by Ashley Taylor
Parenthood is already challenging enough, but when you are hindered by a disability even the smallest of tasks can become enormous challenges. It is important that you remember that you are never alone in this--God is on your side. Parenthood is a wonderful journey, providing an amazing opportunity to grow in yourself and in your faith, but you must also do some preparation.
Setting Up for Functionality
As you prepare your home, you should be aware of your available space. Keeping up with a child as they grow can be a constant battle. You need to be sure that anywhere your child can go, you can go as well. If your home is a little crowded, you might consider decluttering so that you can access every nook and cranny they could possibly get into as well as make room for adaptable products such as cribs, baby carriers, and changing tables. A functional home is also a safe home, so make sure the floors are slip-free and free from tripping hazards. As a parent, you’ll worry about your little one, and that’s natural. Pray for your little one daily as they grow and change. Remember, God’s hands are on them always.
Being the proud parent of a newborn also means that you will be introduced to many new baby-raising products. An influx of new objects in your household can be confusing for the blind or visually impaired. Be sure to label these items appropriately with textured tape or braille so that you always know what you are giving your child.
The one thing you quickly learn as a parent is to expect the unexpected. Even the most proactive parents still wind up in scary situations with their child. Therefore, it is imperative to always have a Plan B, and have a phone close by ready to dial at a moment’s notice.
You can’t always expect to know everything you need to do and you also won’t always be in the immediate vicinity of your child. Baby monitors are good for giving visual and audible cues on the state of your child when they are sleeping or playing in another room. Keeping a monitor nearby means you can always keep tabs on your child, even when you are not by their side. Find peace that God is always watching over your child, so reach out to him in times of need and triumph.
Parenting with a disability may be challenging, but it’s not impossible. There are plenty of resources available to help you along the way. While you can expect there to be difficult moments along the way, you’ll find no greater joy than the bond you share with your child and the thrill you’ll experience watching them grow as a child of God.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6, NIV
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.