Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I’ve been asking myself what it was like being a mother before I had Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve been a mother for eighteen years and only the last four have been years with MS. I know one day I will have had more Mother’s Days with MS than without so why am I feeling like I need to remember now? Maybe it’s because my oldest is getting ready to go away to college in a few months? Maybe it’s because my youngest seems to be growing up even faster? Maybe it’s because as my children grow, I feel like they don’t need me as much? I obviously remember but I want more clarity. I think my wanting to remember it all so clearly is because I want to feel like I was present enough both physically and mentally in the years before MS to balance out the years after MS and whatever it holds for me in the future. Did I do enough? More than enough? How will my children remember me as their mother? The one thing I’ve always known for sure is that my life’s biggest success will be in motherhood. This is my truth and I cherish it.
I’m sure that most, if not all, mothers with MS have the same worry. How can I control this disease enough to not hurt my children? I know I can’t control their feelings of worry and uncertainty and I know that I can’t control my physical shortcomings. It was hard for me to allow myself to say no to friends and family but it was a whole different kind of hard saying it to my children. It’s always hardest just after Mother’s Day until the long summer finally surrenders to fall. I hate saying no to afternoon errands in the 90+ degree heat but I have to. Falling asleep out of nowhere and waking up after dinner is the most pathetic one. What kind of mother does that?! Oh yeah…..me. Will my children remember this most or the years of dinner always by 6:30 and taking friends with us to parks and museums? The MS years will always be the most recent so that gives them extra weight. I just hope that I did enough before MS to balance it out.