Bringing up a child is a challenging exploit at the best of times, so it’s understandable how doing it with a disability can make it even more so. In light of Mother’s Day and in an effort to celebrate the strength and passion of all mothers, we’d like to provide some helpful tips for easier parenting with a disability.
Talk About it
It’s so important to speak openly to your children about your disability. As they get older, they will inevitably have a lot of question to ask, especially as they notice that mom is a little bit different. Soon they will come to develop a better understanding of your disability and any limitations that you may have because of it.
Get Them Involved
Never feel guilty about encouraging your children to help with household chores – particularly those that you struggle with. Not only will it aid in boosting their responsibility, but it can provide kids with a sense of worth and a higher self-esteem too.
Children who have a parent living with a disability are also generally kinder, more empathetic, caring and insightful.
Be Kind to Yourself
Parenting is like running a marathon. Sometimes you just need to rest and be satisfied with doing the bare minimum. Even if all you did was snuggle and keep your child fed, warm and clean today, that’s another battle won! You won’t be able to do it all every day. You probably won’t be able to do it all most days. But that’s ok. Be kind to yourself and do what you can. That’s all that anyone can ask of you, after all.
This is good advice for all parents, not just those parenting with a disability!
Give it Time
As your children grow, not only will you adapt to their needs, they’ll adapt to yours as well. There will be days where you’ll feel overwhelmed, incapable, stressed and exhausted – but rest assured that parents without disabilities share many of the same feelings and experiences. In time, coping with the demands of parenthood will get easier, as long as you have the right mindset and support. Which brings us to…
Get the Support You Need
If possible, have a relative, friend or your partner help you with various chores and tasks throughout the day – even if it’s as simple as asking grandma to pop in for a visit and to cook a meal. Support can make parenting with a disability much less stressful, so don’t hesitate to ask for assistance when you need it!
Happy Mother’s Day to you. You’re doing an incredible job. Keep it up, mama!