Tackling potential challenges with being a Daddy with a Disability much like other hurdles in life!
How will I hold them?
Starting a family was something I had looked forward to for a significant time & finding out I was going to be a parent was a wonderful moment but looking back there were also some previous long held worries about adapting to life as a Father with a disability (cerebral palsy in my case).
With babies, my perception was that the looking after of one came with lots of multi-tasking, involving hands and that brought concerns with how I would cope, potentially on my own times – with feeding, nappies, seat belts, clips or harnesses. In addition to help they would need growing up with hair, clothing, climbing and fixing things.
Saying that, above all else I wanted to be a Dad, to grow a family and to bring along all that experience growing up, together with my amazing wife’s help, we have adapted around my disability with everything else in our lives.
The crucial thing I learnt in the early days is to remain calm and adapt to each situation as you would in any other challenge in your life around you. Each challenge my disability has presented me is an opportunity to fashion a unique solution in life.
Having a baby brings added pressure admittedly. This bundle of joy you’ve created is dependant on you yes, but in my experience, this dependence is about bringing your best adaptions with you that have helped so much so far.
For example, there was learning to keep my right hand (my most mobile side) free for potential trickier functions such as using a bottle feed whilst my left side is stable to provide support for my resting baby. There were no sudden movements in those early days from my daughters, so I found it comforting knowing they were secure in my left arm.
I can only go from my experience but I learnt beforehand that many people with a disability find their own way with parenting so that helped so much as I went on this incredible journey myself. Yes it can be tricky at times but so rewarding. I’ll be recalling more of these unique factors as I go but if there any questions you have or stories to share please get in touch!