When I was 22, my senses narrowed to four; and really, my sense of smell has never been that great, so, it became more like three senses. And crikey, what’s a girl to do? Several infections slammed my body simultaneously. I was expected to die, but as all my independent ladies can attest to, we tend to be survivors.
Sitting among family and friends, I became a brave soul and was often eulogized. With raised brows, I said, “Sure,” and sauntered towards my future. The future was unclear, a bit blurred, but I knew it was out there somewhere.
Before my “ordeal,” as many like to euphemize, I was studying vocal performance and it was Broadway or bust. Still a bit off-kilter, I decided to take time to figure life out. Along the way, I met and married my husband, Ross, who is also blind.
I went back to university and now am the proud owner of both a BFA and MFA in creative writing. In addition to periodic creative publications, I work as a freelance writer and editor. And oh yeah, probably should mention my two children. Both boys, both rowdy, both noisy. The neighbors refer to us as the loud family on the block; and I take this as a compliment.
As a nanny for three children most my life – and as nanny, I mean oldest sibling – I was used to kids and babies. Despite being the oldest, a couple of my siblings decided to beat me to the punch with kids, so I’ve also had a lot of experience with nephews and nieces.
When my number was finally called, I didn’t struggle with the concept of being a blind parent. What I did struggle with and do to this day are the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad attitudes I tend to encounter. These microaggressions, as we “woke” folk call them, can swallow me whole at times.
Becoming a Bad Blind Mom
Insert the Bad Blind Moms project. Fellow blind parent and dearest friend Stacy Cervenka and I decided to start a YouTube series where blind moms chat on a variety of topics often specific to blind parenting.
We want to create a safe space for blind parents to be honest and transparent in discussing topics ranging from accessibility and virtual learning to mental health to differing parenting choices. We are not selling a product or telling you how to parent. We are just two blind moms doing our best, and probably getting it all wrong.
Bad Blind Moms is a very recent project to hit the scene. Our second episode released on YouTube just last week. Each month, we will release another video with a new topic and a badass mom guest-host. Stacy and I love this project and hope it continues to grow. We are learning ourselves from the guest-hosts we select.
And as I continue to figure my own shadoobie out, the Bad Blind Moms project is definitely timely for me.
About the Author
Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter is a 39-year-old mom and writer from Omaha, Nebraska but recently relocated to Urbandale, IA. When she’s not chasing children, picking up messes or reorganizing the house, she enjoys yoga or reading to relax. In her spare time (A.K.A. her dreams) she’s a Broadway star.
Kuenning-Pollpeter is a freelance marketer during the day, a creative writer at night. Her work has appeared in the Brevity blog, The Omaha World Herald, 13th Floor, Misbehaving Nebraskans, Hippocampus, Emerging Nebraska Writers and Random Sample Review. Her essay “Imperfection” is a 2020 Best of the Net nominee. She has her BFA and MFA in writing from the University of Nebraska Omaha.
She is blind and writes frequently about disability. She’s working on a memoir about the disabled feminine experience. With her kids though, expect it in stores in about a decade.