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10 Things Disabled Parents Want You to Know

You may or may not know that I have a disabled mother. I’ve written about my mom’s experience with polio and what it’s meant for both of us. The thing about my mother is that she’s a survivor like so many parents out there.

My mom has experienced physical pain that I’ve never had to, faced discrimination that I’ve never known, and continues to suffer from limitations that even I, as her daughter, cannot fully understand.

Like so many survivors, my mom is filled with grace. She understands when people are impolitely curious, she seeks to educate the misinformed, and she has never once allowed her limitations to manifest themselves into a bitter spirit.

Growing up with a disabled mom taught me a lot of character. I understood from a very young age that the things that seem to make us different, rarely if ever do.

 

  • 10 Things 1 of 11
    Disabled parents

    As a blogger, I have the rare and wonderful opportunity to not only write about the matters that are close to my heart, but to collect the voices of others to share and today I marry those opportunities in this post. I sought out the voices of disabled parents to share this list of 10 things disabled parents want you to know. Let's take a listen.

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Please teach your children tolerance 2 of 11
    shutterstock_119095189

    "When my daughter was young, she was curious and concerned about my condition, now that she's in 5th grade, I'm sensing that she's embarrassed about my disability. She's a good girl who loves me very much, but I think it has a lot to do with her peers not understanding. A lot of kids have never been exposed to people with disabilities and so they make hurtful jokes and make fun of people who are physically different. I wish more parents would take the time to talk to their kids about tolerance for all people, including those with limitations. I believe it all starts at home." ~Nicole

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Don’t be afraid to include me (or my kids) 3 of 11
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    I joined a mom's group because it hadn't been the easiest to make friends. I feel like they exclude me or my son from activities that they don't think we'd be able to participate in. My son and I can adapt to most parent-involved situations. Please extend the invitation! There's a lot more to me than my disability." ~Sheila

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Disability comes in many forms 4 of 11
    shutterstock_26854786

    "I'm a 31-year-old man and I was born with a spinal abnormality. I'm the father of two and I'm in a wheelchair. Some disabilities like mine are evident; other people have neurological problems or heart conditions. Disabilities affect the old and the young, the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor. I may not be able to run with my kids but my chair does a pretty good job of keeping up." ~Andrew

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

     

  • Of course I wanted kids! 5 of 11
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    "People seem so surprised when they learn I have kids. Why? Just because I have a disability, it doesn't mean that I can't be a parent. I have to deal with enough limitations and thankfully motherhood didn't have to be one of those things." ~Anna

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • We’re not so different 6 of 11
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    "Just because I have to do things a little differently than other parents, doesn't mean I'm not a capable parent. I do laundry and cook food just like you do and my son is well taken care of. I worry about all the same parenting things you do too." ~Sheila

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Use some manners 7 of 11
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    "I have to say this and I hope people listen: it's never cool to just be like, 'Hey, so what's wrong with you?' What's wrong with you for asking like that? I get that you're curious or whatever but if I get to know you and it comes up in conversation, I'll tell you. It's rude to just ask someone that. Where are your manners?" ~Jennifer

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • I wish people could just be happy for me 8 of 11
    shutterstock_28415683

    "My family did not support my decision to have kids at all. Actually, no one did. It's funny how when able-bodied people have children, they're celebrated. It's just wrong that people who don't live with my disability prematurely judge my ability to be a good mom. No one knows what it's like to live in this body but me." ~Margie

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Stop judging my disability 9 of 11
    shutterstock_64190458

    "People judge you at first glance, 'Is she disabled enough to park here? Should she have kids with her disability? Well, if it's just her leg and not her brain, then I guess it's OK.' You shouldn't make premature judgments about me, just as I shouldn't make them about you." ~Elsie Lynn

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • Don’t pity me 10 of 11
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    "Yeah, I'm disabled but I have a lot to be happy about. I've been blessed with three boys. It is hard a lot of the time but I couldn't tell you if it's hard because of my condition or it's hard because I have three boys!" ~Doreen

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • We’re no less intelligent 11 of 11
    shutterstock_105403853

    "Truthfully, deciding to even try to have a kid was a bigger deal for us than most. When people questioned our ability to handle a baby it hurt our feelings. A physical disability doesn't make you less intelligent." ~Kimberly

     

    Image credit: Shutterstock

 

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