I’m a mother who gets migraines — so when fellow mom Whitney Port discussed own her struggle with migraines, I knew exactly what she was talking about. Being sick or in pain is always rough, but it’s so much harder when you have to set your needs aside to care for someone else — and that’s kind of what parenthood is all about, isn’t it? The reality star knows this all too well: She recently revealed how her longtime battle with migraines became even more difficult after the birth of her son, Sonny.
While Port has learned how to deal with migraines as a result of years of suffering through them, she quickly learned that there’s a whole new layer of complexity to contend with when you have a child.
“It’s really, really hard, because [Sonny] doesn’t understand what’s happening, and I just never want him to feel like he’s done anything for me to need to step away,” Port told People. “I ask [my husband] Timmy to step in so I can lay down and close my eyes and drink a couple glasses of water. I’ll try to explain to Sonny as much as I can that Mommy has a little boo-boo on top of her head and she needs to rest for a second. You do what you can.”
Whether you deal with migraines or another issue entirely, moms will understand what Port is talking about: Anything that steals quality time with your kids is hard to navigate — and then there’s the relatable mom guilt that sets in when you need to step away and take care of yourself.
“I feel like as I’ve gotten older and especially around stressful times they’ll get worse, because it’s like my body’s way of reacting to any kind of stress or anxiety,” Port, who recently suffered a miscarriage, shared. “The interesting thing is that when I was pregnant I didn’t get them, so I think it’s a little bit of a hormonal thing. And now they vary in strength, but they come all too often.” The Hills: New Beginnings star reportedly deals with mild migraines about once a week, and faces more severe attacks every few weeks.
Ultimately, we all just have to figure out ways to deal with whatever we face. We can take cues from Port, who relies on her partner, explains what she’s dealing with to her son, and finds ways to keep her child occupied when she feels the need to address her migraines. And remember this: There’s no need to feel guilt or shame if you need to take some time for yourself. Yes, it’s harder to do when you’re a mom — and setting aside the urge to put your kids’ needs above your own can be so tough — but self-care matters, especially when you’re dealing with something as painful as a migraine.
Port spoke to that sentiment as well. “You have to do what you have to do to get through it,” she told People. “Even if I have to turn on the TV for Sonny to keep him busy. You’ve got to neutralize your kid so you can get yourself back on your feet.”
— Zara Hanawalt
This story originally appeared on SheKnows.