I just recently went on vacation to visit a relative and her new baby. I’m thrilled I got the chance to do so. While I was there, I was confronted with thoughts regarding motherhood whenever my turn comes around.
I’ve known that I want to have children for a long time now. I figured that out about myself when I was attempting to figure everything else out…when I was 19 or so. It’s certainly a personal choice, and one that I do not take lightly. I’ll admit that my thoughts on motherhood might be limited since I am not a mom yet…but I know that I would like to be one some day. I figure that has to count for something.
As I witnessed my family member embrace her new lifestyle as a mom, I honestly wondered how I would handle it. Sure, there will be sleepless nights. There will be several feedings. There’s also the possibility of needing to walk the baby around the house, back and forth, as a soothing method. I started to get nervous and anxious. I thought to myself, I can’t carry a newborn baby around without some sort of assistance. Will I be able to comfort my child? How will I carry a car seat? Or push a stroller? How’s this going to work for me?
I think the toughest part of all this having to reconcile with my own vulnerability. That is, admitting that I’m going to need plenty of help as a new mom, whenever that may be. Plus, it’s not only admitting that I need help; there’s also accepting such help. Sure, sometimes it makes me a little sad that I’m going to have to tackle different challenges than my relative is facing right now, ones that perhaps deal more with my mobility, balance, and stamina. My relative need not worry about such things, since she’s non-disabled. It’s just fact. There’s no getting around fact.
Despite all of this, I think it’s going to be alright. Actually, I think everything will be more than alright–and not only because it has to be, since having children is something I’m not willing to compromise on–but more importantly because disabled women are moms, too. They deal and embrace in their own way, and I bet they excel. I told myself that just because I am disabled, it won’t make me any less of a mother one day. Having CP doesn’t mean that I will be inadequate in such a role.
Although the idea of motherhood seems overwhelming at this particular moment in time, it feels like I’ll have to adapt to that reality when it arrives–just like with anything else. I know that when that day comes, my support system will be by my side: my family, my friends, my partner, and perhaps others. I know, one hundred percent, that having such a support system matters. It matters a whole lot.