If your family is about to grow through the addition of a new bundle of joy, you’re in for a world of wondrous change. Welcoming a new child is exciting, but it can also be confusing and worrisome. You’ll be introducing another human life with their own wants and needs into your world. If you have disabilities, that confusion and worry are taken many steps further because you have special considerations to face. However, Blooming Moon Midwifery Services invites you to consider the following preparations you can make before the little one’s arrival that will simplify your life and help you relish the experience of parenthood.
Home Sweet Home
Your home should be your refuge from the daily stresses and a place that has adequate space for you and your loved ones. It should be accessible to all family members and meet your needs. If you decide your growing family is outgrowing your current home, it may be time to find something bigger. First, determine what you can comfortably afford and then do some online research to investigate prices for homes that are the right size and in the right location. For instance, an online search for Tupelo, Mississippi, will reveal that the median price for homes sold in the last month was $139,400.
From there, you should consider how much you can contribute, whether a loan is an option, and what it will cost for modifications. Depending on the disability you have, you may consider modifications in the bathroom, widening doors, installing railings and ramps, taking out carpeting and installing hardwood floors (or vice versa), removing door knobs, and so forth. You may not know exactly what you need until you’re in your home, but you can start tackling the known issues before your bundle of joy arrives.
Getting by with a Little Help from Your Friends
All parents are faced with obstacles, but if you’re a parent with disabilities, you’re faced with some unique circumstances. Whatever your situation, you’re not alone and there are resources to help alleviate the challenges. If you’re seeking assistance to modify your home, there are programs available that cater to specific criteria. For instance, if you’re a veteran with a disability, the Army Wounded Warrior Program and the Department of Veterans Affairs can help. There are grants available to help you get adaptable equipment and opportunities. Government programs offer assistance in the form of health insurance (Medicaid), monthly income (Social Security/disability), or home modification assistance (AmeriCorps).
Pave the Way with a Little Planning
Along with a new child will come new and unexpected expenses — baby gear, toys, insurance, diapers, doctor visits, food, and clothes add up. Becoming a parent means you’ll have to make choices not only for yourself but for someone who depends on you. Before your baby arrives, you should tackle your finances. Figure out how much is coming in, how much is going out, what unnecessary expenses you can cut that will result in immediate savings, and what expenses you know you can prepare for. Start getting in the habit before your baby arrives.
Above all, make sure your newest addition to the family has health insurance, and consider opening a health savings account, where you contribute untaxed money that can be applied to your health-related expenses. Don’t forget to also plan for your own self-care, which includes exercise, meals, sleep, and relaxation. It’s never too early to start preparing.
After processing the initial emotions of welcoming a baby into the world, it will be time to get to work and plan for the future. If you have a disability, two things are important to remember. First, you’re not alone, and there are resources to help you along the way. Second, you can plan ahead and conquer some of the known obstacles, such as finances and finding a new home, so that when the time comes to deal with the obstacles, you have a plan of attack. The more knowledge you have, the better off you will be.
Blooming Moon Midwifery Services understands the overwhelm associated with expecting a child. To help you through every step of the process, from prenatal visits to testing to labor and birth support, we’re here to hold your hand as you prepare for the wonderful journey ahead.
Written By: Ashley Taylor | firstname.lastname@example.org | disabledparents.org
Musings of a Traditional Midwife in Northeast Mississippi