How often do you feel like tearing your hair out? Pretty often for me, especially when Marcie was between one to ten months old. Her eczema was all over her body, scalp and face and she didn’t know how to distract herself from scatching.
Having been both a stay-at-home and a working mom, I fully understand the additional demands of taking care of children with eczema, whether or not you’re working. I didn’t have a helper or another adult to help out during the day. I was alone at home, trying my best to stay calm taking care of my baby and to be a good home maker. The stress level was sky high, knowing that any attention lapse could result in scars/broken skin on my baby.
If your spouse/ family member is taking care of a child with eczema, do emphatise with them as you can see below it’s a lot tougher to care for an eczema kid.
1. Not even a minute’s break. A child with eczema will scratch when the skin is ‘triggered’, tired, sleepy, hungry or for no reason at all. Marcie scratches whenever she’s not occupied or when left alone. At one point, I couldn’t go to pee or poo or bathe until my hubby return from work.
2. Fatigue from lack of sleep. A child with eczema tends to wake up in the middle of the night and scratch. I am still co-sleeping with Marcie so that I can hold her hands whenever she scratches. Lack of sleep leads to fatigue which also raises the stress level. Since Marcie was born, I haven’t slept throughout the night (but I’ve got used to it).
3. No time to eat! If the restaurant is not cool enough or contains allergens that a child is sensitive too, the child will start scratching soon enough. I lost more weight than my weight gain during pregnancy plus, I’ve got into a habit of gobbling down my food as I know I only got a few minutes before Marcie starts to scratch.
4. No time for exercise! It is extremely difficult to gather the energy to exercise when (and that is a BIG WHEN) there is a little free time. When I do have the chance to jog, the exercise routine only last for 2 weeks before my baby changes her routine. Most days, I choose to chill with my hubby ‘cos we have so little time to ourselves.
It’s no wonder why you or a parent with an eczema child is so high-strung. The basic needs of sleep, eat, exercise, pee & poo can’t even be met properly. There is this study that concludes the stress levels in mothers caring for young children with eczema are equivalent to those mothers of children with severe disabilities. Below are some other emotional issues that you or the parent may face.
5. Guilt. It is easy to feel guilty when you are the only care giver and your baby ends the day with blood. I remembered feeling guilty when I dozed off for a minute and heard my baby scratching her neck. I remembered checking on her when I finished cooking and saw that she woke from her nap and scratched till blood from her ears run down to her face. I remembered checking on her when she was in a baby chair and realized she scratched her neck against the metal frame till bleeding. I remembered questioning myself if it was right to tie her up for a few minutes when I prepared her milk. It took me some time but I know now that I’m the best mom for Marcie and there’s no reason for guilt.
6. Isolation. A stay-at-home mom has no one to share your day and you lost your work status. For parents with eczema kids, it is very difficult to share with people who have not gone through the same. Worse, you tend to get suggestions that somehow point to you ‘mis-caring’ for your child.
7. Anger and blame. Eczema is an immunology disorder and it is half the time inherited. It took quite a few months before I stopped accusing my hubby about him passing on his ‘bad gene’. It does no good and doesn’t help our relationship.
8. Almost no time with spouse. That’s a big issue when the child takes so much attention, from both parents. I have yet to learn to enjoy the moment with my hubby when our baby is with us.
9. More housework. If the trigger for your child’s eczema is dust mite dropping, then you may spend more time vacuuming the house, changing bed sheets and cleaning the toys. More housework again means less time with spouse (and seldom both agree on how much housework to do!)
10. Less money. Moisturisers, bath oils, steroid, specialist appointments all don’t come cheap. Financial burden may place additional stress on the couple relationship.
One thing I’m glad to report though, it is possible to manage all of these better overtime. One good that comes out of taking care of Marcie for the past 15 months is that I’m proud of myself, my hubby for managing it so well and is more confident of our ability to weather difficulties together…
& always believe that You are the Best Parent for your eczema child
37 replies on “10 reasons why parents with eczema child have a tougher time”
Caring for a child with eczema is like having a new born baby, you have to grab sleep and quick naps whenever you can. I have spoken to a mum recently who was so tired she struggled to find the energy to care for her daughter who suffers from extremely bad eczema. Sleep deprivation is horrible it has a massive impact on your ability to care for eczema sufferers.
