All moms are superheroes! It’s a job that should never go unnoticed and always be celebrated.
Hi there! I’m Allison Vargas. I’m married to the sweetest man, Vince, and we have a five month old, Elliahna. I am a new stay-at-home mama and when people ask me what I do right now, I’ve found myself replying with “Oh I just stay at home with Elliahna”…but really, that statement implies that it’s no big deal and nothing special, which could not be further from the truth! Being her mom is the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done before. All moms face challenges each day that they have to work through for their little ones, but some mamas face more than others. I am a mama with a chronic disability. Because of this, I face daily obstacles that require creative problem solving to make sure I’m keeping myself, and my baby girl, safe.
For a quick background on my condition, I have a form of Dysautonomia called Neurocardiogenic Syncope. This condition affects several functions of the body including heart rate, blood pressure, kidney function, digestion, breathing, and more. I have daily symptoms of chronic fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, blacking out, palpitations, and chest pain. I also pass out due to a drop in blood pressure 1-3 times a month. I have had 18 concussions, several
dislocations, and many injuries from passing out through the past 8 years.
Before having Ellie, I only knew a few moms that had disabilities, and I always looked at them with so much amazement and respect. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I’m one of those moms now. Something I’ve come to understand is that it’s not about being someone amazing or being born with “something special” to be able to handle a disability through life and also have kids…it’s about coping with situations and being forced to problem solve creatively. It’s about choosing to see joy, even when it’s not easy to find. I fully believe that any person that has a desire for a joyful life and the willingness to attain it, could handle being chronically ill on top of
being a parent. This is not to say it’s an easy road, but it is a road I am forced to take because it’s part of who I am.
For me and my condition, a lot of energy goes into making sure that the normal, daily tasks I complete don’t exhaust me and create a bad day for me. A few examples of this…bending up and down to load the dishwasher, walking outside when it’s hot out, moving a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, taking something hot out of the oven, and taking a hot shower are all things that can easily turn a good day into a bad one. Some of these things can’t be fixed to prevent symptoms, but some can. Anything that can be made easier for a mom with a disability,
should. My dad built me a platform to put our washer and dryer on so that it was level with my upper body so I don’t have to bend up and down to move clothes anymore. I make sure that when it’s hot outside, I have my husband hold Ellie or keep her in the stroller when I feel warm. I take cooler showers and keep a shower stool next to me to prevent a drop in blood pressure. These are just a few of the solutions that help keep daily symptoms minimal.
Sometimes, a solution even means that I don’t get to be the one that cares for Elliahna when she needs it. It’s not always easy to give up control and have someone else care for your child when you don’t feel well. It can make me feel so guilty and like a terrible mom for not being able to pick up my baby girl when I know I can’t physically stand on my own. This is just part of keeping her safe, and even though it’s hard, I know it’s for the best.
If you are a mama with a disability, I want you to know that you are not alone and you are an incredible human because of what you’ve had to work through and overcome. If you are someone that knows a mama with a disability, just know that your words and your support can make the biggest difference in her life. Be there. Bring flowers. Bring coffee. Compliment their creative solutions. Ask them what their latest obstacle has been and encourage them because they overcame it.
Moms, we are all moving through this life one step at a time, taking it day by day. You are doing
a GREAT job. Keep pushing, support other moms around you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!