themighty logo

I Have a Disability, Chronic Illness, and Will Make an Awesome Mom One Day


I am disabled. I have medical needs unimaginable to most and I require lots of help medically and practically to live my life as others do. My ill health is complex, fragile and hugely life-impacting. I cannot get definitive answers as to where this will lead, because those answers do not exist. But, I still have what it takes to be a mom.

That wasn’t what you expected, was it? I get it. There¬†was a time when I would have found that to be a strange statement to include¬†also. But I am writing¬†this today because my experiences have lead me to understand¬†the common outlook¬†society has. Education is needed so the¬†judgement I¬†and many others experience¬†changes in a positive and¬†constructive¬†way.

Those who know me well know I have a wonderful boyfriend who makes me happier¬†than I ever imagined possible. He brings out the best in me and works with me¬†to make my less-abilities easier on a practical level. He is not my caretaker. ‚ÄėCaretaker‚ÄĚ is not a word I feel describes my¬†partner, because the reality of our situation is like any couple (admittedly¬†on a more extreme level). We pick up on each other’s weak spots and fill in the¬†gaps to be the strength needed for each¬†other. While his help is wonderful,¬†I would not expect someone who loves you wholeheartedly to care any less. So if ‚Äúcaretaker‚ÄĚ is a term we feel necessary to use, that will have to be an interchangeable¬†term for the both of us. Stick with me, I promise this will make sense soon‚Ķ

I am disabled, but I still make my partner happy every day, with the warmth from his smile as conformation. I still cook him dinner when I can. I try to do a task myself before ever asking him to take over. I am still the person he chooses to come home to each day. I have still been able to create an equally rewarding and content relationship. I can love like any other. I can commit my feelings and dedication. I am still able to turn chaos into something wonderful. I feel that I could continue this patter with another life-changing but incredible addition to my life, a child.

I am not ‚Äúincapable because I cannot¬†walk.‚ÄĚ

I am not “selfish for wanting to bring a child into my life knowing it is likely they will have to witness
hardship.‚ÄĚ

I am not ‚Äúselfish.‚ÄĚ

I do not ‚Äúneed to content my mother¬†instincts through the children of friends and family.‚ÄĚ

This yearning is not ‚Äútoo¬†unrealistic‚ÄĚ and it certainty is not¬†a ‚Äúdelusional pipe dream.‚ÄĚ

My physical weakness is not¬†‚Äúindication I wouldn’t cope with the demands of having a child.‚ÄĚ

I should not have to ‚Äútry a bit¬†harder to get better first.‚ÄĚ

Disability would not ‚Äúautomatically¬†disadvantage my parenting abilities.‚ÄĚ

Yet every statement made in the previous paragraph have been said to me while broaching the subject of parenting. This is the reason I felt the need to post this today: to show that the absurd points of view I have had to put up with time and time again need to stop! Just as I have proved with my boyfriend, I
will at some point in the future (when we are ready and we make that decision) prove that my abilities are still perfectly within the remit of a dedicated, loving, fully invested parent.

I am a great cook and I will take great care in the physical nurturing of my¬†child. I will always do my upmost to do everything I can myself for my child¬†(just like any other parent) but act responsibly and ask for help for things¬†not within my capabilities. I will still be my child’s number one fan. They will still run back to me for consoling¬†when they graze their knee. I will still show my child love, boundaries,
trust, discipline and respect. I will teach them manners and positively reinforce their good behaviors. I will teach them diversity so that they are able to confidently lead the next generation into a place of acceptance for all. I will nurture their hobbies and interests. I will guide them in making responsible choices. I will hug them through tantrums and tears. I will congratulate their successes. I will master the voices in characters of their favorite bedtime story. I will help them explore their surroundings. I will teach them the importance of checking each way before crossing the road. I will have stickers on hand for the potty training chart. I will make their favorite pudding on a Friday as a treat. They will have the most amazing costume for World Book Day. I will listen to their worries. I will comfort them through thunder storms. I will I will strive for the best for my child, just like any other parent.

With my wonderful boyfriend at my side to support our family unit the same¬†way we support each other now, we will pick up on each other’s weak spots and¬†support those gaps so that together we will make a team (and a pretty awesome¬†one if I do say so myself).

So this is my public announcement. Please think twice before choosing to share¬†your opinion with me and really think hard what impact it is likely to have. Imagine¬†you feel pain with each and every baby announcement, shed tears over pregnancy¬†test ads and have a constant anxiety from feeling judged when the topic arises¬†or completely dismissed like it couldn’t possibly be an option. I would like¬†you to imagine the slap in the face feeling when you’re told ‚Äúat least you are being¬†responsible‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúat least you are making the right decision‚ÄĚ along with all the¬†others I have mentioned. I am¬†chronically ill, I am complex and I am disabled. I will make a heck of a lot of¬†mistakes. Those two statements? They are not¬†linked. I am going to make an¬†awesome mother one day!

Lead photo courtesy of Thinkstock Images