Parenting from a Wheelchair- It’s the Little Things

After my car accident in 2011, I thought I would not be able to continue parenting my then two young children.  My daughter was 2 and my son was 6 when I arrived home from the hospital.  The things I use to take for granted, such as buckling my daughter in her car seat or dressing her, now seemed impossible.  I could barely dress myself much less my kids.  It is a hopeless feeling.  This is where perseverance kicked in.

I did not want someone else having to step in my job of being their mother.  I had lots of help in the beginning and for that I am forever grateful.  It also made me realize that in order to tackle the task of parenting head on, I would also have to go through many struggles along the way.

I worked diligently daily on things like bathing them, dressing them and being able to buckle the car seat with a badly injured left arm.  Even the smallest things, like fixing my daughter’s hair, became huge chores.  My children learned to become very independent quickly.  I worked with them on self-help skills that made things easier for all of us.  I knew that I had to master these skills in order to be able to go back to work as a pre-k teacher and manage 22 little ones.

As time passed and I grew stronger, I was able to do almost everything I had done prior to my accident.  I could clean house, take care of my kids and even return to work.  I have a very structured routine that helps things run smoothly around my house and in the classroom.  I now get up every morning, get myself and two kids ready for school, and head to work by 7:30 a.m.  I take my kids to ball and dance practice and am really just like any other mom.  It’s all about finding inner strength and balance and knowing that, yes, life is hard but it could always be worse.

I am happy that I am still here to be their mother.

Maria

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