Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Preparing for Parenthood When YOU Have a Disability

Guest Post by: Ashley Taylor

Preparing Your Life and Home for Parenthood When You Have a Disability
Image via Pixabay

There is nothing quite as rewarding as being a new parent. The bond you share with your children is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. You get to watch them grow into their own personality with hopes, dreams, fears, and interests. They, in turn, learn from you as you teach them life lessons based on what you’ve learned in your own life. Together, you are a family that supports each other in hard times and celebrates accomplishments during the good times.

When you live with a disability, the rewards of parenting are still there. However, there are certain preparations future parents with disabilities should take to make sure they are ready for parenthood in their unique situation. Doing so helps simplify life so you can enjoy your new life as a parent without excessively worrying about things such as money and accessibility. Below are a couple of ways you can prepare your life and renovate your home for parenthood when you have a disability.

Preparing Financially
The best things in life may be free, but healthcare and diapers are not. The average cost for raising a baby runs around $12,000 just for the first year. By age two, it can cost a family $12,500 per year, and that number increases as they grow. Plus, as a person with a disability, you may have extra healthcare costs associated with pregnancy. For many parents living with a disability, these costs can become a big problem.

A survey paid for by the Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research (NIDRR) discovered that families that include at least one parent living with a disability are more likely to live below the poverty line than families who do not. Factors such as difficulty finding work, additional medical expenses, and lack of financial assistance make it difficult for some families to make ends meet.

Below are just some of the financial preparations future parents can make to ensure they are able to handle the costs of raising a child.

 Establish a workable budget that covers daily expenses while still allowing you to save.
 Pre-pay your bills before going on maternity or paternity leave. Having those expenses covered beforehand allows you to focus on nesting and a healthy birth.
 Scale back on luxury expenses like cable; you’ll likely find you don’t have as much time to watch TV once the little one is in the house.
 Apply for parenting grants and federal assistance for people with disabilities to help cover birthing costs.
 Look into college savings plans that will help you put aside the money necessary for your child’s future education.

Preparing the Home
While your home may already be renovated in some ways for accessibility, take into consideration the additional mobility you will need to keep up with a growing child. All parents go through a nesting period where they decorate and babyproof their home. As a parent with a disability, it may take a little more time and money to complete necessary renovations. Some renovations you should consider include:

 Zero-step entrances that can make it easier to navigate around the house when you are juggling your baby and belongings.
 Skid-resistant flooring to prevent slip and falls.
 Consider installing expandable hinges to add clearance to doorways.
 Set up a dedicated area for play where the baby can move around freely, and you can move around safely.
 Install a loop or lever faucet to make bath time easier.

Being a parent is incredibly rewarding, but it is also expensive and a lot of work. If you are a parent with a disability, this is even more true. Prepare financially by budgeting, paying expenses like bills before maternity/paternity leave, and setting up a college fund. You can make your home safer and easier to navigate with renovations such as zero-step entrances, skid-resistant flooring, and lever faucets in the bath.

About the Author: 
Ashley Taylor is a disabled mother of two wonderful, amazing, energetic children. She met her husband, Tom, while doing physical therapy. Tom had suffered a spinal cord injury due to a car accident and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Ashley and Tom knew they wanted children and knew they would have to adapt their lives and home in order to make this dream come true. Ashley is happy to say that they are the proud parents of two healthy, wonderful children and their disabilities haven’t stopped them from leading a happy, fulfilling life. Connect with Ashley and get more great parenting tips on her site at

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