Health & Wellness

Jamie-Lynn Sigler opens up about the reality of motherhood with MS

Although there are limitations that come with having multiple sclerosis, Jamie-Lynn Sigler doesn't let that stop her from being the ultimate mom.

At the age of 3, her son, Beau, with husband and minor league baseball player, Cutter Dykstra, understands that there are some things his mom isn't able to do.

"I tread lightly with telling him about my condition because there's not a lot of it that he can grasp," Sigler, 35, told TODAY. "I would never use the word 'sick' because I don't want to overload or scare him."

When he gets upset that she can't race him up the stairs or down the street, Sigler brings it down to his level.

"I tell him that mommy's legs can't do that and if he wants to play with me, we have to play a game where we're sitting down," she said. "He gets it for the most part."

Courtesy of Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Jamie-Lynn Sigler snuggles in bed with her 3-year-old son, Beau.

RELATED: Jamie-Lynn Sigler on TODAY Show: Why I kept my multiple sclerosis secret for 15 years

When playing sports together, Beau knows to designate Sigler as goalie or pitcher and is also happy to lie in bed with her and watch a movie or do an art project together.

"He's a mama's boy, so he'll embrace any time spent together," Sigler said. "But he's 3 years old, so he has his tantrums, but we manage as a family and do the best we can."

The "Sopranos" actress doesn't want her condition to be a topic of conversation all the time. She strives to focus on it when she needs to, but also just wants to feel normal sometimes.

She was diagnosed with MS at the age of 20, and finally decided to open up about it earlier this year because "15 years of holding a secret can make anyone start to harbor feelings of guilt and shame."

RELATED: He was 'protective': Jamie-Lynn Sigler on how James Gandolfini reacted to her MS

Courtesy of Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Sigler walking on the beach with her husband and son

Sigler realized that hiding her condition so aggressively was just making her life harder.

"I had to take my power back because I was starting to feel like it was running everything in my life," she said. "It allowed me to open all of myself up."

While she hasn't been able to run in 10 years, Sigler still finds ways to work out through Pilates and even Soul Cycle if she goes at her own pace.

She often walks her dog, Bean, not only for exercise, but also as an opportunity to show off the rescue dog, who recently underwent Royal Canin Genetic Health Analysis testing in an effort to identify his breed.

Courtesy of Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Sigler with her adorable dog, Bean

"People would stop me on the street all the time and say, 'That's the cutest dog I've ever seen; what breed is he?' And I'd be like, 'I don't know?'" Sigler said.

Now she knows that Bean is a mixture of several breeds, including chow chow, German shorthaired pointer and Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, and has changed his diet accordingly.

RELATED: Jamie-Lynn Sigler's husband on her MS: 'I just want to help her so much'

Right now, she's just happy being a mom and feels grateful to Beau for forcing her to live in the moment.

The hot topic in their house is currently Halloween, since Beau takes the holiday very seriously. He decides Sigler's costume every year. Last year, he made her dress up as Batman and this year, he's all about her being The Flash.

Courtesy of Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Sigler posed with her son, Beau, and husband, Cutter Dykstra, last Halloween.

As for him, he plans on being Spider-Man for the second year in a row, which Sigler finds "just adorable."

"Beau gives me a reason to look forward to every single day," Sigler said. "He's the light of my life."

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