Series “how it could be” (4): the feeling of being a mom

Glances, barriers, hasty conclusions: There are many things people with disabilities could do without. Certainly not their own children.

Being a good mom is more than being able to change diapers well Photo: Andi Weiland/ Gesellschaftsbilder.de

People with disabilities have families. They do not live in isolation, they are part of society. Every person with disabilities has a father and a mother. And some people with disabilities have become fathers or mothers themselves. Unfortunately, this is not yet a matter of course. The idea that disabled people are overburdened with the care and upbringing of a child is still widespread.

There are doctors who tell a pregnant woman with a neurological disease and a wheelchair to her face that a late abortion is also possible at any time. How does she want to take care of her child?

Hospitals that don’t know how to handle a pregnant woman in a wheelchair. Hospital rooms and preemie intensive care units that have no room for a mom in a wheelchair. These problems are put forward so that solutions do not have to be sought.

At the same time, fears are stirred up by some youth welfare offices: women are told that they will not be able to take their child home with them after birth if they cannot swaddle it on their own. Very few women in wheelchairs get pregnant out of nowhere. Almost all expectant parents worry, people with disabilities usually even more.

People with disabilities keep demanding, "Nothing about us without us!" However, they are hardly represented in the editorial offices of the country. For the International Day of People with Disabilities on December 3, 2016, the taz presents itself the day before as the result of a "friendly takeover".

In it, authors talk about themselves. About how they are not "confined to a wheelchair" or "suffering from their difficult fate". About how they fare in everyday life and at work. The takeover is coordinated by Leidmedien.de. taz.mit behinderung – at the newsstand, eKiosk and of course online at https://ecomin.ru.

What is different in our everyday life than in other families? We are better organized. But the basic conditions have to be right; for example, only a barrier-free kindergarten comes into question. There are details that make us different, but they only stand out when you look closely. Nevertheless, we fight against many prejudices. Other mothers who interfere when I am on the playground with my son and he is hiding. "I guess your mom needs to take better care of you, or she can’t leave with you alone anymore."

Of course, there’s also positive feedback. When I drive through the streets with a stroller and wheelchair, "How nice that something like this exists. You’re doing great." Yet I’m not doing anything different than any other mom.

The love for your own child can make up for a lot. It helps not to give up, but to keep standing up for yourself and your family. No matter how many fights and struggles we have, the feeling of being a mom is the most beautiful thing ever. And when your child smiles at you, your heart leaps.

Wheelymum. The blog by and with a mom with disability and chronic illness and her family life: wheelymum.com.

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