Are you living with a disability and expecting your first baby? Congratulations! Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting, but challenging, jobs you will ever have. All new parents, not just those with disability, need to take some necessary steps to make room for an infant in their world, so here are some ways you can adjust your life in preparation for parenthood.
Get Good Gear for Your New Baby
For first-time parents, knowing what to buy for all their baby’s needs can be confusing. It’s usually easy to find a list of essentials, but figuring out which products are the best is another story. That’s why you should check in with online reviews to get great advice and tips from seasoned parents and experts on strollers, cribs and more. In addition to picking up some gear for your infant, you’ll want to go ahead and baby-proof your home too. Give yourself peace of mind by covering outlets, securing drawers and putting potentially hazardous items out of the way. Finally, make sure your house is accessible for you and any other adults with disabilities who will be providing care for the little one.
Make Some Solid Financial Plans for Now and Later
If you have already been stocking up on supplies for your baby, you already know that raising infants can be very expensive. Your costs only increase as your child gets older, with typical child-rearing costs running upwards of $233K. College and education needs can ramp that number up, so make sure you take some very important steps to prepare your finances to take on any expected, or unexpected, parenting challenges. Try to begin paying off any debt you may have before your baby is born, and begin putting the money you save into investment accounts for college and an emergency fund. You’ll want to work out a good family budget too, and look into any necessary insurance your family may need as well.
Take Extra Care of Yourself, Including Your Mental Health
The joys of being a parent are immense, but the stresses can be overwhelming. It’s such a mixed bag of emotions, and many parents find themselves struggling to come to terms with all the feelings and changes. Postpartum depression is very real for new mothers, so know the signs that your emotions are more than just stresses of new parenthood. Making time for self-care can help ease some of your other feelings of tension and anxiety, so take some breaks to take care of yourself. Hiring in-home help can be an extra boost for maxed out parents, and can allow you the time you need to refresh. You should decide if you need help with caring for your new baby or with other tasks around the home. Getting the help and support you need can make life as a new parent a little easier.
Parenting with a disability can present some additional challenges, but you’ll likely face many of the same apprehensions as other first-time parents. It’s a job with very few answers set in stone, so all you can do is plan for the worst, hope for all the best, and enjoy the ride of being a new parent.
Article is contributed by Ashley Taylor, http://disabledparents.org/
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