music and television series that your kids often turn to when they get home from school. But after some time, your kids will cherish these memories and love to hear about what you were like when you were their age.

2. Host a movie night.

Movies are great for two reasons: First, they don’t require a lot of energy on your part at all. In fact you don’t even have to move from your bed or your couch to enjoy a good movie. And second, movies will keep your kids entertained on the days you simply can’t do it on your own.

There’s a large selection of great, family-friendly films that will help you bond with your children when you don’t have the energy to do much other than lie down. You can even let your kids take turns choosing the movie you’ll watch on movie night. And if you’re having a good day or another adult is there to help, it’s always great to add to movie night with some drinks and snacks.

3. Ask them questions about their life.

If you run out of stories to tell them, you can also flip the coin and begin asking them questions about their own lives. Oftentimes, we grow anxious that our children are going to grow up without us there to cheer them on. Those of us with a chronic disease know that it can be easy to let life pass you by while you’re struggling with your own medical issues. One way to combat these fears is to make sure you’re always talking to your children about what’s happening in their lives. What’s their favorite subject in school? Who do they sit with at lunch?

Make it a habit for your children to talk to you about their day. If you’re too exhausted to make it out of your room, make sure they know they’re always welcome to come in and visit with you. Keeping track of what’s happening in their lives is a great way to feel like you’re right there alongside them.

When you live every day with your chronic disease, it’s easy to let fatigue stop you from making memories with your loved ones. With these three ideas, you can discover so many ways that your kids’ memories can include more quality time with you than you may believe.


About the Author
Katie Cleary is founder of  She lives with her autoimmune conditions and her family in Austin, Texas.

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