How to Get Your Home and Life Ready for Parenthood While Living with a Disability

This is a featured guest post written by Ashley Taylor from disabledparents.org. Thank you to Ashley for sharing this with our readers and those who may benefit from this information. 

Disabled Parents Getting Ready for Parenthood

Parents come in all shapes and sizes. They also come with a variety of skills and abilities, and some live with disabilities. Anyone with enough love in their heart is capable of being a tremendous parent, and you’ll be surprised by just how much love you feel when your child arrives. You just need to prepare your life and home ahead of time to make parenting more manageable.

1. Start Saving

One of the best ways to prepare your life for parenthood is increasing your savings. Becoming a parent will increase your stress level, but it does not need to increase your anxiety about finances with some careful preparation. According to Listen Money Matters, a new child costs an average of $11,000 the first year, not including childcare. By the time your child reaches 18, he will cost you approximately $250,000.

Diapers, baby food, baby gear, and clothing adds up quickly, and you need to make sure that you are prepared by starting to save as soon as possible. Similarly, you should increase your life insurance and start a college savings account for your child. Now is the time to make some life planning decisions and make sure you have saved as much as possible to secure everyone’ future.

2. Make Home Modifications

All parents make some modifications to their homes when a baby is due to arrive. Some remodel to make room for a nursery, some hire an electrician to add lighting in hallways and stairways, and some simply add baby gates. If you are living with a disability, you may have a few more home modifications to make to help with childcare skills.

For example, you should install grab bars in a few areas of your bathroom to assist in bathing your children and prevent falls. As a parent, you need to know that Nationwide Children’s Hospital reports that more than 43,000 children receive emergency treatment for injuries relating to the bathtub and shower each year.

To prevent injury, you should install grab bars inside the bathtub or shower and outside the tub or shower to assist in getting in and out. The goal is to create a handrail surrounding your tub or shower area. It’s also a good idea to install grab bars on the toilet wall to assist in lowering and raising yourself from the toilet seat or to hold on to while you help your child use the toilet.

3. Prevent Falls

It’s also important to prevent falls and eliminate tripping hazards in your home before you start carrying your bundle of joy, especially if you have mobility challenges. Begin by removing worn carpet that is peeling or bunching. If you have throw rugs or bathroom mats, make sure they are backed with non-slip materials. You also should check for loose floorboards and high transitions from one type of flooring to another and repair them.

Keep in mind that falls are among the leading cause of injuries at home, and anyone of any age or ability can fall. As your child gets older, he will be at greater risk of falling when he learns to walk. This means that you need to protect him by keeping electrical cords along the baseboard and removing clutter, especially on stairs and in walking paths. Teach your child to pick up his toys and designate areas for toys to make it easier for him to do so.

You also can prevent falls with some simple home modifications. Install night lights in your hallways and stairs. You don’t necessarily need to hire an electrician to do this; consider using battery-powered LED night lights that mount easily to your walls. You may opt for motion-activated lights to save battery power, too. If your stairs do not have carpet on them, hire a contractor to carpet them or install adhesive grips on their edges to make them less slippery.

You will never be completely prepared to become a parent, but you can take some steps to make the arrival of your new little one more manageable. Start by increasing your savings. Then, modify your home to assist in caring for your child and to prevent falls and accidents.

Image via Pixabay by RitaE

 

 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

Home Sweet Home Housewarming Party

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
— Joshua 24:15

I occasionally love to hop on here and share more personal, lifestyle photos with my readers. I'm a little late with getting this post up, but that's just life these days. Pretty sure I washed the same load of clothes more than once today...#momlife. 

Our close friends and family put together the most adorable and perfect housewarming party for us last month. I could not have asked for a more beautiful and cozy gathering with our loved ones. 

From the details of simple, fresh flowers and cozy cookies that tasted amazing, to having our house blessed by our priest and having mimosas to pass around, it was perfect.

Owning your first home is so exciting and so rewarding. You feel like you're truly adulting (HA) and the excitement of that "new home" emotion lasts for a really long time. And of course, you really want to show those you love (especially when it's all clean!). If you're about to embark on a journey of owning your first home, then here's a big congrats to you! Here's also some fun inspiration for a "Home Sweet Home" housewarming party. We kept our guest list simple and didn't do anything overboard. I wasn't in charge of anything and I am so grateful of that! It was nice to sit back and get somewhat surprised over all of the simple details that were so perfect and quaint. There's not a thing I would have changed! 

I wasn't the best at getting pictures with our guests, but we are so grateful to everyone who joined us and came visit our cozy little home. We are especially grateful to my mom, sister in laws and my dear best friend for hosting this beautiful party for us. And we are so grateful for our wonderful priest and friend who came to bless our home and visit with us. That was perhaps the most special part of the day. 

If you're planning a housewarming party, keep it simple and small. Make it cozy and don't feel the need to go over the top. Simple finger foods, decadent desserts and good company (and wine) are all you truly need. 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

Switching to a Toxin Free Lifestyle: Part II

Toxin Free Lifestyle

In Part I of our lifestyle series, we focused on gaining the courage to make the jump. We focused on getting into the mindset that you can slowly do this, day by day. Even year by year. 

Today we will look at a few more of the reasons WHY to do this. Again, I like to reinforce the idea that this doesn't have to be all or nothing. However I would like to think that eventually you may make the transition to changing it ALL; but even if you do not, every change is a good thing!

So why? Why to make these changes? 

