Dear new mom with a disability
Dear new mom with a disability,
Becoming a mother either by choice or chance is a huge responsibility for any woman. You instantly become a protector of the little life given to you. If you have a disability, parenting has gotten 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 of 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 took me a few minutes as he sat patiently waiting, but I did it. He applauded me with a huge smile. I have changed diapers and fed them 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 very 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, organized, love, time, and patience. Also, with a disability, add creatively to the mix and humility. 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 that you are the only mother they have and be the best you can be. No one is perfect but as long as your child is healthy, happy, safe and loved then 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!
Laura and Jason's mom who has cerebral palsy