Parenting With Psoriasis
Last updated: July 2023
Psoriasis is a chronic condition. It takes a lot of daily management and daily brain space. I've lived with this condition since I was 5 years old. I'm now 65. Psoriasis is so much of who I am and has traveled with me on my life's journey. Including my parenting journey.
When I was a young mom, I was 80% covered in psoriasis. It may have been one of the most significant challenges of my life.
Parenting while living with psoriasis, a very stress situation.
In addition to skincare routines, treatment schedules, avoiding triggers and personal doctor appointments, taking care of a tiny human is a huge responsibility that comes with a lot of stress. We all know the role stress can play in psoriasis flares if we're not mindful enough.
The emotional stress of psoriasis was no longer going to impact me exclusively, it was going to crack and bleed into the lives of family. I struggled to balance my responsibilities as a caregiver with my own health needs. Over the years, I learned strategies that have helped me manage my condition while still being an present parent.
Honesty will repay you.
No matter the age of your children, honesty will save you both. Children are naturally curious and will notice changes in our appearance or behavior. It's important to explain to them what psoriasis is and how it affects you. My kids always wanted to rub my skin.
Being honest and open will not only help them understand your condition but also reduce any fears or misconceptions. It will help them develop empathy towards others who may also be struggling with a chronic condition.
Prioritize your self-care
You are only as strong as your family. That means you need to take time to replenish your strength. Push through the guilt and prioritize yourself once in a while. It's easy to put your own needs on the back burner when you're focused on taking care of your children.
Neglecting your own health can exacerbate your psoriasis symptoms and increase your stress levels. Trust me, I know that with kids, your life is no longer your own. There were days I would take a few minutes and just sit in the bathroom to breathe.
Taking care of your physical body
As a parent living and managing psoriasis, you may also face challenges related to physical activity. Honesty with yourself - and your loved ones will help you here. Just trying to pick up your child can take so much out of you.
Outside of what your child may need, it's important to find ongoing physical activities that work for your body and don't exacerbate your symptoms. It's also a good idea to talk to your doctor or a physical therapist to find exercises that work best for your unique needs.
Find comfort and support in community.
Psoriasis can be so isolating - and so can parenting for that matter. Why were we put on this earth if not to be there for eachother? Seek support from your family and built community. I know people can be judgmental, YOUR people shouldn't be.
Connecting with others who share your experiences can be a powerful way to feel understood, validated, and supported. Parenting with psoriasis can be challenging, but it's also an opportunity to teach your children about resilience, empathy, and self-care.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?