Firstly I just want to give all the beautiful mums out there a big shout out. You are doing an amazing job! To all the children big and small give your mum a cuddle, or to those who have sadly lost their mums send loving thoughts to them because without those amazing humans we wouldn’t be alive today.
I have started a blog ideas list to help me remember when I get an idea of what to do. I was reading through my list this evening thinking of what blog to do next and none of them jumped out at me. I then thought of something my life coach said to me regarding another blogger I had come across., She said “There is room for you, find what it is that you can offer.” This made me think of who I am, the first thing that jumped out to me is that I am a mum. A very proud mum of a little boy, 8 years old and the proud step mum of a teenager. This does not define me and is most defiantly not what all my life is. I do however thank god, the universe, fate whatever your belief is I thank them for me being a mum. They have been my rock and life line especially the last 13 months.
So I want to share with you my story of being a firstly visually impaired then blind mum and the challenges I have come across. My decision to have my son was a rushed one. I hear you how can you rush into such a decision. Life takes you the way it does and I truly believe that things happen for a reason and I know in certain reasons it is hard to see the reasoning behind them but I believe we do have a path. So I lost my right eye 11 years ago and two years after I was afraid I would loose the sight in my left eye and left blind. The fear of something happening became a little of an obsession. I had to do the things I wanted to do just incase I didn’t get to see them again. I made the most of it, going to festivals,, travelling, creating artworks, doing what I wanted. Then it dawned on me, like it does in all different ways to women, wither it be age, loneliness, saving a relationship, creating a relationship, helping the list could go on. The fact is we all make that decision. I made it I sometimes feel a little sooner then I would have done if not for my sight loss circumstances but I did and I do not regret it for a minute.
From giving birth to the first year then to the next 8 years there has been many challenges. My birth plan they had concerns because of the pressure in my eyes but I wanted a natural birth so I had that with close watch. Although it ended in a vontoose birth (with the suction cup on the babies head) everything was fine my baby was born 8lb 2ozs and my eyes were fine. The first few months I tried to breast feed and that provided the first of many challenges. It was very difficult to see if he latched on right and it became too painful. The midwifes at the time were not supportive at all to the point where my husband had to ask them to leave. The pressure they put on mums is terrible and when they don’t understand the difficulties a blind or VI mum faces, then that is unfair. There is great support now through Blind Mums Connect and better training that wasn’t around then. Then there was the nappies that was fun learning a system of wiping to make sure I had all the poop! The buggers, the food, the mud, the germs I learnt very quick that if your toddler has a hand full of mud and wipes it on his clothes it is not the end of the world. If he has a snotty nose and wipes it on your jumper then that is ok to. I had to pick my battles as a VI mum with him growing up. The most important thing to me was that he was fed well, clean not ill, read to and loved more then anything.
I mean what do you do when you are potty training and your son has a wee in the middle of Tesco and someone kindly points out the puddle created that you didn’t see.. You take a deep breath explain and then reassure your child they are ok, they are learning after all just like all of us! Then how about the time you go on a family holiday and your stood in the line for a ride, it is night, it’s busy, your husband and uncle are stood behind you in the line, your son in front and you pick him up saying look at that babe and your uncle taps you on the shoulder!!! “you might want to put him down Nina, I don’t think he belongs to us!” Yes I picked up someone else child!! Luckily the parents were lovely and once I explain my sight and the child started to smile again we were ok, just my glowing red cheeks to worry about.
As my son has grown up with my sight condition he has adapted so well. He helps so much and is so considerate of me. He has always been a observant child, always aware of what and who is around him. This helps as he never wonders off to far. I remember clearly the first time he was totally aware I had a sight problem we were crossing the road he was only 4/5 and he said “wait a minute mummy I’ll make sure it’s safe” My heart melted, on the one hand I was so proud of him for being so aware and so considerate and on the other hand guilt hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought “It should be me protecting you” He absolute loves helping me though and sometimes loves it when I bump into a wall. I mean what 8 year old boy wouldn’t have a giggle if I missed my mouth. LOL The key is to laugh with him! I have done a few presentations in his school with his year and he was such a great help and his confidence grew and he was so proud of his mum and not embarrassed. Which I will hold on to that moment forever especially through them teenage years.
I wanted to share with you my thoughts on being a blind mum, it is no harder than being a mum. Yes there are some things I have to do a little different and some may take me longer and yes my son helps and has to become aware but surely that is a good thing? There is no better feeling than knowing inn spite of my LESABILITY that I have done a good job so far. I look forward to my continued journey as a blind mum and all those firsts I will have with him and for hi, like the first time I walked to school that was for him. He wanted me. To take him to school on our own again so that drove me to succeed.
So please let’s all give each other some positive, loving thoughts as we are all in it together.