I’m a very fortunate person, despite having cerebral palsy. Yes, I cannot walk or do daily tasks or other activities for daily living. But one extremely important and wonderful thing that I can do is be a mother. I love my children with all of my heart. From the moment that I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I felt an instant need to protect, nourish, and take care of her the best possible way I can. I felt the same when I became pregnant with my son.
The most incredible thing about being a parent is how much they love you in return. As a mother with cerebral palsy, many fears come into play. Will they accept you for who you are? Will they secretly compare you to others and what they can do that you cannot? Will they have speech problems from mimicking the way you speak? These are examples of questions in your brain, as a new parent who has a disability.
My children are what you would expect for their ages. They are not any different from another child in how they think, behave or, yes, misbehave. Children are just children if they are raised in a loving, caring, and nurturing household. Yes, they might have experiences or insights that are a bit unusual to their peers. I use a wheelchair, need physical help, and sometimes complete daily tasks differently. But I’m still very much their mother, who does exactly what they need.
People often have the wrong impression about children of parents with disabilities. The usual misconception is that children of parents with disabilities are the parents’ helpers. My children do help me, but all in all, they do not do more than a normal amount. The help they do provide me might be a bit different, however. A typical task is getting me something in the pantry or handing me something I need. It is really no more than the norm.
My daughter came to me three weeks early. When I saw her tiny, beautiful face, it was instant love magnified, since I already loved her after finding out I was pregnant. She first made me a parent, and I know my mission in life is to guide her, love her, and be there. Our bond has grown tremendously. We’ve been through a lot together, especially when her father (my first husband) passed away. She’s so strong and has a caring heart that tries to be helpful to everyone she meets.
My son also came to me three weeks early. I’ll never forget seeing his handsome face and tiny body. He was so small but grew quickly. He is funny, happy, musical, nice, and has a tender heart. He has more difficulty accepting the fact that I’ll most likely never be able to walk. At the thought that I have cerebral palsy, his eyes well up with tears. My heart leaps out of my chest as I gently explain that everything will be OK. He is helpful as well and very energetic.
My love for them is extraordinary. I didn’t have children because they help me. I had children because they complete my life and make the world a better place.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.