Starting a family as parents in wheelchairs
Jack and Tricia have raised a beautiful family, a daughter and a son who are now working adults.
“There was never any inch of fear at all when I became a dad,” Jack shares. Tricia adds, “No fear,” as she nods her head with a smile. The both of them wanted children and were more than happy to receive the news of Tricia expecting.
PARENTS WITH DISABILITIES ARE PARENTS FIRST
“We are just like able-bodied people. When we become a couple, we also want to have children,” Jack explains. “So never fear to have children.” Having children was Jack’s and Tricia’s greatest accomplishment and they have no regrets. Their children are now their daily dose of happiness, but like any other parents, they worry for their children’s health, studies and the friends they mix with. “It’s all part of parenting,” Jack advises. “The satisfaction is that they are brought up in a loving environment…they will definitely do better in life, feeling most secured that a family is very united. From birth, their children grew up seeing wheelchairs, so it wasn’t something strange to them until they got a little older.
“At times, when they become more conscious about life, they feel that ‘How come my parents are different from able bodied parents?’…but it’s a phase in their life.”
As they grew older, they’ve become more mature and see no issue with their parents using wheelchairs. “They’re big now and they know that we’re very independent,” says Tricia. Raising a family wasn’t a bed of roses but it was something the both of them wanted. “There are always challenges in life especially for people with disabilities in raising a family. We have gone through a lot in raising our children,” Jack shares. “Very important is to persevere because if you want to have a family you must be ready for all the knocks and challenges in life…Always think how to find a solution.”
DOING THINGS AS A FAMILY
Although Jack and Tricia are very independent individuals and hardly require help, Jack now uses his son for household chores that he is unable reach. “There are many things we can do ourselves…but if I encounter any difficulty…my son can do the handy work,” Jack laughs. “Things which are not reachable to me like fixing the lights. Other than that, plumbing work I fix it myself…in my own way.” He didn’t need to modify anything in his home except for a few small ramps as steps for his and Tricia’s wheelchairs.
Sports have been a big part in their lives, and it was a family activity for them to bond with their children. “We used to play tennis as a family,” says Tricia. They also have other interests like going to the zoo and going out for food. He adds, “When something pops into your mind, just do it. You don’t have to have something so fixated.” Although sports will always be a common ground for the family, Jack and Tricia still support their kids in their other interests by sending them for piano classes. “When you show interest in their activities then they will respond to you,” says Jack.
The misconception about the both of them being parents is not in a negative way but “very admirable that despite our situation we are able to raise a family,” he explains. Tricia adds, “It’s also because of the great support from friends and family, we’re all surrounded by loving people who are always there to help us.”
So take it from Jack and Tricia, they have broken the social norm by raising two wonderful healthy children despite their disability.
“We’re just like any other ordinary parents, except that we do things a bit different.”