Parabens. Phthalates. Fragrance. SLS. Triclosan. Chlorine. These are just a few of the toxic ingredients sitting on the backs of your beauty and personal care products. These along with many, many more all contribute to our health in major ways. 

The average woman typically comes into contact with over 300 chemicals per day, with 80 of those before breakfast. These chemicals or ingredients, while they may be in small amounts, will continually build up over time. In fact, Triclosan a common ingredient in hand soaps and sanitizers, actually stays on your skin for hours after use. This ingredient is damaging to human cells, organs and can even be linked to birth defects. 

Have you ever noticed how HIGH our cancer rates, infertility rates and depression rates are? Have you ever listened to just how many people are on medication for something. Perhaps you are one of them and you dread the task of taking a daily medication that you know is not good for you or your body; or perhaps you're not even sure if it is good or not. This isn't to say all medication is bad, I KNOW that some are truly needed. But there are most definitely ways that a healthy lifestyle can heal you in more ways than you can imagine. 

We would never quite think that something as simple as our face wash, makeup and soap can be the link to some of the things we are experiencing. Unexplained weight gain, moodiness, fatigue, infertility, etc... those are things we may never stop and link to our personal care products. Yet, the truth of it is that it can easily be just that. 

Some interesting factoids can be found below to help you have a better understanding of how lax our government is on letting chemicals and toxins flood our products and cleaners. For more specifics on certain products like hand soaps, mouth wash and more, check out this post here

Switching to a toxin free lifestyle

So what are some steps you can do? The MORE you KNOW, the BETTER you DO. This is completely true. If you have a basis of knowledge to begin this journey, you'll slowly start to learn more and make the changes that are important to you! 

  • Read Healthy Child, Healthy World. This book is excellent with the facts, science and research that you need to give you an extra push. I promise, this book can truly do the trick!
  • Download the Think Dirty App. Download this app and begin scanning the products you use daily to see just how toxic they are. Major red flags should be high cancer ratings and high reproductive toxicity ratings. 
  • Start with your Children. This is the easiest area to change for your family because children are not brand loyal, unlike us women! They just need a good shampoo and wash, lotion and toothpaste. If you really get into things, you may also start looking at chemical free diaper options. 
  • Move on to your cleaners second. This is somewhat of an easy change because really, cleaning is cleaning. Occasionally we become brand loyal to the scent of Pine Sol or to the Windex that your mom swears by. But slowly we can break the cycle of toxic cleaners. When you use up your cleaner, buy a new, natural brand. 
  • Save your products for last. Women are brand loyal and occasionally high maintenance. Some of us swear by that $100 retinol cream for our skin. Start transitioning the products that are easy to such as soaps, lotions, shaving cream, etc... Then move on to hair care and facial care. Makeup tends to be a very hard area for people to make that switch. Luckily I have finally found my option for non toxic makeup thanks to Young Living! 

Other easy to make switches around the home:

  • Ditch the plastic. Get rid of Tupperware and replace it with glass containers. Stop eating on plastic plates and invest in a good ceramic or porcelain set. Opt for glass drink ware over plastic cups you caught in a parade. 
  • Don't buy from the Dollar Store. Whoa, I know. That seems a little crazy to just say, but research has shown that many Dollar Store brands are made with harsher chemicals than the exact same style product or brand at the local Wal Mart. Baby bottles, teethers, dinnerware, baby toys and even cleaners are items you'd likely want to stay away from. 
  • Open the windows. The air within your home is 5-7 more times toxic than the air outside. Open your windows more! 
  • Ditch the candles. As stated in the graphic, candles are highly toxic! Choose essential oils to diffuse or soy candles fragranced with pure essential oils. 
  • Toss ALL of the smell good stuff. Plug ins, air fresheners, sprays, candles, wax warmers, etc... they are all highly toxic and are among the biggest pollutants in the home. 
  • Choose organic if budget allows. When it comes to food, choose organic if you can. If you can't purchase it all organic - decide what maybe is important to you. Perhaps organic produce is important or organic milk. If organic is not allowed at all in the budget, then just choose wholesome foods and make sure to clean ALL produce (organic or not). The cleaner the diet and the less processed foods consumed, the less toxins you're putting in your body (this is my area of weakness FYI). 
  • Consider what baby is chewing on. All of our teethers are toxin free, these are VERY easy to find! Search Etsy, Amazon or your local baby store (not Wal Mart usually) for good teethers. Also, we love wooden toys and natural fiber toys for baby because of all the chemicals in plastics. However this is NOT to say that our baby does not have plastic toys we just try to avoid them. 
  • While there are many options available to make your home and materials within your home less toxic, sometimes that's just not an option. We can't just all rebuild our homes to be toxin free, now can we?! My word of advice on this is to consider the nursery for an upcoming baby. If you have the chance to do a gift registry and start with a clean slate for your baby, then go for it! Choose natural fibers and organic cotton sheets, blankets, etc... Look for VOC free paint as well! A toxin free nursery can actually be easily attainable since babies do not need much. 

Whew, that was a lot of information. Your head may be spinning right now and you may also be thinking, "No way is this happening for me." Please, don't think that I did this all overnight. Don't think that I am perfect at it and that we don't slip up. It's all about finding some grace to give yourself when things happen or when you can't resist something. It's normal to me now to be conscious of things and it's like second nature to me. It can be for you too!

No one said this would be easy, but it also won't really be hard. It's just a bit to soak in and learn along the way. You've got this! I am cheering you on friend. 

Stay tuned for part III to see how I can help to guide you on this journey!