Posted by: sistermom1 | September 9, 2009

Redefining motherhood after MS

I had a difficult night last night.  My son is allergic to ragweed, which is coming out all over these days.  He also has asthma, and as a result he is coughing a lot, which I heard him do all night.  My daughter had an emotional moment with her girlfriends at her own birthday party, and was very upset yesterday, which totally upset me. 

As I lay in bed at 2AM listening to my son cough and worrying about my daughter’s emotional state, I got more and more angry with my husband who was snoring calmly next to me.  I angrily awakened him to check on our son.  After saying he would, he promptly turned over and went back to sleep.  I was sooo angry with his response, but I was able to wait several minutes before jostling him again.  He sleepily went to our son’s room to comfort him, gave him water, and actually gave him Robitussin (stop laughing!)  He did go to sleep without coughing for almost the rest of the night.

As this was going on, I found myself feeling more and more angry – I thought it was with my husband, but as I gave myself some time and space, I realized that I was truly frustrated – with myself.  For years, I have been the stereotypical, Mom – always responding to our childrens’ needs first – being the first one to calm them down after nightmares, responding first to their nighttime illnesses, basically being able to be there whenever they needed for whatever they needed.

Evaluating my performance as a mother has usually been pretty simple – until MS arrived in our lives.  I am in need of a different scale to evaluate my mothering skills.  I can no longer walk unassisted, so being at their bedside in the night is not as simple/easy as it used to be.    Getting out of bed in the morning is difficult, so getting out of the bed in the middle of the night is damn near impossible.  Being near my kids when they need me has always been a major way for me to demonstrate that I am a good mother. 

That has got to change – if only to help me maintain a positive self-image and my sanity.  Other women parent their children successfully from wheelchairs – even from their beds – I am learning that I cannot control much, if anything, that happens to my children (or myself, for that matter!).  If they are supposed to have an experience — no matter how difficult it is for me to observe — they must have it.  I can help them process it and help them choose the best and most productive response.  Especially as they get older, teaching and empowering them will be more important than being right next to them while they are in the midst of an experience.  Since they spend most of the time away from me, I really need to develop a different way to approach my parenting style.

Not sure where I am headed from here.   The detour continues….



  1. If only good ole Tussin could cure all things ; )!!!

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