In my last post, I spoke about my views on vaccination and abortion. In doing so I used the phrase, ” should I have any future children they will be vaccinated too” and I got some unexpected feedback about it. I thought I would get some comments, either for or against the statement and of course I did. However, when I received an email asking me whether I could actually have children and if I thought it would really be a good idea, I was a little surprised.
It is not the first time I have been asked if it was possible. It happens more than you would think. But it was the question of whether or not I thought it was a good idea that really threw me. I mean, I am kind, loving and I have a fairly high intelligence. Why shouldn’t I want to become a mother?
I remember being in a conversation once where I mentioned that I had just put down a deposit for my new apartment. Most people were mildly interested except one person who said, “I didn’t realise you were doing that, I didn’t think you’d ever want to move out”.
Of course, I knew why she thought this and I know why people don’t expect me to want to have children. Because I am disabled. It may seem that I am a tad bitter in saying it but it’s true. For some reason, even in the year 2016, society still does not expect a person with a disability to aspire to anything other than what they are born with. If we do, it is seen as being ungrateful (isn’t it enough that we are allowed out of the house?), or it is just plain impossible. Unless of course we do somehow manage it, then it becomes “inspirational.”
I have never tried to become pregnant and I have done very little research on whether or not my condition would prevent me from doing so. However, it is my understanding that it is possible. If I did happen to have a child then there is a possibility of my condition being passed on to them.
As it happens I have no desire to become a mother. Don’t get me wrong, I do like kids but I like them more when they belong to somebody else. I guess I just missed out on the maternal gene. I’d be lying if I said that my choice was not (at least in part) based on how people with a disability are viewed by society though. Is that cowardly?
I hate having to answer this particular question. If I am talking to a person who also has a disability it can be offensive, making me feel guilty and as if I have let my community down. But when I am talking to a “normal” person I am often met with a response akin to relief. I am led to believe that women are often seen as selfish or irresponsible for choosing to opt out of parenthood but “luckily” for me I guess this is something I won’t have to worry about experiencing myself
I think I might be a bit too nice. in answering questions like this, though. I’m not sure why I don’t just say what’s in my head, “none of your business you rude jerk!” I think it is because I wouldn’t want to put them in the awkward position of feeling as though they need to justify themselves.
Apologies for the formatting, WordPress is playing up
Nina – Marie Butler
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