One of my first forays into blogging came as a mommy blogger years ago. I thought that it would be a fun and maybe helpful thing to do. At the time I had 7, yes seven, young children with many health problems. At the time everyone was fascinated with The Dugger’s and how they managed a large family. It aggravated me. It’s easy to raise a large family when you don’t have things like autism, special diets because of celiac disease and numerous life threatening food allergies. This was a handful of years before hipsters made gluten free foods trendy so it wasn’t always easy to find safe foods, or inexpensive.
I eventually grew bored of blogging about my family and autism and food allergies and moved on to other things. I knew I wasn’t going to become the next Erma Bombeck and I didn’t think I was actually helping anyone. I honestly had no idea if people were reading my blog, as I never got any emails or comments.
Anyway, more often than not my children would be out in public with me. There were always a number of them 3 and under at any time and I got all kinds of rude comments and questions.
- Do you run a daycare?
- Are they all yours?
- Did you give birth to all of them?
- Don’t you know what a TV is?
- Just think of all the weddings you are going to have to pay for (I had 5 girls before the boys were born)
- Are you trying for a boy?
- Now that you have a boy are you going to stop?
- I hope my tax dollars aren’t paying for all those kids.
- Where did you get all those kids?
- You shouldn’t have had so many kids.
It goes on and on. When you become pregnant something magic happens and your body is now open to public comment and criticism. People suddenly loose their filter and rude things just come spewing out of their mouth before their brain kicks in and tells them to stop. Strangers come up and touch your belly without asking. They ask if you know what you are having. “A baby”, just doesn’t seem to answer that question. I mean, as far as they know, you could be incubating a chest buster in there. It was my experience that when I told people the gender they would act disappointed, as if it really made some difference in their world. I had two different “friends”, who, on two separate occasions, call child protective services because they didn’t agree with how many children I had and how I was raising them. I wish I was kidding about that.
I can honestly say that there is a huge parallel to how I was treated while pregnant and/or raising my family to how people treat you when you are disabled and/or have a service dog. I was asked once if my cane was a fashion accessory. I have had people yell at me about the handicapped plates on my car and that I don’t look disabled. And then there are the “My husband,s sisters aunt’s nephew’s girlfriend’s friend’s daughter has that and ___,” people. Yea? Bite me.
Much like when my children were small and everyone had the answers for “curing” autism and would share with me how their sister’s boyfriends niece was cured with a gluten free diet or supplements or chelation, everyone has answers for dealing with fibromyaglia, that run the same gauntlet. Everything from gluten free diets to supplements to yoga to sacrificing a vegan virgin (that is, a virgin who is vegan, not a virgin who has never eaten a vegan meal) under the first full moon of spring in a field of dandelions. Okay, that last one never happened, but I’m waiting for it.
The biggest difference in when my kids were little and now, dealing with being disabled, is that memes are now a thing. I could seriously write my own large family bingo card (maybe I should, someone would relate). I have taken to collecting bingo cards. I am so very much looking forward to filling in my service dog one when Pickles starts public access, but in the meantime, have a look at some others that I am working on. My only question is, what prize do I get when they are filled?
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