Motherhood and disability – one mum’s perspective
Northcott customer and former employee Kimberley has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair. Four years ago in August, her son Logan was born. In the lead up to Mother’s Day, we spoke to Kimberley about being a mother with disability.
Tell us about your son, Logan?
Logan will be four in August. He’s an energetic little boy. He has his mood swings but he’s pretty good. He likes construction work and things like that. He’s imaginative, so he likes to just make up things in his head.
As a mother with disability, what are some of the challenges you have faced?
Logan’s a toddler, so he will jump up on the lounge or the bed and sometimes I just can’t get to him. He’s also getting heavier so it’s hard to pick him up.
But I’ve adapted to it really and he’s adapted to me. It was like he knew I couldn’t do certain things so he just does things on his own, or helps me through it. We work together.
What do you enjoy most about being a mother?
Just the things Logan does and says. He’s such a sweet little boy. I love watching him grow and being the little boy that he is.
What advice would you offer to women who wish to start a family?
Just do it. It will be the best thing you’ve ever done. [If you have a disability] your child will adapt to you, they will help and I think they’re more understanding.
Logan has more understanding and respect at his young age than some adults. He’s very helpful with a whole bunch of things, and that’s just because of me and my husband being in wheelchairs. He’s very adaptive and very helpful.
What have you learned along the way in your journey as a mother?
I’m tired a lot more [laughs]. And you’re not just looking after your life; you’re looking after another one too. Your life becomes his.
It’s important as a mother to look after yourself, so what do you do to get some time away from your role as a mother?
I spend time just watching TV, hanging out with friends. They’ve got kids too so they help a lot with letting them run riot, and playing together so we can hang out and just relax.
What are you most proud of as a mother?
I’m proud of being able to raise the little boy that Logan is. Just seeing how much he’s grown and what he’s become, and how much my husband and I have put into it. I’m so proud to look at him and know we did it.
Sometimes it’s a bit daunting going out in public because people are always staring at you, and looking at you like you shouldn’t be a mum. But I let that pass. Logan is such a great kid, and we’re doing a good job so I don’t really care what anyone else says.
Northcott long-term customer, Sandy talks about being a mum with disability and how her and her husband have adapted.