Ana: “Receiving Care to Give Care”

“I have a degenerative disease that causes a significant motor disability. I used to be certain that I was not going to be a mother for fear of perpetuating this pathology that has already been repeated in three generations of my family. Today I am the mother of a three-year-old boy.

I need the support of my husband or Paqui, the person who accompanies us in the care of myself and our son. I have not been able to change a diaper or carry my baby in my arms by myself, but my husband cannot breastfeed either. My son knows well what his mother can or cannot do, and he knows to whom to turn in order to get what he needs. For some things he looks for Dad but if he falls or a tantrum needs to be calmed, like any other child, he loves his mother and comes to be with me.

The reality is that motherhood is a tough but rewarding experience. Although I had a cesarean section planned, I have been able to give birth naturally and although breastfeeding has been difficult at times due to the high level of demand, it is something for which I am proud and grateful; it has helped us to strengthen the bond and has also shown me what my own body is capable of.

With regards to care, it is taken for granted that it is women who take care of children, parents and husband. In our house, it is my husband who takes care of me and our son, and sometimes it is difficult for society to understand that it is the man who cares; the reductions in working hours would not seem to be designed for them.

With Covid, many activities of home care were cancelled and many caregivers who do not have a work contract – for being migrants or for whatever reason – have not been able to leave their home because they had no way to prove that they were going to provide care for dependent people. This leaves both parties helpless and nothing has been done to solve this problem.”- Ana

Ana makes it very clear that the importance of caring for those who care lies in the fact that there are family ties that are simply irreplaceable, and that physical limitations do not impose limitations on love, presence and co-responsibility.