When Your Child Doesn’t Know Its Mothers Day


By Norma Stanley, Partners in Policymaking graduate

As Mother’s Day rolls around, I find myself thinking of other moms like myself whose children were born with disabilities, who are intellectually or developmentally delayed and who don’t know that it’s Mother’s Day.

Although I know that my daughter Sierra, born with cerebral palsy almost 27 years ago, loves and appreciates me in ways she can’t express, this time of year is still a bit challenging for me. Sierra is mostly non-verbal, uses a wheelchair, has the intellectual capacity of a child and is dependent on me for her total care.



Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate the unadulterated, unconditional, ever-present, always-forgiving, always soothing, irrepressible love of all moms.  It’s a time when children of all ages do what they can to show their moms how much they mean to them.  The hand-made cards, the poems, the candy, the flowers, the gifts, the home-made dinners or family gatherings at favorite restaurants are all part of the loving celebration. All moms relish in it and hold their children’s efforts no matter how small, dear to their hearts forever. 

My own mom, the mother of eight, who is now 86 years-old and living in a nursing home, is not as sprite and keen-minded as she used to be, but we try to make sure she knows we love and appreciate all she has done for us over the years at this time.  When I was little, I wrote poems to her every year for Mother’s Day and sometimes I still do. Not long ago, I found some of the poems I had written to her as a child, tucked away in one of her dresser drawers, which touched me deeply as I couldn’t believe she still had them.  It’s been at least 45 years since I wrote some of those poems!

It made me happy that I was able to make my mom happy in my own little way back then, but it also made me a little sad, as I thought about my own daughter and how she never had the joy of writing personal messages like these to me, and I never had the joy of receiving them and keeping them to lovingly review in posterity.

It is for this reason that I ask those of you who know and love mothers of children with special needs, not to forget to make sure you reach out to them and celebrate them for the amazing people they are for Mother’s Day.  Not only for them, but also for their children, who can’t fully express how much they truly love and appreciate their mothers.

An AADD Partners in Policymaking graduate, Norma Stanley is president/CEO of E.E.E. Marketing Group, a multicultural marketing and public relations firm that specializes in reaching the disability community.  She is also an author (The Elected Lady—Finding Victory in the Challenge,”)  motivational speaker, singer, author and co-host of “Exceptional Engagement,” a radio show that shares information about the disability community and encourages committed community service, on www.879fmtheglobe.com.  She also offers a free, monthly social interactive gathering called, “Coffee, Community and Conversations,” for mothers of special needs.
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