A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a lady named Ashley form the website Disabled Parents. She asked if she could write a guest post to raise awareness and provide tips for those preparing for parenthood with a disability. I love having the chance to provide a perspective that I can’t write from personally. Especially one that can offer advice and support for those preparing for an already challenging period (parenthood!) whilst continuing to live with existing challenges (disability). Over to Ashley…
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.
Preparing for parenthood with a disability can seem overwhelming. However with the right doctor and support system to help guide you, the nervous busy blur of emotions you’re probably feeling can start to dissipate. Here’s some advice to prepare you for the lifestyle change and miracle you’re about to be a part of.
Read up now on how to establish a routine for when your child should eat and sleep. Chances are you will feel at ease and more confident if you have a plan in place and knowledge at your fingertips. Parents.com reminds you to “be prepared for your routines and schedules to change,” as the weeks pass and your baby grows. You’ll learn to adapt as you go and create rituals out of whatever soothes your child and works best for your lifestyle.
Prepare your home
Bringing a baby home means you’ll have to get to work making it a safe and efficient space. Smooth out sharp corners, tuck away cords, cover outlets, babyproof the tub, and gate off stairs or railings. Get your pantry stocked with bottles and baby food and keep a freezer full of meals that you can just heat up so you won’t have to cook or run to the store for a while. You should also clean your house before your baby is born, as you won’t have time to tend to it during the first few weeks of chaos. Have plenty of diapers as well as other necessary changing supplies, bibs, outfits, and a baby monitor handy as well.
The Psychological Association notes that there are groups out there that work to “develop innovations in therapy and early intervention, as well as to create assistive baby-care equipment, such as wheelchair lap trays for nursing, and baby lifters.” So do your research and take advantage of the resources available to you. There are likely classes available in your community that you can attend before or after the birth to help you bond and learn useful skills. You’ll also benefit from joining a support group where you will be able to consult with veteran parents who have gone through what you are experiencing. Additionally, talk to your doctor about devices that may make your life and everyday tasks easier to handle.
Take care of yourself
Self-care is vital for both new moms and dads. Amid the stress of pregnancy, indulge in relaxing activities and work hard to eat right, get plenty of sleep, and exercise. You deserve to pamper yourself, and doing so will help you remain calm. Once the baby is here, don’t be afraid to find time for yourself by hiring a babysitter or letting your family spend quality time with your newborn. Be sure to find a way to let your emotions out that is healthy and productive. Consider talking to a counselor who can help talk you through solutions to problems you encounter, and be realistic about what you can tackle on your own. As you embark on the new responsibilities of parenting, remember to tend to your relationship with your spouse as well. Let this experience bring you closer together, and remember to lean on each other and those in your support network so you can give your all.
The process of becoming a parent is one that is laden with jitters and anxiety. As you cope with this stress, remember that these feelings are completely normal for all new parents. Enjoy this time period as it is full of love and new memories and will go by fast.
Thanks so much to Ashley for this post 🙂
If you want more information about Disabled Parents, you can visit the website here.