Getting pregnant and having a child is never an easy thing for a couple. Many have trouble conceiving, while almost every couple has a tough time adjusting to such a big change.
Do things get harder when you have a disability? As with many things in life, yes and no. There are some unique challenges that come with being a parent with a disability, but there are tips and advice you can use to prepare your home and life for a new child.
Getting Your Finances Ready
First of all, having a child can be expensive. Beyond just the birth, you have to get food, clothes, diapers, toys, and more for your new baby. That can add up quickly, and depending on your disability, you could already have trouble making ends meet. As US News & World Report explains, many people with disabilities don’t earn that much as it is.
How can you get your finances ready for a new child? You start by saving just a little each month. Even if you just discovered your pregnancy, putting away some every month can help a lot of those new costs. You can also look into the gig economy where you can get short-term jobs you can do online. Just be careful if you’re on Medicaid, as you can eventually earn so much that you lose your eligibility.
Getting your finances in shape can also help with getting pregnant, especially if you are planning on IVF. According to Qunomedical, “The success and availability of in vitro fertilization have given hope to many infertile couples who have not been able to conceive. Since 1978, 5.4 million babies have been born worldwide with the help of IVF.” However, this process costs money. Saving for it now can help make it a reality.
Modifying Your Home
When you moved into your current home, you probably had to make a few changes to accommodate your needs. The same will be true when your baby arrives. By making a few modifications, you can make your home safer and more fun for your new child.
Parents.com explains one of your first acts should be to have a “safety exam” for your home. Look for ways a crawling baby or toddler can get themselves into trouble. For example, are there toxic cleaning supplies underneath your kitchen sink? Then put a child-proof latch on that door. Is it easy for a little hand to turn on scalding hot water? Reduce your water temperature. Try to view your home from their perspective, and do what’s needed to keep them safe.
If you are concerned your child may have sensory issues like you, then you can make their home environment calmer with some simple changes. Make sure the walls are decluttered and have some neutral colors. Use warm lighting instead of fluorescent bulbs, and consider adding some sound-reducing materials to the bedroom door.
Talk To Your Spouse
Besides changes to your home, your relationship with your spouse or partner will change when you become parents. Now, you’ll have a little one to take care of instead of just focusing on each other.
That’s why you should have some open and honest communication now before the baby arrives. Be honest about your excitement and fears, especially about how your disability might impact your parenting. Just don’t worry about that last one too much. CNN explains that many parents who have a disability can use it to bond with their new child. Your child will grow up accepting your differences as normal and will love you all the same. But by talking about such concerns now, you can create plans for how to adapt to parenting so you can be more successful at it.
Prepare For Your New Child Now
There’s no sense in waiting until the last minute in these situations, especially if you have to save up for IVF or other costs. Make some simple changes to your home, and talk to your spouse or partner about your concerns over how your disability might affect things. This can help you both feel more confident about raising a child.