Photo of woman holding baby by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Parenting With a Disability

Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs out there! Parenting in a mobility chair adds even more challenges. One of the great things about the WHILL chairs is its ability to go places where traditional electric wheelchairs cannot, like off-road at the park or navigate tight spaces. These features make parenting in a WHILL easier, but parenting with a disability is never easy.

If you’re a parent with a disability, check out this list of resources for parents with disabilities. In today’s blog we’ll be sharing a few pieces of advice, and hopefully you find them to be helpful! We encourage you to find others in your community and if you’re interested in testing out a WHILL Chair to see how it can fit into your life, contact New Tech Mobility today!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Many disabled parents don’t want to admit that they are struggling and need a little extra help. No parent wants to be seen as unfit or unable to cope, and when you have a visible disability — like needing to use a WHILL Chair — it’s hard to avoid the judgment of others. If you’re disabled and use a mobility chair, you’ve been overcoming challenges your entire life. You may be very independent and consider yourself not so different from your peers. When a baby arrives, though, they bring stress that is much different from anything you’ve dealt with before becoming a parent. All parents need to ask for help at some point or another, and it’s the same for disabled parents!

CTA Banner-3.jpg

Connect With Peers

Disabled parents can be very isolated and not have people nearby who are experiencing similar challenges. Having someone to talk with is invaluable. No matter how many blog posts you read like this one, there’s nothing quite like a conversation with a peer.

If you live in a small town or an isolated area and can’t find people nearby to connect with, you can connect online. We’re lucky to live in a time where the internet and social media exists, and there are tons of message boards and online communities where parents with disabilities can connect and learn from one another!

Added Challenges

Along with all the challenges that come with having a child like bathing, sleeping, playing, and feeding, being disabled brings its own set of challenges. How does a visually impaired parent make sure their child is safe? How does someone using a mobility chair stop their toddler from climbing up somewhere unsafe? How does a deaf parent hear their child crying in the other room?

Parents are innovative, and parents with disabilities are especially creative problem solvers! For example, a mother who needs to use her hands to guide her mobility devices can attach a child leash to keep her child from running off when they are crossing the street. A visually impaired father may attach a bell to his child’s wrist so he knows where she is. You might use props like cushions to cradle your child in your lap.

Each stage of development brings its own challenges, but parents are always finding creative ways to make things work!

Stigma

While things are changing, there is still a lot of judgement and stigma around choosing to become a parent as a disabled person. Even medical professionals may ask invasive questions like ‘how will you manage to look after a child?’ Sometimes even close family members may say hurtful things like ‘you’re being selfish.’ These negative attitudes can be incredibly painful, and it’s another reason to seek support of other disabled parents who may have similar experiences and can help you find ways to approach conversations with family members and care for yourself after these negative experiences.

New Tech Mobility

Our Scottsdale-based mobility chair company is proud to provide mobility solutions for disabled parents and people of all walks of life! We choose to sell the WHILL chair because we want people with mobility issues to find the mobility chair that fits their needs, including raising children. Browse the features of the WHILL Chair models, discover the services we offer, including fitting and training, and when you’re ready, get in touch and schedule a test drive!