It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to live without arms to help us with everyday tasks, but when you have lived all your life that way, you can’t imagine anything else.
Doctors could never figure out why Sarah Talbi of Brussels, Belgium was born without her upper limbs, but from a very young age she learned to do just about anything she needed to do without them. She uses her feet in place of hands to cook, clean, brush her teeth and hair, and, now, care for her daughter.
Lilia was born in 2018, and Sarah was able to do just about everything to take care of her baby herself. Eventually, she realized she was having some trouble with a few of the manual duties of motherhood, so she used her aggravation as the impetus to educate others on life without limbs.
“I began to document my journey as I was frustrated to need some help to take care of my baby,” she said. “So I decided to make those moments a creative moment.”
Sarah started social media and YouTube channels to demonstrate how she performs everyday tasks like putting on makeup, washing dishes, and other life skills.
Sarah became self-sufficient as a child. Since she never had hands, she simply used her feet to do everything. By the time she was a toddler she could dress herself, play, and even write.
“I can do anything with my feet as long as I don’t have shoes on,” she explained. ‘I put my make-up on, dress, cook, shower, look after Lilia, I can do everything I want.”
Growing up, Sarah never thought of herself as different from other kids. For her, some people had arms, and some don’t. This is the same viewpoint she’s passed down to her daughter.
Being a mother has its challenges, but Sarah firmly believes that every mother has her fair share of challenges, whether they live with birth differences or not.
“Loving a child and being responsible is beyond everything,” she said. “Some mothers struggle with so many other difficulties. I think we all have our own disabilities and barriers.”
Sarah sees Lilia as her greatest accomplishment, but admits that it was difficult to ask for help at first. Eventually, she realized that accepting limitations freed her and allowed her to fully enjoy being a parent.
“It is a huge achievement becoming a mum,” she said. “It’s my best achievement … But my disability had to adapt to having a baby. Now I have two years of experience and I can do everything with my daughter. She holds me by my sleeve when we walk along the street. It’s unbelievable, she’s holding it like a hand.”
Sarah’s social media channels allow her to educate others about her unique perspective, and she loves making connections with others who see themselves in her challenges. She hopes seeing how she overcomes her limitations enables others to push themselves to live their best lives, too.
“I have adapted entirely myself and I can do everything I want,” she said. “I don’t let it hold me back.”
It’s amazing watching Sarah overcome her birth difference to live her life with joy! She is a wonderful reminder of the power of mind over matter, educating others, and overcoming any obstacles in our path.
Share this story to celebrate this mom for making it all look easy.
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