Parenting is already a difficult job but if you’ve had to handle parenting with a disability, then you understand there are obstacles that will make it much more complex. In this contributed post, we will discuss three common issues that disabled parents have to deal with. As a parent with a disability myself, I know all too well how difficult it can be to deal with the challenges all while caring for my family.
No one can ever say that parenting is easy. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what level of wealth you have, parenting is as difficult as can be. When you have a physical disability, though, it can be more of a challenge. An able-bodied person who is dealing with children is going to have a very different experience than a parent who is confined to a wheelchair, or who has limited use of their arms. The things that some parents find easy and take for granted are things that a disabled parent can really find a mountain to climb.
Families where one parent is disabled face a huge battle to find support and get the right help both financially and physically. If you’ve become disabled after becoming a parent, it can be a huge life shock to you and your children. The way that you’ve been used to doing things changes dramatically and it’s an adjustment for everyone in your home. If your disability is the result of an accident, then companies like www.braunslaw.com can help you to fight for what you are owed in terms of compensation. That money could go a long way to helping you to adapt your house or get the Motability car that you need to help you get around.
You may not have considered the stigma that disabled parents go through on a daily basis, mainly because you haven’t had to struggle yourself. Assumptions get made every day about the ability these parents have to look after their children and whether they have enough support. Now that you can consider yourself a part of the crowd, it’s important to learn what it’s like to be a parent with a disability.
Isolation. One of the biggest issues as a disabled parent is that you’ll come across is the feeling of isolation. Not everywhere is accessible for parents who struggle in wheelchairs or with other walking aids, and when you need help you could find it hard to ask anyone. Your parenting style may be different from others – or so they assume – and you could find it hard to get to know other parents as they can’t relate to how you parent.
Skills. Being a parent is hard, but it’s even harder when you need added support. The problem comes where others make comments about your parenting in a way that just isn’t kind. People try to mean well, but there’s a fine line between being patronizing and being kind. It’s important to make it clear when you are and when you aren’t coping, and if someone offends you, you should say so in a way that makes it clear without being rude.
Assumptions. When people cannot understand how you feel, they’ll assume you can’t cope, you can’t manage or that you can’t look after your children if you can’t look after yourself. These assumptions are not nice, but they do happen. If prejudices are making you uncomfortable, speak to your partner or family for extra help.
Being a parent with a disability is not easy, but you keep on keeping on because your children need to you too.
Having a disability can be mentally draining, so trying to care for children while living with a disability can be often stressful. For me, one of the biggest stresses of being a parent with a disability was not being able to support my family financially. I felt guilty for not being able to hold my part and for putting more weight on my husband.
I often felt guilty when my illness would interfere with the time I was able to spend with my family. There were times I was isolated from family members because I was too ill to socialize. This also meant a limited time for friendships.
People with disabilities often face a lot of discrimination and when you have children you are often judged by others for your situation. People don’t understand why you are a parent in the first place and they often make degrading comments.
When you are disabled but still capable to hold your own as a parent you have those that assume you can’t. People don’t like to ask questions, they just like to make judgments in their own minds. All of this can cause added stress.
Over the years I have learned to lean on those who love and understand me. I try not to let others negative judgments affect me. They don’t know my situation so I shouldn’t worry about what they think.
Parenting is difficult enough without having a disability to worry about but you can always find courage in the fact that your children love and need you.
What is the most difficult challenge of parenting with a disability? Share your thoughts below!