Skip to content

DisAbility And Parenting

April 18, 2009

I recently read the following outrageous comment on This Is My Blog, through Twitter:

sandy said…
hi mary–
have been reading your blog for a bit, & this is sort of a response to your wanting to have a kid with steve.

it makes me sad to read your struggles, but i would beg you to leave that idea (or even adoption or fostering behind.)

how on earth could you take care of a child when you spend most of your time seriously broken? you seem like a lovely person & to put a child in that position would be cruel no matter how much you craved being a mommy.

please be careful, stay on birth control & accept that your fate is to not be able to go down a maternal road.

best to you. sandy

Not surprisingly, this comment has been responded to with great anger by several very sensible people.

Personally, I’m DisAbled and I’m not ready to have children, but that doesn’t mean I never will be. I certainly don’t agree, even for a second, with Sandy. Her attitude is so outdated, it’s unbelievable.   I can think of at least two DisAbled parents, both of whom, I’m sure, do a great job. The first of these is Alison Lapper. The second is DisAbled dad and journalist Tim Rushby-Smith, who is currently writing a brilliant series of articles for The Times about life as a disabled parent. I’m very sure that they both have as much love to give their children as anyone else. Surely that’s all that really matters.

I believe that blogging is about discussion, and I think this is a topic worth discussing. I’d love to hear the experiences of any DisAbled parents who read this, in the comments below. I’d also love to hear the experiences of any children who’s parents are DisAbled, if possible. If this gets enough reaction, I’d like to guest post some people’s thoughts, and give those posts a ‘Debate’ page of their own. So, readers, please share your thoughts and experiences.

This is part of a new debate at Same Difference on DisAbled parents.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2009 2:23 pm

    There are a number of disabled bloggers who have children, who you might like to check out; Frida Writes, Andrea and Seahorse are three of my favourites who write about parenting on a fairly regular basis. One memorable post is the oneSeahorse wrote around Comic Relief.

  2. samedifference1 permalink
    April 18, 2009 2:52 pm

    Thanks for your comments Goldfish. I love Seahorse too. You probably know them all better than I do, so would you please send them to this thread to share their thoughts with me?

  3. April 19, 2009 10:37 am

    Part of what riled me was that the post that comment was made on wasn’t even discussing the ins and outs of disabled parenthood. The last time I even mentioned the idea of having a child on my blog was back in January, as point 94 on a “99 things” meme list. Thoughtless ‘advice’ from someone arrogant enough to believe they know more about your capabilities than you do is bad enough when you’ve actually asked for people’s opinions, but when they feel they have to foist their ‘wisdom’ onto you apropos of nothing…

  4. samedifference1 permalink
    April 19, 2009 12:23 pm

    Hi Mary!

    Thanks a lot for sharing that with us. You’re absolutely right of course.

    I tried to comment on the post, just to say what I’ve said here, but for some reason, my comments didn’t show up. I hope you do have a child one day.

    Best wishes

  5. Barb Bressner permalink
    January 21, 2011 3:45 am

    I am a person with a physical disability, and rely on a power wheelchair for mobility. I have a beautiful 8 year old daughter who is the light of my life. Not only am I a parent, but I am an older parent. Our adoption took place 6 years ago, when my daughter was 2 1/2. I was 53 at that time. Having a disability does not affect your ability to parent. It’s a tough job for anyone, regardless of whether they have a disability. In many ways, my daughter has benefited from having a parent with a disability. She is very accepting, and sensitive to people with all types of disabilities.

  6. October 10, 2014 12:11 pm

    I’m disabled and a parent. My disability has become significantly worse since we had Sophie. But she has been a real blessing. And as she gets older things are getting easier 🙂

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: