There’s nothing more fulfilling than watching your child grow, and that’s what makes parenting so special. No doubt, playing one of the most important roles as a human being will fill your heart with love, hope and joy as you watch your little tyke take their first steps, speak their first words and open their firstChristmas present.
But along with all that comes great responsibility. After all, another life is in your hands, literally and figuratively, and that’s nothing to be taken lightly. Your disability adds an extra complication, so you’re right to be concerned about the future and how you’ll ensure the welfare of your child, but don’t let that keep you up too late at night. By being prepared for the obstacles ahead, you can overcome them with gusto and become the super-parent you’ve dreamed of. Here are a few practical measures that will help make that a reality.
Do Your Research
What challenges will you face, exactly? You’ll never know until you look into it yourself, and that means going online to read about the experiences of other parents like you. A lot of them are related to simple activities like feeding, clothing and burping the little one with limited mobility or another impairment. The Disabled Parenting Project offers some helpful information and resources regarding this information.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Many parents decide to learn how to do those tasks as they go along, though that may not be the best option for you, or any other parent for that matter. Moreover, there’s nothing stopping you from changing diapers right now … on a doll, that is. In fact, you’ll even find robotic models on the market that cry and wake you up in the middle of the night for a more lifelike experience.
Adapt Your Home
Start with your doorways. If you’re wheelchair-bound, have a ramp built so you can easily get in and out while carrying the baby. Your mobility would also be greatly improved inside by replacing the hinges on your doors with expandable ones that allow you to pull the door out from the doorway, giving you an extra few inches of space to navigate. Then there’s skid-resistant flooring, which is particularly valuable in danger areas like the kitchen and bathroom.
Cribs with sliding doors so you can put your baby to bed without getting up. Hands-free strollers that connect to a wheelchair. Cry notifications for the hearing-impaired. These products are all for sale, and they make the life of the disabled parent so much easier. Of course, before you order anything online, it’s well worthwhile to carefully read the descriptions along with reviews from other moms and dads. BabyKnowHow is a great resource for finding all kinds of products with parental seals of approval.
Find a Playgroup
This isn’t something you need to do immediately, but perhaps sooner than you think. It turns out that toddlers as young as a year and a half benefit from social interaction and meeting others their own age, and there’s something in it for the parents, too. You’ll get to spend time with other moms and dads, make new friends and pick up some helpful advice on raising kids.
The tyke’s grandparents are likely more than willing to lend a hand, so don’t be afraid to take their offers, and the same goes for siblings and close friends. You’ll likely have your hands tied with the basics of babycare, like feeding and changing diapers, and that makes a little help around the house just that much more precious.
It’s not always easy with so little time to devote to your own well-being, but your baby needs you to be strong, so do your best. MindBodyGreen has some useful pointers that include eating properly and meditating. The latter is an excellent way to stay calm and relieve stress, which you’ll have plenty of in the beginning.
This advice should help you face some of the challenges that you’re most concerned about. Understanding more about the road ahead will help you keep your focus on being the best parent possible.
Image via Pixabay.