The challenges of parenting with disability

There was a loud thump on the ground. While I was trying to get myself up with half eyes open, my daughter screamed- “Mommy fell on the ground. Are you okay, Mommy?” There she came running and lifting me with her tiny hands. My husband was out of the city, away for work. And here I am, overcoming the challenges of parenting with disability, to my little yet reliable caregiver, trying to lift myself to the wheelchair. I am stuck in the wheelchair for the last two years, after I survived the horrific car accident that has paralyzed my body waist down.

Like any other Mom, I am excited for my daughter to begin her kindergarten as the school starts. I did my best part to order her school stationery and other essentials.  And, I am hiding my tears of joy in the corner of my eyes to see my daughter ride a school bus. I long sometimes to lift her and sway her body and kiss her on her forehead for her accomplishment. With my not so functional body, we still cuddle when she sits on my lap and talk and play in the wheelchair. I admire her how she tuned into a compassionate and kind human to feel my hidden pain as she comforts me that I am her best Mommy. It is magical how the kids of the disabled parents get so mature of their age with all the added responsibilities. But I have never burdened my child with added obligations and let her enjoy the magical childhood. She is my great companion, and as the school begins, I am ready to release her from my cocoon.

Parenting with disability – Challenges

But being a parent with a disability brings it’s own challenges, and amidst the excitement, I fear the judgments that she might get from the other kids in her class. I remember her new kindergarten school, and I am still figuring out the route to pick her up as the entrance got some stairs. The past couple of years has brought me so much anxiety since not all the places are handicapped accessible. I still desire to be a super- mom to let my daughter know, that being a handicap doesn’t hinder you from achieving what your heart desires. I want her to know that her Mommy will still be awesome despite using a wheelchair. But despite all the positivity, I break down and cry when I am unable to surmount the challenges in the world not made for disabled people. With more than 4.1 million disabled parents in the USA, parenting never gets easier. With ADA violations still common at public places that should accommodate the disabilities access, many known places always seem to ostracize disabled parents.

parenting with a disability

“Why your Mommy is in a wheelchair?” A kid unkindly asked my daughter, staring at my wheelchair.  My daughter was a bit uncomfortable, but she replied. “Because she needs superpowers.” And, I am glad that she replied emphatically. The parents need to nurture young brains by showing them how different can people be.

And, how they are still the same, and how this difference needs to be looked with compassion and kindness.

As your child enters into the big social world, In addition to being a smart kid, teach them compassion and empathy. Surprisingly, compassion and understanding need to be taught, and we are not born with it. Children imitate the actions of the adults. So, be a superhero to your child and explain to them to love people no matter what.

All non-disabled parents need to understand that the difference between them and a disabled parent lies in the competency, but the parenting is far beyond the competition of abilities. Each parent goes far beyond their resiliency and sacrifices to do what they can give to their child, and that’s what the parenting is all about.

Recommended:

Parenting a Child with Special Needs | Parenthood Lessons

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