Think raising young children is exhausting? Try doing it with MS! LLY Blogger Angela shares her tips and tricks for saving energy.read more
As a parent it’s only natural you want to give your children the best life has to offer and memories of time spent with you. For those of us living with multiple sclerosis, we know how hard that can be at times. Between fatigue, illness, doctor’s appointments and everything in between, it can be tough to give your kids the hands on interaction they need.
Aside from factoring in things like heat and cold weather, it takes enough energy just to leave the house some days, let alone walk or chase the kids around at the zoo or park. So many days my best laid plans turn into “what can we do inside while mommy rests on the couch.” However, I’ve discovered this doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing and have come to embrace this change. There are enough things to stress about when dealing with MS but figuring out fun activities to do with your active kids doesn’t have to be one.
I’ve found quite a few alternatives to days at the pool and playground where my kids and I can still have fun. Here are some suggestions to help you through the low energy days:
• Say YES to technology. I used to feel guilty for allowing the iPad to babysit my 2 year old but I’ve found so many fun, yet educational advantages, like apps and YouTube videos, that actually helped him learn his ABCs, numbers, shapes, and colors.
• Washable art. The “magic” paints and markers that only show marks on special paper are wonderful and allow you to rest while your little artist paints a picture and not the wall, alleviating the hassle of cleaning as well.
• Playdates at your house. Moving the playdate to your house is an energy-saver in itself since there’s no packing or traveling required.
• Have a date with Google. Find lists of easy-to-do activities appropriate for your child. If you need to buy items for an activity, try Amazon for quick delivery without ever leaving the house.
• Get involved with groups in your community and to get to know other moms. There WILL be many people willing to watch your kids while you rest but you have to speak up when that help is needed. ‘It takes a village’ becomes especially true on days when fatigue is high.
It’s easy to see other parents taking their kids on extravagant trips and strenuous physical adventures on social media but it’s good to acknowledge any amount of time spent with your child is invaluable. Leave the guilt and comparing yourselves to other parents behind and instead focus on being the best possible parent you can be. Focus on making the most of the energy days and embracing the days spent doing quieter activities at home.