featured, illness, parenthood

I’m a Real Mom: Coming to Grips with Disabled Motherhood

I got up before my children this morning and made breakfast for them.  

This happens about 3 or 4 times a year.  

I usually don’t have the energy to do this.  

Mornings are not my best time of day.

Today –for just a little while– I felt like a real mom.

The mom I wish I could be.

The mom I want to be.

The mom I would be if the illness hadn’t taken over my body.

It has been difficult coming to grips with my disability.

As a mom, I have spent a fair amount of time watching cartoons.

Whenever I feel like saying, “I am a real mom!” I am reminded of a line in the cartoon Shrek when Pinocchio is getting turned back and forth between a wooden puppet and a human boy.

The first time he gets changed into a boy, Pinocchio says “I am a real boy!”

And then he gets turned back into a wooden boy again for comedic effect.

I feel like that is my life.

I have a second or two of normal functioning, and I cry, “Hey, I am a real mom!”

But it only lasts a short while, and I am back to being a sick mom again.

Now, of course, I am a real mom even if I can’t do mom stuff.

But it doesn’t feel like it sometimes.

Sometimes it feels like my children are parenting me because of how much care I require.

In an ideal world, children wouldn’t have to care for their sick mother.

But we do not live in an ideal world.

So, when I get overwhelmed feeling like I am failing as a mom because of my illness, I jokingly declare, “I am a real mom!”

It makes me giggle.

I do regret, sometimes, not being able to do what “normal” moms do.

Even yesterday, I tried to go help a local non-profit organization.

I just sat a table sorting and bagging food.

And today I am in pain.

I just wish –sometimes– that I could decide to do something and go do it.

That I could do what is necessary without being in pain or without ending up with health complications.

I wish my children didn’t have to forgo things because I cannot help or support them.

I wish they didn’t have to help me.

But this is my reality.

This is where God has put me.

I can’t exactly claim to have come to grips with it entirely.

Accepting it means that I might stop striving to improve.

But what I have done is stop resenting that this is where God put me right now.

Even in immobility and poor health, I can still do something.

What I can do, I do.

And I pray that it will be enough.

I am determined to shine here where I am, even if it’s not far and wide.

Once upon a time, I thought I would change the world.

Now I am trying to be content to just change me for the better and influence the souls around me for Jesus.

I think coming to grips with my disability has come down to these (in no particular order):

–being thankful for what I have

–finding humor in life

–bring okay if things aren’t perfect

–trusting that God knows what He is going

–being humble and honest about what is really going on

–ministering as I can to those around me even if it is just my own family or friends on Facebook

“My fire is not large, yet it is real, and there may be those who can light their candle in its flame.” –A.W. Tozer



Sarah Forbes


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