Review: Eliza Hull – We’ve Got This

We’ve Got This
Stories by Disabled Parents
Eliza Hull

“How do two parents who are blind take their children to the park? How is a mother with dwarfism treated when she walks her child down the street? How do Deaf parents know when their baby cries in the night? In We’ve Got This, twenty-five parents who identify as Deaf, disabled or chronically ill discuss the highs and lows of their parenting journeys and reveal that the greatest obstacles lie in other people’s attitudes. The result is a moving, revelatory and empowering anthology.”

I read this non-fiction right on the back of Kay Kerr’s Love & Autism as part of my local library’s promotion for Diversity Month. I found it fascinating how many of the stories featured Queer people. I loved that! At the same time, I possibly felt too seen. This novel forced me to confront some of the assumptions I’ve made about people with disabilities.

I still feel a bit iffy having read it. Some parents I felt that it was totally ok that they had kids (not that I need to ok them having kids!) and others I found myself really uncomfortable. I guess I should identify as ‘a person with a disability’ because I have a mental illness, but I don’t think I’m disabled. While I’ve come to terms with my own problems and identity, I would never want to pass them on to someone else. Medically, I still feel like some disabilities that are heritable are perhaps too cruel. I am seeing many more discussions of how miscarriage is more common and how crippling that can be to potential parents. Is not wanting to avoid miscarriages, still-births and infant deaths not reasonable?

It’s a good thing I try not to judge books by their covers because ugh, look at that thing! It makes it seem like a mass-printed cheap paperback when in fact that’s doing it a disservice. My suggestion is to just jump in, and if the first chapter doesn’t appeal to you, skip to the next one. It’s non-fiction, so no-one is judging you for somehow missing a main character (like in those multi-perspective giant fantasy novels).

I feel undecided about this review. I’ve been brutally honest about my feelings, but I also don’t want to discount other people’s beliefs and feelings too. Please take my review as it is meant, not as offensive.

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