You may remember from my last blog post that I was slightly disgruntled when asked when my non-existent baby was due. The funny thing is… I am now pregnant. The power of words, eh?!
We found out this little nugget of surprise just before Christmas and then spent the next few weeks planning our announcement strategy, out of the worry that people would think we were mildly, to completely nuts for having a third child. I am aware that having any child is completely the decision of the mum and dad-to-be in question, but the problem with being a disabled parent (a mum in my case) is that it starts to feel like your decision becomes part of everybody else’s business, and you worry more about their opinions before you think about what you might like your family structure to look like as parents.
We knew our own parents, and extended family, would be more than happy to see another grandchild brought into the world, despite the usual concerns any parent has when their child has a baby. It is the thoughts, judgements and opinions of acquaintances and other such folk that I tend to dwell on.
Being a disabled mum and having even just one child is a lot for some people to comprehend. Two children is just astonishing, and three – well – that’s just biblical. How can I possibly parent three children? I’ll tell you how, but most of the day to day stresses of having a third child I can imagine, will be largely the same as any other mum and dad face. The difference with our family is that the balance between parental duties isn’t quite what everyone else expects when they become a mum and dad. There are no lonely night feeds where the other half lays comfortably snoozing while you’re sat up wrestling with a seriously angry baby, who is really just quite a selfish individual, concerned only with the whereabouts of the other breast. We spend the awake times in the dark quiet hours together, and it has to be that way because of me. The things I worry about when it comes to having a third baby will be the same as when I had my first two children.
I have wrestled with hating myself for not being able to do the mum-things that anyone else can, not that I can help it. But if I hadn’t found someone like Tom whom sticks with me and just gets on with what needs to be done, then I’d never be able to have children at all. I cannot do it by myself. It’s as simple as that. But if you judge us a parenting unit, then we cope just as the next family with two or three kids does. Sometimes we want to bury our heads in our pillows and scream about the unnecessary drama over Shreddies and Cheerios, or the recent toddler wee that needs clearing up off the kitchen floor, but show me a parent that doesn’t! Sometimes we look at our two girls and say to each other how awesome they are and in my head I then can’t help but think… We did that. We made them, and have coped pretty well so far. I chose a Tom and he chose me and the two of us chose to have kids.
So here’s to all the mums on Mother’s Day. The ones who do it all themselves by necessity, or by choice, and the ones whom can’t do it all by themselves but have someone decent alongside them when they can’t do it independently. We’re the ones who remain in the same room when Daddy is changing the fourth shitty nappy of the morning, just so they can’t say we have no idea how bad it smells. (Don’t ever mention how bad it smells for you, it doesn’t go down well).
Coming up in the next blog… Disabled and Pregnant. Or some other catchy title.
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