It’s not uncommon for mothers of multiples to hear, “How do you do it?” Mothers of 3 young children under 5 are often asked, “How do you make it work?” Mothers with a physical disability like cerebral palsy are constantly questioned, “How do you manage?” As a mother whose family tree encompasses all of those branches, there is quite a bit of curiosity as to how exactly I do it.
Being a mom with cerebral palsy isn’t easy. I have a 5-year-old son and 2-year-old twin daughters. Between my limited mobility, poor balance and my typical aches and pains, most days feel I feel like I’m the tortoise and they’re the hare. As a stay at home mom, that race begins bright and early and doesn’t slow down until about 14 hours later. And, that’s assuming that all 6 of those sweet little eyes close and they drift off to sleep on schedule.
Despite the long days, the double dirty diapers and the sheer fact that I have created a tiny army who has outnumbered me, I can handle it. The truth is, as a mother with cerebral palsy, the hardest thing to manage is my emotions. There is no pain like the pain of not being able to lift your crying child who’s before you with open arms. My heart breaks a little every time I can’t be the one to carry my sleeping child to bed. It hurts to know I can’t run around the yard and play with my children like we all wish I could.
But, I continue to rise. I rise because there is nothing in the world that lifts me up to rise more than my children. Nothing.
That is how I do it. I do it because my children are my motivation, my greatest blessings and my world. It is my hope that in seeing me struggle and continue to try, all the while accepting my limits, my children will have greater acceptance and appreciation for all the peaks and valleys that life has to offer. I hope it encourages them to always rise above life’s challenges and to find their own path. I hope as they learn and grow, they too realize that even when you are bombarded with voices that question how it can be done, with hope, determination and love in your heart, you can always rise above.