- A mother from Limpopo opened up about her life as a parent to a son with special needs
- Lizar Maluleke has three children, with her seven-year-old son having cerebral palsy
- The loving mom shared that she and her husband started a recycling business, partly so she could spend more time with her little boy
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A loving mother of three children shared some challenges she faces as a parent to a son with cerebral palsy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that cerebral palsy is a motor disability affecting balance, posture, movement and more.
Mayo Clinic writes that the condition can develop during pregnancy when a child is born or in the early stages of an infant’s life.
Lizar Maluleke’s six-year-old son, Rirhandzu Maluleke, has the condition, with the little boy wheelchair-bound and having speech difficulties, challenges with eating, mobility and various other struggles.
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The momma tells Briefly News:
“He cannot sit, stand or walk. Therefore, he is wheelchair-bound. He also suffers from feeding and speech difficulties.”
Briefly News previously wrote about the caring parent starting a recycling business in March 2022 to spend more time with her son.
Now, in a follow-up discussion, Lizar explains that she wanted to spend more time with her children and be there for little Rirhandzu, whom she affectionately calls ‘Riri Bear’:
“He needs special care so I'm unable to leave him with just anyone. The person must be able to measure his food and medication, prepare pureed food, maintain good hygiene standards, and understand the PEG tube he uses to feed.”
The mom notes that previously, she had left her son with caregivers, but they did not know how to care for the little boy properly:
“I used to work even on the weekend, so I got nannies. Unfortunately, they were all incompetent.
“The final straw was when the nanny started beating my son during each feed for eating slowly and vomiting, which my neighbour and my two older kids alerted me about.
“I confronted her, she admitted, and I fired her immediately.”
The strong momma says taking care of a son with special needs does take a toll
In addition to the expensive medical costs needed to care for Rirhandzu, the little boy also has irregular sleeping patterns, which his mom has needed to adjust to:
But despite the various struggles the family faces, Lizar loves all three of her children very much, with the siblings having an incredibly close bond:
“Riri Bear knows his siblings and when they come from school, he jiggles his body with excitement at the sound of their voices and upon seeing them.
“They play games with him, his favourite is called ‘a sack of potatoes’ and you will hear him laugh out loud.
"He cuddles with them for sleep time and he is calmed by a song called 'Anointing' by Jesus Culture.”
The supermom loves the flexibility afforded by being a business owner and relishes her time with her children and being there when they need her.
The entrepreneur also finds strength through a women empowerment organisation she co-founded called Butterfly Moments:
“That's a space where I fill my cup. We created a cocoon of belonging for women where we support each other, motivate, pray, offer emotional and spiritual awakening, offer mentorship and coaching, and share life experiences together.”
Lizar offers advice to moms of kids with special needs:
“Don’t focus on the things your child cannot do, have fun with your child anyway! Your child needs love, care and attention. Create as many opportunities for yourself to be in a position to provide that.
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“God has seen you fit for the task, trust Him! Your mental health is a winning formula to cope, so be surrounded by goodness and avoid negativity. Leave toxic people and spaces. Find a support group."
What an inspiring mother!
Cape Town Gqom artist reflects on losing baby after tough pregnancy
Meanwhile, Briefly News wrote about a young Gqom artist who would love to be a mother but lost her baby after severe pregnancy complications.
Despite Lemmuela Dhladhla being made aware that her little one had a low chance of survival, her faith in God remained steadfast.
Talking to Briefly News, the young woman opened up about her traumatic experience and noted that she would still love to have babies in future.
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Source: Briefly News