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Roles I’ve Come to Know

We all have one and as a matter of fact, I am one. A mother. Some of our a.k.a. tags are mama, mommy, and as my childhood friend called her mom, madear. Call us what you may but we are the ultimate caregivers. I will go out on a limb and say that most moms want to be considered as such, and many are. But to be honest, there are some that are reluctant, if only at the start, and grow into the mother caretaker role.

Wishing I could return to my former self

But hey, what if? What if you are that mother that lives up to the supermom hype? What if suddenly you became unable to provide for your child some of the things, the physical things they and you have been accustomed to giving, to doing? It does happen you know. Maybe not to you or anyone in your social circle. But to a great number of moms, and dads too, it has happened. The change might be due to an accident, a sudden major illness or even an unexpected chronic illness. In my case, it has been multiple sclerosis, which 3 years ago became secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis. And yes, there is anger and my wishing that I could return to that former self that had physical vitality and stamina to do things that are required.

Our roles have flip-flopped

And then there is the fun stuff. Every family has a list of, right? All that stuff on the list and believing them to be done the same old way. The truth is, adjustments may have to be made in order to do certain activities with and for your child. Grief felt over what I could no longer do, because of deteriorating capabilities was more than a bitter pill to swallow. As a matter of fact, I have choked on that pill very many times. And my youngest kiddo whom I live with is 22 years old and is a young woman with dreams and aspirations. Now our roles have flip-flopped. She is now my caregiver. The only one. My only one.

The true value of a mother

It took a therapist visiting me at home to remind me, after I shed a few tears in front of him, about my new normal, about my daughter’s new normal. He reminded me that my role consists of, has always consisted of more than the physical. He said to me, “Nina is a young woman and she still needs her mother.” Those wise words helped bring me back to my senses and to the true value of a mother… Nina’s mother.

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Comments

  • James A Spooner
    2 weeks ago

    Good day

    I really enjoyed reading this story and how your story related to my own.

    My diagnosis came on September 9, 1999 (9999). My son who I team drive with every other week took delivery of a new truck, number 1999. I’m not superstitious but it makes me wonder if Mike’s truck number 1999, is a good or bad thing?
    Anyhow back to being a parent. I am the father of four boys my youngest child my daughter Shelby turned 19 a few months ago. My wife wanted a fit man and showed me the door in 2001. A short time later I became Mr. Mum when my wife found a fit man.

    Life has not been easy having a duel role as a father as well as a mother, a mother figure in particular for my daughter who needs both a strong father and mother.

    Life as Mr. Mum had it is up and downs, mostly up I would like to add, as I somehow managed to raise five very well adjusted, educated children as a male mentor for my boys and female mentor to my daughter. I taught my daughter how to present herself as child, into her teen years and now a young lady. Shelby is a beautiful well-spoken, well-educated, strong-willed you lady. I guided my five down the road of their choice and thankfully they chose to take the right road. I am not a super Mr. Mum with SPMS who raised five children on his own, I am a man who stepped up to the plate when I had to, and I was blessed to love every minute of it. It was and still is my children who kept me motivated, kept me going. I will be sixty-five in 18 days and from what I’ve been picking up on they are planning something special for my 65th birthday.

    It is not easy living with MS. I’ve had it for 20 years and still don’t fully understand my illness nor do my children. Part of the problem is I look so darn healthy. It must be hard for the kids to understand that apart from being Mr. Mum with SPMS I am an active man. I am restoring two cars and I maintain a large five bedrooms 118 year old stone home. I work myself to the point of exhaustion every day and pay for it at night with severe neuropathy as soon as I bed down for the night. I fear if I slow down I will succumb to the MS and waste whatever time I have left.

    I hope you are well when you read my story.

    All the best

    Jim

  • Lexine Darden author
    2 weeks ago

    Jim, thank you reading my story and sharing yours. You have managed to make a lovely life for you and your children which is no small feat for a single parent with MS. All the best to you and your family. Lexine

  • Erin Rush moderator
    3 weeks ago

    I have to be honest, Lexine. Your post made me tear up! As a mom, I can relate to what you shared. However, I am not in the same boat as you regarding my health. I really love that you took the time to write this piece and share it with our community! I think no mother wants to see her role reversed with her child’s, but I am glad that you have such a loving, dedicated daughter and that you have the wisdom and grace to navigate this new normal with her. And, yes, regardless of age, I think every woman/girl will always need her mother! And I bet Nina is glad YOU are her’s. Thanks again for sharing! Best, Erin, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member.

  • Lexine Darden author
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you Erin for reading my story. I am particularly glad that you mentioned my daughter and your comment. Thank you once again.

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