Conserving Energy

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It is a good idea to try to follow the basic principles of energy conservation outlined in the energy conservation section. With that said, a few other things could help parents who have mito:

Resting whenever possible is most important

If children are still young and take naps, it is a good idea to nap when the child does or nap while older children are at school.

Have your children watch a video or TV show for a certain period of “quiet time” for everyone. This requires a mind-set that overlooks the possible untidiness of the house!


Try to schedule fun activities with your children in your highest energy periods, then quieter activities later in the day when you are more likely to be tired. When a parent has a chronic illness, it is important that he/she focus attention on what really matters — personal relationships, not a perfectly clean house.

If the parent with Mito is still able to work outside of the home, it becomes important to prioritize time and family needs. If it’s possible to hire a house cleaning service, this is a wonderful saving of energy and time. If not, try to break down chores and assign different family members certain responsibilities according to his or her age. Even a toddler would be pleased to run and get a simple object for a parent and save them a few steps.

One of the most time-consuming aspects of modern child rearing is taking children to and from various extracurricular activities. With Mito as an extra unwelcome member of the family, it is important to limit each child to only a few activities. This helps to reduce the total driving/activity time outside the home. It is helpful to arrange a car pool if possible with other parents of children in the same activities to reduce total driving time. If a friend offers to do an errand for you, accept their kindness. Never refuse any offers for help! As a person with Mito, you must swallow your pride and take anyone up on his or her offers. And it is very important to always remember, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else, either!”

Using easy-to-prepare meals is another way to save more energy that can be devoted to the family. Since people with Mito may have GI motility problems, meal preparation might be difficult from a nausea perspective. Try to prepare foods that are nutritious for your children and spouse but can also be tolerated by you “the Mito parent,” so you don’t have to prepare something special for yourself.