The Hardest decision ever? Approaching parenthood with an impairment

So here we are again.  I’d like to start this blog by paying tribute to a family member we’ve lost over the last few days.  One of the many pleasures I have had in being with Fran is getting to know her side of the family.  I’ve gained a fantastic mother in law and two brilliant brother in laws too.  Fran’s extended family is a great bunch too.  Uncle Bob was a great man.  Kind and gentle, he was also one of Fran’s biggest fans.  It was his work that led to Fran getting awarded a fellowship by her hometown university in Sunderland.  I will never forget the look of pride on his face that day.  Rest in peace you brilliant man.

It is partly the events of the last few days that have set me thinking about arguably the hardest call I’ve ever had to make: To try and become a parent with Fran or not.  I’ve previously referred to the fact that I am broody and daunted – and this very much continues to be the case.  Trouble is, I can’t decide what, if anything to do about it and am torn.  I have written list after list, I have talked what seems like endlessly with Fran and my family about it and yet still here we are.  Time ticks on, and will eventually make the decision for us.

It feels like a case of acting in the near future or forever holding my peace.  Whenever I think about it though, excitement and fear grips me in equal measure.  In writing this blog, I’ve spoken with my Sister, who has taken to motherhood like a duck to water and has bought endless joy to all of our lives in the form of our Niece, Lucy (hi Lucy!!).  So I have experienced the love and happiness she has bought, but I have also seen the chaos too.

Fran and I are lucky in that we are used to negotiating challenges and quite literally defying the odds.  That said, having a child would be a real practical challenge.  I say practical challenge as I know we could offer an environment full of love, support and nurturing where our little one could flourish.  What about the practical stuff though.  Could we even have kids.  What about social services?  How would we deal with the challenges from people who felt that we shouldn’t be having kids at all.  Will these challenges even exist, or am I making them up in my head.  These are just a few of the thoughts that run through my mind whenever I think about this.

That said, I know we would be great parents.  I just know. We have such a lot to offer, and pass on and I hope that it would be one of the best things we would ever do, if we were lucky enough to have the chance.  I also know that this decision is daunting for anyone, let alone where impairment related issues can throw a few extra curve balls into the mix.  It is done though, and there are lots of fantastic disabled parents out there who have shown that all of this is possible…and if that is you, I salute you.

Still there is the fear.  The what ifs.  Maybe all of this thinking just means I am prepared for the challenges that might lie ahead.  Two things stand out above all.  1. I know we have a shedload to offer (many people comment how the child will have a tough act to follow..one parent is a world champion, and the other…well..he just has lots of pieces of paper…!!:)) and 2. I don’t want this to be the only thing that we’ve not done because our impairment has posed a barrier.  I have come 34 years without that problem, and I don’t want it to start now.

I hope you don’t mind me thinking out loud, dear reader.  This is the hardest call I’ve ever had to make after all.

Comments 1

  • Don’t forget, we are all born impaired! Your baby will not worry in the slightest about the things you might worry about: you will be mummy and daddy.

    I understand your concerns but would say you can easily overthink such matters. Consider yourselves first. You would cope with the baby and your baby would cope with you!

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