Parenting is hard work, but for those with disabilities, it can be a daily uphill battle. Not only are you faced with the challenges of raising your children, but you also have to do it in a world full of barriers.
Disabled parents are often affected physically, for example, if they use a wheelchair. Their energy levels and agility remain constant, but their children continue to grow faster and more active. Parents can also be mentally impaired with various neurological conditions, delayed responses, or mental health problems that can affect their everyday life. Many of these pose a real challenge to raising children, but it’s far from impossible.
It may feel like there is no way around it, or that your condition limits you, but with the right mindset, there is always a way to work it out. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach; however, there are guaranteed ways to improve your quality of life, as well as those of your little ones.
Increase Your Independence
Find solutions that will assist you with mobility and the functional aspects of your everyday activities. Use as many tools and services as you have available so that you can focus on your well-being and your family. Apply for grants and programs that will fund home and vehicle upgrades so that you can live independently.
Being self-reliant does not mean you must strive to do everything by yourself. Find out what limitations you have with caring for your family, and find support for it. For instance, if grocery shopping is taxing, you can do your weekly shop online, find great deals, and have your purchases delivered to your doorstep. When there’s a will, there’s a way.
Seek Legal Help
Depending on the nature of your disability, you may be entitled to financial compensation. If your disability is attributed to an injury or an accident, hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you get the help you deserve. You should seek out an attorney for your injuries if:
- It resulted from medical malpractice
- There are multiple parties involved
- The liability is not clear
- The injuries are severe
- You are suffering long-term or permanent disability
- The insurance company refuses to make any settlement offer
- The insurance company engages in bad faith insurance tactics
A great deal of time and effort goes into taking care of your loved ones, so make sure you put your most important your needs first. Working with a personal attorney could be one of these needs. Not only will they help you obtain the settlement money to cover the extent of your injuries and other losses, but lawyers can also protect you against counterclaims and cross-claims by anyone else that was involved in an incident.
Note that your attorney needs to be licensed to practice in the state or country in which you are located. For example, if you are in Vancouver, Canada, only an attorney with a personal injury lawyer Vancouver-based license, will be able to assist you.
“It Takes A Village”
All parents can benefit from being more involved in the community – much more so if you are adjusting to a new way of living and raising your family. If you are part of a religious group, ask if they offer programs to assist children and their families. There are also other local organizations in your area that can give you an extra hand when you need it.
Interact with groups and like-minded individuals that are experiencing the same situation as you. Not only will it restore normality in your family, but we also thrive on social interactions and the sense of community. See it as a form of reconnecting with disabled parents, and an opportunity for your children to do more activities and to make new friends.
Keep Calm And Carry On
Some of the most significant obstacles of being disabled are not just physical trials, but the emotional ones. The significant changes that occur include how people treat us or how we think they see us.
It takes all the patience in the world to deal with the curious looks, or the random urges to help when we least need it. Their reactions are a mere reflection of their preconceptions and what they are accustomed to.
Life goes on, and every aspect of your life should be given your full attention. Find a job that you can grow in that is easily accessible. If you are interested in dating, put yourself out there with no fear. Or if you have a spouse, go on dates and be intimate to your heart’s content. Much of your family’s well-being is tied to your own.
Your Disability Does Not Define You
Love isn’t measured by how much you can do. It is determined by how much you care for your family despite your condition. You can be a happy and proud parent – especially when facing and conquering regular daily battles. Set an example for your children with problem-solving skills, creativity, and lots of positive mental attitude.
Remember that asking for help or having specific tasks done for you doesn’t make you less competent than non-disabled parents, only different. It’s time to normalize disabled parenting because, in truth, we all want to be our best for our families.