As it is Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a little about my journey as a mum with a disability. I have fond memories of Mother’s Day. As a child of about 7 or 8, I remember having a clear understanding of what this day was all about – a day to celebrate our mums.
My sister and I would make my mum breakfast in bed as best we could, I think it started off as burnt toast, a chopped banana, and a cold cup of tea. I remember making her a card at school and one year I made her a cup in pottery. It was all miss shaped and leaked but she loved it. Getting everything together to make it a special day for her was what was so exciting. Now when my son Dylan does it for me, I’m taken back to those memories and the excitement I felt and I feel happy for Dylan to experience that too.
I decided I wanted a child after losing my right eye as I was afraid of being a parent with no sight. I now know that this wouldn’t have been a problem, there is an army of visually impaired amazing mothers out there.
Dylan was born in late 2010 two years after losing my right eye. He gave me a whole new reason to fight on and live. It was hard and I’d beat myself up about things such as not seeing the crusted snot around his nose or dressing him in muddy clothes. All this didn’t matter because I knew how much I loved him and I’d handle whatever came my way to ensure he grew to be a happy, healthy, and strong boy, and that he did.
Little did we know that another life changing moment was on the horizon. Dylan was 7 when I had my second accident and was in the house at the time. As a parent you are there to protect and comfort them, you never expect the roles to be reversed and for them to have to be there for you. This was the case that sad and scary morning. My son Dylan and stepson Alfie were both there when the accident happened and saw the trauma. They both sprang into action, helping to calm me and to call for help. Dylan stood outside the house waiting for the ambulance calling back in with updates and Alfie called my husband Steve and stayed by my side, comforting me as I sat there throwing up.
They were both extremely brave and calm. I’ll be eternally grateful for their strength in that moment, that memory makes me so proud and got me through the next 12 months. There were times where life felt hopeless, but it was the boys that pulled me out of the dark. I knew I wanted and needed to be the mum that Dylan knew.
So, starting slowly, I challenged myself to get up out of bed and to sit on the sofa while he got ready for school. It was hard to accept saying bye every morning for the next year as someone else took him to school. My desire to get better for Dylan pushed me harder than I thought possible. He would help in the house, describe things, and play games with me and joke about, treating me as he always did.
I eventually started my mobility training and getting out. I started to go to his football matches, and he said, “I know you can’t see mum, but you are here and that is great.” My heart melted because in that moment I knew he loved and accepted me no matter what. To him I was still his mum and that meant the world to me.
As a daughter I want to make my mum proud as much as Dylan makes me proud. Sharing my life journey with them has given me the courage to move forward. I know how lucky I am, and I am eternally grateful for their love and support.
There are many who struggle with Mother’s Day, through loss or reasons of their own. I believe there is enough love in the world for everyone, that like the mother in the trinity goddess, whether you are a biological mother or not we can all experience the quality of motherhood. As women we have so much to share and experience so let’s share the love today. Reach out to your mum or someone close to you who has been there for you, tell them how much you appreciate them and are grateful for the love they show you.
Give yourself some love and kindness too.
Sending love light and happiness,