Alyssa Higgins Says People 'Underestimate' Her Parenting as Mom with Disability: 'They Want to Attack'

Alyssa Higgins and her husband Jimmy tell PEOPLE about life as new parents and common misconceptions about being a parent with a disability

Alyssa Higgins on disabled parenting misconceptions
Photo: Courtesy Alyssa Higgins

Alyssa Higgins wants people to know she's got things under control with her baby boy.

To her more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, the 30-year-old documents her life with husband Jimmy, 31, and their 4-month-old son Luke Charles. While being open about her personal life in the form of thoughtful captions and fun family videos, Higgins also encounters mom-shamers who question her as a parent.

"It's like, 'Oh, you should not be doing that with your baby' — but you don't know my baby," Higgins tells PEOPLE. "They just want to attack. People on the internet, just from a video or a picture, they automatically jump to conclusions. It's just people hiding behind the keyboard."

Higgins suffered a spinal cord injury as a baby. The doctor who delivered her used forceps and inadvertently broke her spine, causing her to live on a ventilator. She regained most of her movement, with her right side stronger than the left, but people still "underestimate" her.

Jimmy tells PEOPLE that, unfortunately, a portion of the comments and messages they receive tend to have misconceptions about his wife as a new mother.

"They are just underestimating and undermining her, her capabilities. Thinking certain people shouldn't deserve, or that they're putting your child at a disadvantage for not having a mom as capable of doing things, you know?" he says. "But it's more important to have a mom that is loving. The emotional things are more important than the physical things."

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Alyssa Higgins on disabled parenting misconceptions
Courtesy Alyssa Higgins

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"I just want people to normalize other people being in inter-able relationships and being disabled parents. That's what people need to realize. Like, it's okay. It's not un-normal, it's normal," says Higgins.

The couple recalls getting pregnant on their first try, something Higgins wasn't sure she'd be able to do so easily: "I was like, 'There's no way.' I was wrong," she said of not expecting it to happen.

Her pregnancy was "pretty smooth," she says, except the last few weeks when it began "taking a toll" on her body.

"It was pretty smooth, I'm not going to lie, but the ending, just like anyone else, it was difficult," recalls Higgins, who also developed gestational diabetes. "It was so hard on me that I couldn't even move at all during the last month."

And now they have a family of three, and new addition Luke is an "overall great baby," the proud parents say.

Alyssa Higgins on disabled parenting misconceptions
Courtesy Alyssa Higgins

"People will say you get no sleep or whatever, but he's a pretty good sleeper. I'm kind of surprised," Jimmy says. "Not saying it's been easy, but a little easier than I expected, just because there were people that scare you saying babies don't sleep at night."

"When Luke gets older, I'm just excited to see what kind of person he becomes and help him achieve whatever it is he wants to do in life," the dad continues. "And be there for him every step of the way, to be a supportive dad no matter what he wants to do. I'm excited to be his biggest supporter."

And Higgins plans to keep her fans up to date on their family life, negative commenters aside.

"I've met so many people. It's insane," she tells PEOPLE. "Even for me being disabled my whole life from 1990, you never had any support because you never knew anyone else who was disabled. You never had social media, obviously. Now you get to see so many people that are just like you that you can get support from."

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