As much as people try, parenting is a struggle for everyone at times. No matter how many advice books you read or people you talk to, there are ups and downs you’ll need to weather on your own. Parents with disabilities have to figure out more than most, but that doesn’t mean parenthood is impossible.
Kids bring joy to families, and this shouldn’t be dampened by household or personal struggles. With the right tips, you can get back to joining them during playtime and hear their contagious giggles.
Here are five adaptations parents with disabilities can make for better child care. Whether you’re looking for a small change or a big one, there are ways to make life easier for you and your family.
1. Have Open Discussions
Parents with older children can always have an open discussion. They may see you live with your disabilities every day, but they may not be able to empathize with your needs. They have a smaller understanding of the world, so help them learn.
Talk about what you struggle with the most at home and how they can help. Your kids love you and want you to be happy, so they might be able to jump in when you need a helping hand. The first step to getting to that point across is to show them things from your perspective so they understand.
2. Find a Baby Wrap
Your baby is the light of your life, but it’s hard to carry them all the time. You may not feel comfortable holding them while you move around your home, which is when a baby wrap comes in handy. Before you make your purchase, determine which wraps and slings will best fit your needs.
2. Get a Feeding Pillow
Even if your baby isn’t breastfeeding anymore, a feeding pillow could make things easier. Many feeding pillows now come with harnesses for extra security. That gives you the freedom to move around and do what you need to do. Your baby will remain secure in their high chair or on the couch without the use of a bulky car seat.
3. Think About Using Grab Bars
When it’s time for a splash in the tub, your kids may not understand why you’re not as excited as they are. It can be hard to bend over the tub and scrub them clean or even teach them to shower when you have a disability. Grab bars can help, especially if you learn how to install them without needing studs in the wall.
Ask a friend or family member to help if the installation will be complicated for you to handle on your own. You can always remove grab bars when the kids are older, and they don’t cost much to add to your house.
4. Consider Installing an Elevator
Mobility is an issue for many people, which makes the stairs a dangerous place. You won’t need to worry about potential injury from carrying kids up and down the steps if you install an elevator to assist you in moving between the floors of your home.
A residential elevator will add value to your house and last for decades. You can use it into your older years and never worry about toting children up the stairs again.
5. Use a Raised Toilet Seat
It’s challenging to use the toilet when you have to haul yourself up onto your wheelchair after you finish. A raised toilet seat will make your daily life more comfortable and double as a potty training tool for your kids. It’ll keep them from falling in while they’re too small for the built-in seat and make it easier for you to use the restroom on your own.
Consider Your Daily Life
Parents with disabilities don’t have to struggle secretly with certain aspects of child care. Consider where your daily life gets more complicated and ask yourself if any of these tips could make things better. Installing grab bars or even an elevator could be what you need to live your best life alongside your kids.
…to assist you in moving between the floors of your home.
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Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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