I was at an event recently where a lady spoke about the charity she started called Sienna’s footsteps. The aim of the charity is to raise awareness and money for her daughter to have an operation (in the states) that will help her to walk. Her daughter has cerebral palsy, microcephaly. I must admit when I initially heard about her charity I found it hard to engage. It was hard to hear this women’s journey of fighting for her child to experience taking her first steps, something that her other children naturally did. I was unable to relate, trying just brought tears to my eyes not because I could understand her sadness but because mine was greater. As I listened I was reminded that I would never get the chance to stand up and fight for my child, I will never be their voice when they needed me the most. Don’t get me wrong, I am not sure that are many women who would want to trade places with Sienna ‘s mum just to experience motherhood but she is experiencing motherhood (as tough as it is) and there are many of us who will never get to say that.
It has been tough writing this post, I’ve mulled over my feelings for some time mainly because I found it difficult being in the position of wanting to say “well as least you are a mum” and “at least you have other children (who have a ‘normal’ life)”. This kind of honesty is great to recognise in ourselves (so that we can deal with the feelings with care and compassion) but will not always be welcomed outside of our heads. My reality shows me that not many childless women could be honest with their thoughts and feelings without facing condemnation from their peers esp if their peers are mothers themselves.
Well as the weeks have passed I am glad that I have recognised these feelings in myself so that I could honour them, I am also still comforting myself for having them too. A good friend reminded me that Sienna’s mother needs the compassion that I would want mothers (and others) to give to me when they hear my story which has really helped me to be able to write this post. So I wish Sienna’s mum all the best on her journey with all the love and compassion that I can offer whilst I hug myself with all the self-compassion that I deserve.