Parenting with MS

Hi everyone. I have noticed several posts on this board and elsewhere from people who are worried about starting a family with MS. Let me tell you my story.

I currently have two “tweens” who are the reason I keep going. The last time I was able to walk independently was when they were 5 and 2. It makes me sad sometimes that they will not remember me “healthy,” but who said good parents need to be physically perfect? What about people with other disabilities?

There are needs for physical abilities, especially when they are infants, but courage and creativity can help. For example, I had a major relapse when my son was 6 months old, and I couldn’t carry him. This was emotionally difficult, but I knew I needed to figure it out. I ended up pushing him around the house in the stroller.

I have learned that parenting with MS is like anything else with MS: if you really want to do something, work around your limits to create your own way of doing things, and get help for the stuff you truly can’t do, which turns out to be less than you think.

You can still love them, encourage them, teach them, be a role model and cheerleader for them, and play with them. My daughter was only four when I started needing to use my mobility scooter around the house. We made a game called “bus driver” out of it. With her in my lap, we loaded up stuffed animals in the basket, and dropped them off in different spots around the house (like Disneyland and the airport.) She does remember that. And I do too.

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