Mother’s Day can be difficult to navigate when you work with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Some people have lost their moms and some don’t see their biological families, while others have the joy of being with their moms every day. We want to send home handmade crafts with “Happy Mother’s Day” written on it, but we recognize that there are a lot of (for lack of a better term) non-moms in our community.
So this year, we are saying “Happy Mother’s Day” to all of the women that are so important to adults with IDD.
Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers that have loved and cared for their child through diagnoses, treatments, accomplishments, and setbacks through infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, to the mothers that will always need to advocate for their child, regardless of age, and to the mothers that refuse to let a diagnosis of intellectual or developmental disability limit their child’s life.
Happy Mother’s Day to the sisters that grew up alongside a sibling with IDD, to the sisters that always knew that one day she would take the role of caregiver when their mom no longer could, and to the sisters that might be younger than, but will always be the protector of, their sibling.
Happy Mother’s Day to the sisters-in-law that joined a family that had an extra special member, to the sisters-in-law who may not have had any experience with people with IDD, but didn’t let that unfamiliarity keep her from learning about and loving her new sibling, and to the sisters-in-law that weren’t born into the role of sibling/protector/advocate/caregiver, but stepped into it with grace and love.
Happy Mother’s Day to the aunts, cousins, and grandmothers that chose to take responsibility when their loved one needed a caregiver, to the women who elected to go from relative to guardian and wears that badge with pride, and to the women that may not have ever envisioned their life as the caregiver for a family member, but now understand it’s a role they were always meant to have.
Happy Mother’s Day to the women that are “foster providers” to adults with IDD, the women that opened up their homes, lives, and hearts to adults that can be challenging to care for and the women who choose to become family to people that may not have anyone else and love them as deeply as if they have known each other forever.
Happy Mother’s Day to the women that are daily caregivers and staff in day-habs, group homes, and living centers who care for adults that may or may not have any “family” to speak of, to the women that spend more time with the people they care for than with their own families and the women that walk in to work each day excited to see their people, to curious about what the day will bring, and determined to bring joy into the lives of those they care for.
Happy Mother’s Day to you all.