Those are words I’ve heard time and time again since becoming a mother. I’ve been a mom for almost twenty years. There have been days filled with unexplainable joy. There have been days filled with gut wrenching heartbreak. There have been days filled with anxiety, beauty, sadness and every emotion in between. There has never once been a day where I was sorry for being a mother.
Why would people want me to be sorry?
Why do they think I should be sorry? I am the mother of three amazing children. I have never been sorry or disappointed or anything else other thrilled and proud to be the mother of three daughters. I certainly have NEVER been sorry.
Getting pregnant was not an easy journey for me. After fertility drugs, bed rest and early labor, I was overjoyed to be a new mom. With every pregnancy and birth, I welcomed a brand, new life.
My daughters have enriched my life.
“My daughters have given me a reason to be a better mother, a reason to be kinder, a reason to learn, grow and achieve more than I ever could have imagined.”
They are all very different individuals. Each one is unique and creative. I cannot imagine or comprehend what my life would be like without them. Naturally when people tell me they are sorry, I am usually confused. I wonder why they are sorry? Are they sorry that I am a mother? Sorry that I have three daughters instead of three sons?
Why would anyone feel sorry for me?
When I ask people why they are sorry, I get a sympathetic look.
“We are sorry that your children are different”.
“We are sorry that they are autistic.”
“We are sorry that you are autistic.”
“We are sorry that you cannot cure autism.”
Once when I was waiting with my daughters for vaccinations, a woman asked me if I was worried about autism. Why would I worry about autism? I smiled politely and told her they already had autism. As you can imagine the woman look embarrassed and horrified. I know that vaccines and autism can be a hot button issue, so just let me say that my children are all fully vaccinated.
Being autistic is not something that society should never be sorry about.
Imagine all the great minds we would not have if autism didn’t exist. Imagine the world without autistic talents and inventions. Arguably many of history’s greatest minds were on the spectrum. In my humble opinion, autism is not a tragedy or a problem to be solved.
Who cares if we act different than the rest of the world?
Does it really matter if we stim in public? I’m not sorry when my daughter wears headphones in a store because she is overwhelmed. I’m also definitely not sorry that she is one of the most talented artists I’ve ever seen. Without her autism, the world would have missed out on a marvelous, beautiful artist. She of course has a natural talent, but her autism made her an artist. She was able to teach herself everything she knows about art due to being able to intensely focus on one subject.
Each and every autistic person brings something new to the world. So, I will never be sorry that my children are autistic. I will never be sorry that I am autistic. You will never hear me say that autism needs to be cured or solved. There is an autism community full of talents just waiting to be discovered. I say it loud and proud that “autism is incredible!”