I’m often asked by my blind friends , “How does a blind mom do it in the suburbs?”,. My answer , “I just do it.” I’m also often told by people who I meet, “I never would have guessed that you had anything wrong with your eyes. You’re so confident and well-rounded.” My usual response, “Are you trying to say that blind people can’t be confident or well-rounded. I happen to know a good number of blind people who are way more confident and well-rounded than most sighted people. “
So, how do I do it? I do it with the skills that I obtained when I decided to change my life by spending 9 months at the Louisiana Center for the Blind., also known as the Boot Camp for the Blind. Since I have some vision I spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, under a blindfold (which they call sleep shades). I learned how to use and travel confidently with a cane. This included finding random addresses, getting dropped off and having to find my way back to the center, and finishing up with a 5.6 mile scavenger hunt around town. I learned how to read Braille. I single-handedly cooked a full 4 coarse meal for 40. I learned how to use a computer by using a screen reading software, and even mastered Power Point and Excel. And to top it all off I worked in a full on wood shop and can even show you the jewelry box that I made from scratch.
LCB’s philosophy comes from the National Federation of the Blind which says that, “The real problem with blindness is not the loss of eyesight. The real problem is the misunderstanding and lack of information that exists. If a blind person has proper training and opportunity, blindness can be reduced to a physical nuisance.”
Today, I am a stay at home mom with a 2.5 year-old daughter and 6 1/2 month old son. We are fortunate that my husband has a job that allows him to support us and let me stay home to raise our children. We live in a small master planned suburb of Las Vegas called Southern Highlands. We decided to purchase our home here because of the small town feel of the community. Everything I need is within walking distance. I run an active mommy meet up group called Southern Highlands Moms, Babies, and Tots. I cook, clean, change diapers, do loads and loads of laundry, and everything else the typical mom does. However, we’re separated from the rest of the city by 2 miles of desert, so the fact that I don’t drive makes it a little difficult to get anywhere else. There is no bus line here. The pediatrician’s office is about 10 miles away. The average temp in summer is 112 and the average temp in winter is 40. Stay tuned, and you’ll learn how a blind mom does it in the burbs.
Terri… what a cool idea to share you life. Very proud of you and it was awesome to work with you at summer camp years ago.. lol.. I hope to visit out there sometime still haven’t been. My dad will be there in about 2 weeks for the 8th time! yes crazy.. miss ya.
Thanks Tim, I hope what I write helps break those misconceptions on blindness and helps blind moms out there.
I stumbled across your blog in a google search last night. I wish I lived in the area of southern highlands as I do live in Las Vegas and would love to join your meetup group. I am 24 with vision of 20/400 when corrected two kids a girl 28 months old and a boy who just turned 6 months a week ago.
I wanted to let you know you are an inspiration. I have been considering starting a blog about my disability (septo optic dysplasia) for years now but, can never bring myself to do it. Seeing someone else put themselves out there finally made me break down and do it.
Samantha, thank you so much for your comment. Like you, I struggled for a long time with my disability, but even baby steps will get you to the top of a mountain. I wish you luck with your blog. Our children are so close in age. What part of town are you in? I would love to meet you and your children.
Pingback: Happy Birthday to Me and Happy Anniversary to Blogging | Blind Mom in the Burbs