Jamie-Lynn Sigler Writes Emotional Essay About Life as a Mom of Two with Multiple Sclerosis
"MS — any chronic illness, really — becomes your whole family's disease, not just your own," Jamie-Lynn Sigler writes in a new blog for Shondaland.com.
Multiple sclerosis hasn’t held Jamie-Lynn Sigler back, but it has forced her to have some difficult (and brave) conversations about the safety of her sons.
The Sopranos alum recently opened up in an emotional essay for Shondaland.com, published Monday, about how the illness has affected the way she parents her two sons Jack Adam, 14 months, and Beau Kyle, 5½ — including how she and husband Cutter Dykstra have planned in case tragedy strikes.
“Sadly, [I’ve] had to have the talk with my husband about what we’d do in the worst of circumstances, where I thought out loud: If there ever was a mass shooting, you have to take the kids and run, and trust I will do my best to stay safe,” wrote Sigler, 37, referring to the difficulty she has in moving quickly. “Just thinking about this still makes me tear up.”
“MS — any chronic illness, really — becomes your whole family’s disease, not just your own,” she explained. “It affects our daily choices, and while sometimes I resent that, it has also made me see how strong I am.”
Now, over a year into parenting two children, Sigler has found her stride. But there was a time she was “terrified” about the prospect of balancing her diagnosis with being a mom.
“When I learned I was pregnant with my first son, Beau, six years ago, I was terrified,” she recalls. “I had to think about how my MS would affect someone else. (I say this, because my husband has made me feel since day one that this disease had no negative effect on us as a couple.) But with my son, his safety depended on me! His survival!”
“A million thoughts ran through my head. What if he runs off and I can’t chase him one day?” the actress continued. “What if I can’t carry him up and down the stairs? What if he won’t want to play with me because I can’t be the ‘fun mom’ who runs on the beach with him, or chases him around the house?”
Sigler went on to explain how even thought it’s “not without its challenges,” she is present for her sons “each and every day,” from walking Jack in his stroller to taking Beau to his sports lessons.
And despite her fears about “not being enough,” the actress knows her “two little boys give me all the love and reassurance I’ll ever need.”
“They only know this one Mommy. They don’t ask why I move the way I do, why I need help up stairs sometimes or why Daddy rubs my legs a lot,” she wrote. “They don’t care. They have shown me that I don’t need anything, good or bad, working or not, disease or no disease, to be deserving of love.”