To My Fellow Moms With an Invisible Disability
Being a mom is hard; being a mom with an invisible disability can be even harder. The struggles we face are something many people do not understand. We look healthy, so it’s easy for others to forget how difficult it can sometimes be for us. I find the emotional toll it takes when you cannot do something with your children because of the fear it may cause or the pain that may follow to be beyond frustrating. The loneliness, anxiety and guilt that might not be so intense if we were capable of doing just a little bit more often weighs heavily on us. I never expected to end up on this path, and I think it’s safe to say neither did you. To my fellow moms who are living with an invisible disability, I see you and I want you to know that even on your worst days, you are still a badass.
We’ve had to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off more times than we can count. We are bravely living life, pushing through the hard times while we figure out our new normal as we go. We’ve learned the hard way to slow down and take one day at a time. Things we once took for granted can now stop us in our tracks, serving as a stark reminder of what we once were able to do so effortlessly.
We show up for our kids, doing things that make us step out of our comfort zone. We do it because we love them. We do whatever we can for our children, even if it terrifies us. We have to adapt ourselves to different situations and sometimes it makes for an awkward display. We carry on and remind ourselves we are doing this for our kids! There are certainly times when we cannot meet their requests, so to compensate we find creative ways to keep our babies happy.
We are figuring things out for ourselves because that village everyone talks about often isn’t really there. Life goes on for everybody else and it can make you feel as if you’ve been left behind. There are limitations to learn and adjustments to make. The fact that we may need help is not always obvious when we “look fine.” We may do things alone when we should be asking for help because we do not want to be a burden to anyone. We may suffer in silence when all we really want is somebody to walk beside us.
We turn a blind eye (literally for me) to the stares we receive as we pull into the disability parking spot with the radio blaring. I’m sure the person looking directly at me is wondering why a fairly (cough) young woman is parking there when she looks just fine. We may look fine, but we are fighting a battle that they really know nothing about.
We are not sure what our future holds. Will there one day be a cure? Will this get worse? Will it ever really get easier? We don’t know, but for today, we will continue on being as badass as we can be.
Getty image by Fizkes.