Sunday, January 26, 2014

Shopping with Mommy in a Wheelchair

Being a first time mom comes with a plethora of unique challenges, whether its adjusting to weird sleep patterns, learning to breastfeed, or getting the baby to stop crying - it isn't always rainbows and butterflies. And while I recognize all first time moms, and even moms of multiple kids have these issues, being a mommy in a wheelchair obviously brings some additional hurdles. I have had to learn to maneuvering my wheelchair with a sleeping baby in my lap using one hand at a time to zigzag my way from place to place, getting in and out of my wheelchair in a timely fashion to meet baby's needs (a little flustering as baby cries), and many other day-to-day tasks. I don't tell you this to toot my horn, but as any mother will tell you, these challenges are dwarfed in comparison to the moments of joy that come our ways. So while being a mommy in a wheelchair brings some unique hurdles, it also has certain perks. One of those is always having a carriage for baby in any location, it's called: me. Whenever we go shopping and I don't want to unbuckle and buckle his carseat or set up his stroller, [as long as he is awake] we can sit him on Mommy's lap as we glide along in my magic moving chair, strapped to me using his 'Peanutshell' ($46 on Amazon), shopping bag, diaper bag and purse on the back, and off we go. 

Initially, we didn't know how I would travel with Boston from place to place if I had to both hold him and wheel us. I wanted something that would help get us quickly from room to room (not tons of straps or wrap stuff because I'm not that patient or talented). We searched the internet for different options and found a device, the Peanutshell, which is essentially a baby sling (just in case you're in the market, you have an opinion for it here - it has served us well with adjustable straps, pockets for binky and small things, and is a sturdy product).

Sound asleep in the Peanutshell
As he has grown and put on more weight (I love the chunkiness!), I've had to adapt the Peanutshell a little by sitting him on my lap and putting the sling over my chair and him. We found that this alternative allows him to sit up, face towards the world in front of us, and see what I see. From what I can tell, he loves it because he gets so excited, kicking his legs about, giving me his best smile, and talking so much as we go around the store. We get around nice and slow, especially around tight spots and occasionally clothes get brushed up against his face. We manage. We also get a ton of gawkers along the way. I understand, Mommy and baby in a magic moving chair - we're just too much cuteness to handle so we're bound to get some attention! We just have fun and wave to people especially little kids :).

Fascinated with different colors and things
I love these times that I can hold him close to me on my lap while we go shopping. With him right there, I'm constantly reminded that I have a little being who is absorbing everything around him so I do my best to incorporate him into the shopping experience and keep him stimulated with words and colors (not colorful words lol). Thank goodness for a Peanutshell. I definitely recommend it - or something similar - for mothers, especially those in wheelchairs.

I know Boston won't stay this little forever, so these extra moments I get from being in a wheelchair make the challenge more worth it because I get to cuddle with my boy a bit longer. I'm grateful for these little blessings that bring so much joy. For all mommies out there who maybe feeling kind of stressed from their circumstance, I hope you find little joys like these to be grateful for, too.


  1. I was a Nana in a wheelchair and riding with me was more fun than all the plastic ponies in the world! They just didn't realize that I was the one who was truly enjoying the rides and the cuddles they brought. Roll on!

    1. That is so awesome, Sandy! That's what I'm really, really hoping will happen with baby as he gets older :)