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A Guide to Parenting with MS

By Daryl H. Bryant (508 words)
Posted in MS Book News on February 25, 2014

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A Guide to Parenting with MS

Even though multiple sclerosis can be a debilitating disease to work with, it cannot prevent you from being a good parent and enjoying your family. You can work around MS by learning what your strengths are and finding ways to adapt to any weaknesses caused by the disease. Since your condition may already cause you to change your lifestyle, it could potentially benefit your children as well. It teaches you to always remember what is truly important in life. This allows you to live in the moment rather than worry about irrelevant matters. The ability to be flexible can be a life saver for you and your family. Later on, your resilience and determination to live life to the fullest may even make you a role model for your childen.

How to Manage MS and Still be a Great Parent

It is no secret that raising children is challenging even for parents without any health abnormalities. The stresses you may face are something that you must prepare for if you want to be a parent and battle your symptoms at the same time.

Communicate with Your Children

The key to getting through any issue with your family is communication. Talk and be open with your children, significant other, and your extended family about your limitations and unpredictable symptoms. If everyone expects the unexpected, it is much easier to handle any sudden changes.

You may be worried about scaring your children with information about multiple sclerosis, but if you approach them the right way, you will get through it together. Explain your condition to them and seek their support. Children love the chance to be a hero to their parents and if you praise them when they do help out, it encourages more of the same behavior.

Plan Ahead and Conserve Your Energy

As someone with multiple sclerosis, finding the energy that you need to be a parent can be difficult. Try to cut back on anything that consumes your energy when it’s not necessary. Be sure to schedule in rest periods or take them whenever you have a free moment. This is more difficult if you have a baby which may cause you to adjust your sleeping schedule for awhile. Try resting every time the baby does.

Minimize Lifting and Carrying

Try to avoid lifting anything heavy, even your children. Keep all of the baby furniture and equipment at the same level with your waist so that you don’t have to bend over. You can also teach your children to push up their legs when you lift them. If possible, try using a baby harness to assist you in carrying them around as well.

MS symptoms tend to act up at the worst times, but by planning ahead, talking to your family, and getting rid of anything that could diminish your precious energy reserve, you can live a full and happy life.

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