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I’m Emily, a disabled mum of a six year old and 15 month old toddler.


I don’t actually know many other disabled mums and feel we’re hugely unrepresented in society today.

Teaching my children about my disability has been incredibly valuable for accepting and processing my emotions around it and how I choose to approach it with my children.


I have lots of problems with my legs and have had hundreds of surgeries on them since the age of 2. Now I have a hip replacement, reconstructed pelvis, reconstructed ankle and a whole load of arthritis. My knees hurt constantly and I use walking aids full time and, when you’re a mum - especially to a toddler, kneeling/squatting/getting down to their level and running after them is pretty key.  So life is about finding ways to adapt and plan ahead. Travelling with two children, especially on public transport is a constant headache, because access needs of disabled people are just not taken as seriously as they should be.


It was only when I had three nasty miscarriages, followed by PTSD, that I really started to explore how I felt about my disability.

I had spent so long just 'getting on with it’ and trying to be 'normal' that I couldn’t see how sad, angry, frustrated and different I felt.

It all came to a head when I had to explain to my then 4 year old what disabled means. Suddenly I had to face my difference, because compared to other parents, I was. 


Having witnessed other parents hushing their children in an embarrassed tone when they asked me questions, I realised how important it was to normalise it for my daughter. I had to make her see that difference is not scary, or a bad thing, or something to be hushed up, but actually something to be celebrated and discussed.  If anyone asks me about my walking sticks, I always give an open and honest answer.


After a lot of therapy and learning, I now use my painting to work through emotions and feelings. I actually only learned what emotions are and how they affect me at the grand old age of 37(!). 

I want, more than anything, to teach my children about emotions and how normal they are.

Also, I want them to understand that my disability doesn’t define me - I’m just me, their mum.

I’d love other parents to talk to their children about disability in an open and honest way, to help normalise it for them, too.



If you’d like to see some of Emily's works, head to or check out her instagram page @emzfinchart.

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