On TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube you may come across these lovely reels, videos, pictures, and moments of parents who are disabled. Parents make it look easy to be a parent with a disability. Whether they have a partner or are married it's always two and they make it look like a fairy tale. When I became paralyzed, I had a 6-week-old son and an 11-year-old daughter. Just me, no husband or partner. Being a teenage parent suddenly became easy and a breeze. Now the true challenge of my life begins. How do I raise children as a single disabled mother? How do I still have an impact on my kids’ lives? Will they respect me or see me as an authority figure or just someone in a wheelchair? How can I now afford two kids on my own? How do I navigate life in a position I never thought I would see myself in?

Tyra Randle and family

While in the hospital and rehab, my newborn never left my side besides once a week when my aunt and uncle would take him for a night so I could get some rest. I can tell you right now that I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far without my village. Once I got to rehab, I would do my 3 hours of rehab together first thing in the morning so I could be attentive to my kids afterward. I worked my butt off to be as independent as possible. My daughter has been a gift sent from God when it comes to helping with my son and helping me navigate through life. Coming home from rehab, I decided not to have home health. Which left me pretty much on my own. “Now how in the world am I going to care for a 4-month-old and learn how to navigate as a paraplegic” I asked myself numerous of times. Sometimes I would cry because I’m limited to what I can do as a mother. How do I cope now with all this trauma? Five months after my injury - I decided to get help mentally. I got a therapist, one that understood me and my background, someone who could relate to my experiences. I had to get a (as we call it) chocolate therapist. No offense to anyone. If it wasn’t for my therapist Tori Seals, I would have never made it this far.

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Now back to the main topic, motherhood. I would google to see if I could find any cool gadgets that would help me manage being independent as possible. I went on Amazon and bought a Primo LapBaby. Which is basically a lap band to help me carry Karter in my lap when he was a baby, and once he got bigger, I would strap him into my seatbelt that was one my wheelchair. One thing about motherhood as a para is that there is no time to have pity on yourself or wallow in your misery. Your kids need you especially when you are mommy and daddy. On November 21, I will be 32 years old, 32. God has blessed me through it all to still be alive and able to still be a mother to my two kids and my bonus baby Najia. Sometimes parenting is hard especially when you have a 3-year-old that thinks you’re supposed to chase and catch him most of the time. You can’t run up the stairs or slide down a slide. That’s when I must reiterate the rules and the consequences that come with breaking those rules.

Being a mother is one of life’s greatest rewards and to now navigate differently as a paraplegic mother just makes me feel like I am Super Woman, and I can do anything. I am a Mother.

About the Author - Tyra Randle

My name is Tyra Randle, and I'm a domestic violence survivor. On January 15 of 2020, I was shot 8 times in my home by my son's father and was left paralyzed. Since then, I have devoted my life to being an advocate for domestic violence survivors as well as the disabled community. Now, as an experienced and esteemed public speaker, Diamond in the Rough aims to deliver education, inspiration and hope to a variety of audiences. I have been featured on Good Morning America, collaborated with "Disabled but not Really," and participated in conferences and webinars. TikTok: @tyinthecity Facebook: Tyra Randle or Diamond In The Rough Instagram: @diamond_inthe_roughKC

Tyra Randle

The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $10,000,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.