This article is written by Ashley Taylor. All content provided is for informational purposes only. Always adapt and apply suggestions based on your needs.
Parenting is a hard job; in fact, many parents will say that it’s the hardest job they’ve ever done. Making sure your child’s needs are met 24 hours a day while keeping them safe, happy, and healthy is a huge responsibility, and when you’re living with a disability, it can be that much more difficult to take care of everything on a day-to-day basis.
Many parents who are living with a disability find that mobility is a challenge, while others need to look for ways to make daily life a bit easier. For new parents, there’s so much to think about and prepare for that it can become overwhelming. How do you take care of your newborn while also taking care of yourself?
Fortunately, there are some easy answers. Practicing self-care, making simple home modifications, and finding the right resources for your needs will help you get through even the roughest of challenges. Keep reading for some tips on how to get started.
Make your home safe
If you haven’t already made home modifications for safety, think about what might make things easier for you when the baby comes. Installing grab bars in the bathroom to make bathing easier, installing new storage solutions so you can reduce clutter and trip hazards, and making the flooring easier to traverse are all great places to start. You may be eligible to receive grants to help with the financial end of things, so look online to find out if you qualify.
Keep your finances in check
Living with a disability can be hard on your finances, so it’s important to keep an eye on them. Have an accountant go over your taxes to look for any possible write-offs, and be sure to keep any business expenses separate from your personal ones. If you are looking for employment, research and know your rights.
Take care of yourself
Coping with all the physical and mental drain that can come with living with a disability is hard enough; daily life with a new baby can add so much more stress. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself without feeling guilty for focusing on your own needs. The more you can reduce stress and anxiety and learn to relax, the better you’ll be able to do your job as a parent.
Look for support within your community
Finding support within your community is essential when you are parenting with a disability. Get online to look for programs, funding opportunities, events, and services that will help you and your family as you navigate through parenthood. There may be tons of opportunities nearby that you don’t even know about!
Think of ways to make daily life simple
Making life easier on a daily basis will help reduce stress and allow you to focus more energy on your child, so think of some ways that would benefit your specific needs. For instance, if you have mobility issues, look for an infant carrier that comes as a set with a stroller for ease of getting in and out of the car, or consider paying for a laundry service once a week to take some of the burden off your shoulders.
Parenting with a disability doesn’t have to be stressful. Keep communication open with your spouse or family members so that when you need help or support, they’ll be on the same page. Don’t forget to take care of yourself on a daily basis so you can be fresh, happy, and stress-free.
Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. She created DisabledParents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.