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The ways my disability is also a gift to my child

There are compromises. But, in those compromises are invaluable lessons. ❤️

The ways my disability is also a gift to my child

If my heart had a hashtag it would be #momguilt.


As a disabled 33-year-old mom with chronic Lyme disease, my life and role as a mother look different than most moms I know.

My illness has taken different shapes over the past 20 years. At times, I’ve been unable to lift my head or bathe myself, while other seasons have brought much more strength.

Since becoming a mom in 2014, I’ve been strong enough to take care of myself, but often need help with daily tasks, such lifting my daughter, driving, cooking and cleaning. I have a rotation of people who help me around the house and with my daughter. However, when my helpers are out of town or sick, I’m quite limited in what I can do with her.

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Some days, we have to stay inside all day.

Sometimes, we have to skip trips to the park.

Other times, we have to cancel play dates.

While I know that my daughter’s basic needs are met, these missed opportunities often leave me feeling “less than” other moms.

When I feel this way, I have to retrain my mind. I have to remind myself that, although my daughter may miss out on a few activities along the way, she will also glean a unique perspective because of my disability.

1. The gift of authenticity

Sometimes as a mom, I have the tendency to sugarcoat things. Because of my physical struggles, I have an opportunity to share with my daughter that life isn’t always easy, but it can still be beautiful.

2. The gift of service

As a mom, I am often tempted to do everything for my family. But, when my Lyme symptoms are flaring, I quite literally can’t. Ultimately, I believe this is a good thing.

As my daughter grows, she will be very involved with running the household alongside me–which will be a great lesson. (In fact, my mom was disabled when I was growing up and as a direct result, I learned how to work hard and help others!)

3. The gift of perseverance

If I had to pick just one thing to teach my daughter from this whole mess I’ve been through, it would be the importance of perseverance. Modeling how to withstand the storms of life, regardless of how many times I get knocked down is an invaluable lesson that I get to share in a unique and daily way.

4. The gift of spunk

As a disabled mom, I can be one of two things: bitter or spunky! There’s not a lot of room in the middle. I do my best to choose spunk, laughter and joy in all of life’s difficulty! I hope my daughter picks up a spunky spirit along the way too. It’s so much better than the alternative!

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5. The gift of community

I am not naturally wired to ask for help, but because of my circumstance, I’m forced to ask for help doing almost everything. And guess what? It’s actually a beautiful thing.

My husband, my friends and my church rally around me when I’m weak. They serve me in the practical needs of my day. It’s a humbling and wonderful thing for my daughter to witness.

If you are a disabled mom, keep these things in mind next time you feel yourself starting to live a #momguilt life. You have an opportunity to instill character in your child in a unique way; don’t miss it!

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My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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