MS and the Terrible 2’s

Being a mom is the hardest yet most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I love being a mom more than I can put into words! Yet, being a parent in general is no easy task. Then you throw a daunting medical condition in the mix, and that’s another thing all on its own! I worked with preschoolers for 4 years, anywhere from newborn to 5 years old, so coming into parenthood I thought I was pretty well prepared. Boy was I wrong! Becoming a mom, or parent in general, teaches you more things than you ever thought possible. It overwhelms you, it scares the fire out of you, but mostly it gives you the most intense love for another human being. That love is what gets you through all of the, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing days. That love keeps you going when you don’t think you can sing one more lullaby or change one more dirty diaper.

Being a mom with MS

My son turned 2 in August, and just recently he hit the 2 year sleep regression. He has been a really good sleeper from 6 months and on, so this has been a really difficult change on all of us. He’s hit the stage in life where he’s realized he has the ability to say no, and he’s realized he can think for himself and explore his feelings. He’s always been very independent, so now that he can test the limits he’s doing it in every way possible. Anyhow, the whole not napping and getting up countless times throughout the night is really stinking tough! I’m exhausted, beat, drained, the list goes on. The thing about being a mom with MS is this-you can’t just stop being a mom, and you can’t just stop having MS. It’s a double edged sword no matter how you look at it.

The exhaustion of sick, sleepless nights

The hardest part of being a mom for me has been the exhaustion. The exhaustion of having a newborn, the exhaustion of sick, sleepless nights, and the exhaustion from sleep regressions. I know all moms are exhausted, I really do, but being a mom with MS exhaustion puts it on a whole other level. I would explain it as being brand new mom tired on steroids. Some days it’s all I can do to roll out of bed and take care of him, yet I have to remember to take care of myself too. The funny thing about my journey with motherhood and MS is this though, even on my worst days…the days where I’m so tired and weary and every inch of my body aches…I wouldn’t change being a mom for anything else in the world. I truly wouldn’t

Embracing the good days

When I dreamed of being a mom at a younger age, of course MS wasn’t a part of that dream. But, it is the reality. In ways it makes parenting harder. It makes me worry more, and I stress often about being the best mom I can be to my son. It makes it sweeter in other ways too though. It makes it sweeter in the way I don’t feel I take my good days with my son for granted. I embrace all of the good days, and I have learned over the past two years with my boy to roll with the bad days as they come. One thing is certain though, even on the good days and the bad, the love and joy being a mom to my son brings me pushes me to keep going.

“It’s amazing how my greatest source of chaos can also be my greatest source of peace.”

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (5)
  • bstraiton
    5 months ago

    Thank you for your kind words. It’s always nice to hear that ppl other than my hubby and mom say I’m being a good parent. It’s so rare to see other MS patients who were diagnosed so young! My Neuro told me I was one of his youngest patients. Most ppl I meet at the clinic and infusion center are in their 40s. Bc I see a specialist who only works in MS there are a handful of young people there. Did you have a major relapse after giving birth? Was your pregnancy normal? Seems like there are so few of us who had babies after diagnosis.

  • bstraiton
    6 months ago

    Were you diagnosed before becoming pregnant? I’ve been struggling with all the things from am I really able to be a good responsible parent? To how badly am I screwing her up bc of the fact she is an only child? My pregnancy wasn’t exactly routine and ended in c-section and I went into a terrible relapse within days of her birth and am still struggling with post partum depression although i think I’m back to my regular depression since she was about 14 mo old. I NEVER wanted to have an only child but by the time it will be even remotely safe to get off meds and try again I’ll be in my late 30s. There’s so much I feel she’s missing out on bc of my MS. I have not found many others who had MS diagnosed before having a child. I feel it changes everything vs having kids before. I can’t tell an infant or my now toddler at 21mo that mommy is sick or isn’t feeling good since she’s barely beginning to talk let alone be able to process and understand what is wrong with mommy. And now to top it all off we’ve had to move 45 min away from the few friends I had that understand and can help. It was already hard to make plans and do things when we all lived within a few miles and now I feel completely isolated.

  • Calie Wyatt moderator author
    5 months ago

    @bstraiton I’m so sorry I’m just now getting to reply to this! I was diagnosed when I was 14, so unfortunately I had MS long before my first pregnancy. I wanted you to know that I agree with Alina, your comment does say SO much about what a wonderful parent you are and how much you care about your daughter. Remember to give yourself grace. You don’t have to be super mom every day, you just have to do the best you can, which I believe with my whole heart you’re doing already!! MS and parenting is hard, but thank goodness our kiddos are so forgiving. They love us unconditionally. Thank you so much for commenting and for being a part of this community. Wishing you the very best!! ♥️ Calie

  • Alina Ahsan moderator
    6 months ago

    bstraiton, Your comment speaks volumes about what a great parent you are! I’m sure your daughter knows how much love and care goes into everything that you do for her. One of our advocates, Kathy, interviewed her teenage daughter on the effects MS has had on their lives that I wanted to share with you to possibly help alleviate some of your fears: https://multiplesclerosis.net/video/kids-whose-parents-have-ms-results/ MS made her daughters so empathetic and kind, and I hope it can be a glimpse into the future for you. Thinking of you!
    -Alina, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • ShelbyComito moderator
    6 months ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your personal journey with us, @bstraiton. I am so sorry you are going through this, and I hope other members of the community will chime in with their feedback as well. In case you haven’t seen them yet, here are a couple more articles on being a mother with MS that you may find comforting and helpful:
    https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/tips-learned-ms-pregnancy-becoming-mother/ and https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/becoming-a-mom/
    Though I know a virtual community can only be there for you in so many ways, please know that this community is here for you 24/7 and you are not alone. We commend you for reaching out and welcome you to do so anytime! Best, Shelby (MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member)

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