by Jenny Wise
All parents go through a nesting period where they get their home ready for baby’s arrival. As a parent living with a disability, you want your nesting process to be about more than just building a crib and painting the nursery. In addition to those things, it’s important to make any necessary modifications around the house that will accommodate your particular needs in a way that will make things easier during the hectic newborn period.
Declutter and De-Stress
Did you know that clutter directly results in higher levels of stress and anxiety? Let’s just say that with a new baby in the house, those are the last two guests you want to let inside. In the months leading up to your due date, it’s important to focus on what you can get rid of so you can have a clean and decluttered home before the chaos of parenthood descends.
Decluttering is a pretty personal process, but it helps to start in an area full of things that are less sentimental in value. For instance, if you have a garage full of sports gear you don’t really care about, that’s a great place to begin your decluttering. Commit to decluttering room by room rather than trying to tackle the entirety of the home at once. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re sorting through possessions, so committing to finishing one room before moving on to the next can help keep you on track.
If you find yourself with a pile of items that you don’t exactly have room for, but you’re also not quite ready to get rid of, consider renting an offsite storage unit where you can stash them safely. You can revisit what to keep down the road if you decide you want to make room in your life for them. If you’re worried that a storage unit will be too expensive for your budget, worry not. The average monthly cost of a storage unit in Colorado Springs over the past six months was only $97.96.
Find the Right Crib
Safety should be your number one concern when looking at cribs, but as a parent living with a disability, it’s also important to look for one that is easy for you to use so you always have access to your child. Parents who use wheelchairs should look at models whose heights can be adjusted to your needs. Many parents with disabilities also find that cots with dropping or sliding sides make it easier to get baby out of bed in the morning. If you can’t find an accessible crib that fits your budget and your needs as a parent with a disability, look online for DIY tutorials on how to add accessibility to an affordable model, and have family and friends lend a hand with the construction. Many cribs, some for as little as $299, convert to toddler or full-sized beds, which can be a great way to save money
Parenting while managing a disability presents a unique set of challenges, so much so, that many people find themselves having a hard time juggling all their responsibilities. As a new parent, go easy on yourself and don’t worry about meeting a set of impossible standards. Instead, be present during this special time so you can truly enjoy it. Otherwise, you may find yourself looking back in a few years and regretting that you wasted time being absent-minded and worrying over things that will eventually prove to be inconsequential.
All new parents make mistakes. The major one you want to avoid is being so hard on yourself that you forget to enjoy this wonderful time in your life. Everything from the pregnancy to the first years of baby’s life will fly by quicker than you realize, so enjoy yourself as much as you can.
Preparing for parenthood isn’t easy, but if you’re a parent who lives with a disability, you have your work cut out for you. A great place to start is with decluttering. Getting rid of items you do not need makes your home cleaner and easier to manage with a newborn. Look for a crib option that is accessible. If you cannot afford an accessible model, check out online tutorials to help you transform one to fit your needs. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself during this time. While parenting with a disability is undoubtedly difficult, you want to be as present as possible so you can truly enjoy this magical time in your life.