5 Tips for Parenting With Multiple Sclerosis

Living with an unpredictable illness can be tough at the best of times, but when you’re a parent, it can often cause unforeseen problems. Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) is no different — you’ll have to continue being a parent, but you’ll also have to manage your condition. However, there are ways that you can make life easier for you and your family as you navigate parenthood, according to WebMD and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Be Honest
Children are often more resilient than we give them credit for. Explain your condition, how it may progress and what it means for you as a family on a day-to-day basis.

Take Care of Yourself
The better you feel, the more energy you’ll have for your family. Overdoing things can knock you off your feet for days, increasing fatigue and general unwellness. Learn to plan, pace and prioritize. Decide what’s important to do today and what can wait until another time when you’re feeling better.

Eat well, try to sleep well, get some daily exercise and ensure you comply with your medications.

MORE: Nine ways MS affects your body, from your head to your toes

Teach Understanding
Make sure your children understand that there will be days when you can’t take them to the park, or have to cancel plans at the last minute. Make sure you have a stash of things younger children can do at home to occupy themselves while you rest (watching DVDs or playing board games). Make sure they know how to help when you’re going through a flare.

Focus on What You Can Do
Maybe you can’t play ball with your children in the backyard, but you might be able to do arts and crafts with them. Find something fun that you can do together as a family on a regular basis.

Delegate
Partners, older children and other family members should pitch in around the house and take an equal share of the chores. Even young children can be given some age-appropriate chores to do, such as putting away their toys or making their beds. This will allow you more time and energy to spend doing fun things with the family.

MORE: 12 things to know about trigeminal neuralgia 

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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