Dear New Mom With a Disability
Becoming a mother either by choice or chance is a huge responsibility. You instantly become a protector of a little life. If you have a disability, parenting can be more challenging but not impossible or overly difficult.
You know your capabilities and incapabilities more than anyone. Use that to your advantage, but never fear trying new things. I have cerebral palsy, which leaves me to have involuntary movements. When my son asked me to put a straw in a juice box for him, I knew I had to at least try. It might have taken a few minutes as he sat patiently waiting, but I did it. He applauded me with a huge smile. I’ve changed diapers and fed my kids bottles in my way. Being a mom gives women extra super powers, and we are no different because we have a disability.
I learned with my oldest child that being a good mom isn’t about holding the baby, feeding the baby or changing them. Don’t get me wrong, all of these are important and necessary. But if you can’t do them and you need help getting it done, you are not inadequate. Being a good mom is about making good decisions, organization, love, time and patience. With a disability, you can add creativity and humility to the mix. Even though your child might not run to you to be picked up, they will come to you for your love, time and internal strength.
There will be days where you feel helpless and exhausted. Don’t worry — every mother feels this way from time to time. When these days occur, pick yourself up and remind yourself you are the only mother they have. Be the best you can be. No one is perfect, but as long as your child is happy, safe and loved, you’re doing what you need to as a mom.
Enjoy each moment because time goes way too fast. Learn new things together. Your child will even forget about your disability and just enjoy life. As they get older, you might want to give them words to express when their friends ask questions about you. Children are way more open to differences than adults so don’t worry. They won’t be unpopular because their mom has a disability, trust me.
As you embark on the motherhood journey, remember to love unconditionally, think creatively and be your child’s biggest fan. You’ll do great, and one day in the far off distance, you’ll be a grandmother!
Follow this journey on CP Mommy Blog.
The Mighty is asking the following: Are you a mother with a disability, disease or mental illness? What would you tell a new mother in your position? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.