Having Children With Autism Does Not Make Me a 'Martyr Mommy'


There are few things that really get to me. Working in social media, I scroll through countless offensive and generally awful things on a daily basis. You learn quickly to let things roll off your back or you’ll just feel down all the time. But when I came across this meme while scrolling through my personal Facebook feed, it really hit home. It says, “What if I told you autism parents are just martyr mommies?”

Martyr Mommies meme

Let me be clear: Having children with autism does not make me a “martyr mommy.”

I’m going to address step-by-step why this is offensive because I really don’t think there was malicious intent by the person in my feed. I think we all have things to learn about situations which are unfamiliar to us, so let’s learn together.

This meme says I cannot talk about my children because they happen to have autism. My children are autistic. If you’ve followed our family for any length of time, you know we celebrate our children for who they are. Autism happens to be part of who they are. Every single parent deserves to talk about and celebrate their child(ren). A child’s disability should never limit a parent from talking about their achievements or family experiences. Like every parent, I will choose to protect my child’s privacy; but I will not be silent about my children just because of their disabilities.

This meme says if I choose to talk about our family life, I am choosing to be a martyr. Life with autism comes with joys and struggles. Every single parent of a child with autism can tell you that. I do not share everything (people who would agree with the meme above couldn’t handle the whole picture), but I do share some of it because that is our life. I protect my children’s privacy here while also being honest about certain challenges we face. I have never once considered myself a martyr. I am a mother. My children face unique challenges. I parent them through it. That is the reality of our life, and not once do I ever want a person to pity us for it. That is the exact opposite of what I am about.

This meme says I should be ashamed of my family. According to this meme, I better not share a single thing about myself, my children, or our family life or I shall be considered a martyr. To me, this is the most offensive part of it all. If you think I should be ashamed of my beautiful, awesome family, that’s on you, not me. I celebrate every single part of our family.

My children are my world. They have autism. I am their proud mother. I changed the meme to a more appropriate representation of our lives. You’re welcome.

Autism Parents are Proud Parents

TOPICS
, Meme
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Side-by-side photos of a boy wearing a hat that says Lane and a bright yellow vest and a hard hat

When a Construction Crew Went Out of Its Way to Give My Autistic Son an Amazing Evening

A week ago, my husband was stuck in traffic for over an hour just trying to get home from work. He was stuck at a place on his commute that is usually only five minutes or so from our driveway. We’re living right on a busy street undergoing a huge overhaul at this very moment. [...]

When My Son With Autism Approached a Boy on the Beach About Making Noises

We were at the beach yesterday, and my son Evan kept vacillating between trying hard to be extraordinarily good and having a hard time controlling his frustration. He chose the extraordinary good when he decided to approach a boy about his age and his entire extended family. “Can you please stop making those siren noises? It really bothers me,” I [...]
john cena in ad council psa

John Cena’s ‘Love Has No Labels’ PSA Inspires Me as Someone on the Autism Spectrum

“This year patriotism shouldn’t be about pride of country. It should be about love.” – John Cena This was one of the main messages WWE superstar John Cena shared during a new Ad Council ad titled, “We Are America” that aired on the Fourth of July as part of the Love Has No Labels campaign. In the PSA, Cena is [...]
Young mother working with her baby at home

What My Employer Did Right When My Son Was Diagnosed With Autism

Before I became my own boss, I had a great employer. But what makes an employer great? After my son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, it quickly became clear my work travel schedule was going to be a problem. I had hoped he would eventually adapt, and realized adaptation was not going to come easily [...]