Thanks for your sharing, and yes, it’s difficult to find the energy when one is sleep deprived.. take care!
This is so true. My son had horrible eczema all over his body since he was 3 months old. He is now 23 months old and doing so much better. But it was so very hard in the beginning! I couldnt trust anyone to watch him because they didn’t stop him from scratching fast enough and he would cut himself open, even if he had gloves on he would irratate his skin. We also co slept so I could hold his hands in the middle of the night to keep him from waking up in the morning with blood everywhere. It definitely is a long rough tiresome road. But I love my son more then anything, as every other parent does. I’m just glad we have made it through the roughest part.
Hi Rochelle, thanks for dropping by and I totally understand! We co-slept too (and kind of still co-sleeping) and the part about making it through the roughest part resonates with me. It’s so true.. if Marcie’s eczema has not improved, I wouldn’t be able to devote so much time to this blog and her recovering gives me the blessing and encouragement to continuously improve this blog! Please let me know how I can do better, I’m getting into the 6th year of the blog and kind of running out of ideas! Big hugs and thank you!
I have so much respect for every parent who is taking care of a child with eczema! It is a life changing experience and makes us all much more compassionate to “invisible” suffering and in tune with everything we do, we eat, we inhale. And it definitely takes away the sleep….
Hi there! Yes, thanks so much for the sharing – I’m not so in tune to what I do, I’m most of the time rushing from here to there and juggling getting all the posts up too! But definitely yes, we emphasize!
Hugs, take care!
Hi my names Katie 27 & suffered with eczema all my life
Thanks for dropping by and hope this site can be of some help!
Have a good hols,
Thank you for this. My son, Nalin, is 11 months, and he is getting significantly better, but we have a long way to go. With his first birthday coming, I find myself constantly reflecting on his first year of life and trying to figure out what I’m feeling. I feel guilty because I don’t feel like I enjoyed it as much as I should have, or could have if he didn’t have eczema. I feel angry because no one knows what it’s like to raise a baby with eczema unless they’ve done it, and everyone seems to have a suggestion, opinion, or judgement. We are broke because in addition to buying all those creams and specialists, we have changed detergents and soaps a million times, buy all our food organic (just in case), bought special dust-limiting supplies, visited a million natural practitioners. I am tired. So incredibly tired. I am anxious, because I never know what tonight will bring, or how I will get tomorrow’s food prepared, or how we will stop swaddling and putting Nalin to sleep in the rocker. I am angry again because even our family members judge us for doing that. I am envious of other moms and their cooing babies who just rub their eyes when sleepy.
My hubby and I are the best parents for Nalin, and he is the best child for us! But I still struggle to stay calm when he scratches, not get angry in the middle of the night, and not blame my husband and myself for his eczema (we both have allergies). My goal is to be more present and grounded for year two!
Thanks for your heartfelt sharing, I totally understand! The good thing for me was that I brought Marcie to allergy test at 7 month old, figured out that she isn’t allergic to anything and the only expensive thing I bought was the washing machine that have an allergy cycle (simply means wash for 2 hours at 60 deg C).
I always encourage allergy testing, it may not be necessary half the time but it gives some direction to work on. The skin prick test is the cheapest and fastest 🙂 Ignore the judgement, it’d all get better when the eczema gets better, so focus on your hubby and kid. Being on the same side as hubby was very important for me.
My little fella is 11 months old and his eczema just seems to be getting worst and worst, stress my god, I just layer in my bed today and cried. It’s SO HARD. Your post that’s our life. I’m not coping at all at the moment, not sure what I can do to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Oh dear Elice, 11 month is pretty tough time – the age they can’t control the itch and their fingers are already so strong. I replied to your other comment, on allergy testing. Common allergens are the few foods (egg, cows milk, wheat, soy), dust mite, pet dander, some pollen at older age.
Take care, hugs!