I have no children of my own, but I can imagine that parenting is not easy. Parents are tasked with looking after a human being, shaping the foundations of their personality and teaching them valuable life lessons. No pressure.
My parents are both hearing. They were not prepared to have a child with hearing loss, but they had one, and they rolled with it. They taught me many lessons. In honour of Mother’s Day, I’m going to let you in on a life lesson that my mom taught me. I apply this lesson to my life every day.
“Your hearing loss is not an excuse.”
One thing my mother hates is excuses. She has no patience for them.
When I was in high school, I came home really annoyed. I had a group project for a drama class that I was taking, and the class for the day was held outside in the field by a busy road. I couldn’t hear what the teacher was saying because of the constant rush of cars nearby.
In typical teenage fashion, I told my mom that I thought that drama class that day sucked because I couldn’t hear. I went on saying that the project sucked anyways.
My mom rolled her eyes and said, “you couldn’t hear? What are you going to do about it then?” She asked me that every time I came home complaining about something related to my hearing.
Growing up, I was never allowed to use my hearing loss as an excuse. If I had trouble hearing, I was told to find a way to do something about it.
The next day, drama class was held outside again. Beforehand, I mentioned to the teacher that I couldn’t hear very well with the cars. My teacher understood and moved the class to another field away from the main road. I also made sure to stay at the front by the teacher, as opposed to farther away.
My mom made sure I had a voice
By asking me “what are you going to do about it?”, she made me think of solutions around my hearing loss and how to apply those solutions to everyday scenarios. My mom made sure I had a voice.
When the time came for me to be more independent, whether it came to school, parties, doing driving lessons etc. my parents told me that they weren’t going to be there to speak on my behalf, so I had to learn how to do it myself.
Learning how to speak for myself, and navigating between the wrong way and the right way of advocating for myself allowed me to fail, and to learn from those failures. I became more resilient and more comfortable with standing up for myself.
Now, I hate excuses too. I asked my mom about any other excuses that I tried to use on her when I was younger.
She told me how, when I was 13, I used to use the fact that I was a teenager to excuse my messy room.
She said, “So? You’re still a teenager with working hands! Go clean.”
Personally, I still don’t think my room wasn’t THAT messy haha, but you get the gist. The message is still the same – no matter what, always use the resources available to you to make things work. No excuses.
Thank you mom.