How does my MS impact my kids?
Although I do my best to function like a “normal person,” I know that my MS has an impact on the rest of my family. My husband often has to take on some of the household duties when I become fatigued or overwhelmed, and it can be very difficult for me to hold my own in a conversation after 8:00 pm.
What I worry about the most, though, is the effect that my MS has on my twins. I once heard a saying, “Parenting is the hardest job in the world if you are doing it right.” Sometimes it feels like “doing it right” is almost out of reach when one of the parents has MS. With an estimated 2.3 million people in the world living with MS, a disease typically diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, there are clearly millions of children who are in an MS-affected family.
I was excited (and a little nervous) to hear a lecture at ECTRIMS 2013 on this topic by Julie Yoon Skodshoej Moberg, a nurse at the Danish MS Center, entitled, “The implications on children who have parent(s) with multiple sclerosis.” Ms. Moberg presented the results of her extensive literature review, summing up 25 articles about children in families where one parent has a chronic illness. I was anxious to see what researchers had discovered about this topic, but of course, I also wanted to see if I was doing okay and if there were major pitfalls that I could avoid as a parent with MS.