MS and being a mom!

MS and being a mom!

MS And Being A Mom!
by: Kara Friesen

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was 23 years old. I had a new baby and was already dealing with some post partum depression, so the diagnosis really threw me for a loop! I didn’t know what to do. On one hand, I felt relieved that I was able to receive a diagnosis and have an answer to the strange symptoms I was experiencing, but on the other hand, I was so terrified! Could I still be a mom? Could I be a GOOD mom?

 One thing MS made me, was very tired. But I already had a baby to take care of! I was already tired. I had to learn to make sure I tried to nap when my son napped, just like many moms, even moms without MS, need to do. I had to make sure I was taking care of me, so that I could take care of my baby.

Since then, I’ve had another child, and now those ‘babies’ are 8 and 5! Of course I still deal with MS symptoms on a regular basis. One thing that’s really helped, is that my husband and I have been very open about my disease. The kids know that mom isn’t as healthy as some other moms, but I can still do fun stuff!

Last summer we went to the zoo, and I took a motorized scooter along – it saved my life! I was able to experience the zoo with the kids, and I didn’t over-exert myself or get exhausted to the point of no return. It was great!

Another thing I had to learn, was that it’s okay to say no. Did you have plans to go out with your girlfriends and now you’re riddled with a migraine? It’s okay to cancel. Did you have a really rough night of horrible insomnia and you had a full day planned? Just say no. It’s okay!

And for those rough days? Here’s a tip: keep some ‘easy meals’ in your freezer so that you can have a meal ready, even if you don’t have energy to cook. I always make sure to have some frozen pizzas on hand. They’re quick, easy, and everyone likes them. Win-win!

Life with MS forces you to make some changes, especially if you have young children to take care of. A mother’s work is never done – and many experts say it’s the hardest job on the planet! So give yourself a break, moms. It’s okay to let your kids watch a movie while you go rest. The laundry can wait. The dishes will still be there when you wake up. Your kids won’t love you any less.

Happy Mother’s Day! Order a pizza and relax – you deserve it!

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Picture features two staff members of MS Cure Fund.

Ashley Ringstaff (left) and Kara Friesen (right) are two moms who were both diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2010.