Planning for the Future as a Parent with a Disability
By Mary Wilson
If you have recently found out that you will soon become a parent, congratulations! It’s common for new parents to feel some degree of nervousness, particularly if one or both of the parents lives with a disability. You can ease the stress by making several changes to your routine and the design of your home, as well as by actively planning for your future. Here are some of the best ways you can get ready for the arrival of your child as a new parent with disabilities.
Prepare your finances for the present and future.
The first thing you should do as soon as possible after finding out you are going to become a parent is to begin preparing your finances. Raising a child costs over a thousand dollars per month, and you’ll have to be financially solvent enough that the change in your expenditures will not have a large effect. You can make the burden easier by using your existing income wisely – save where you can, pay off debts as quickly as possible to avoid accruing interest, and trim your extra costs, like eating out instead of cooking at home.
In addition, you should start to think about your financial future as well as your child’s. Without a will, if something were to happen to you or your partner, your estate would fall upon your next of kin (or be held in trust until your child is of age). A will helps ensure that your property and money will be distributed the way you want, without unnecessary legal action or other complications. While you are planning for the future, consider a life insurance policy and a burial policy. Life insurance will give your family enough to live on for a while if something were to happen to you, and a burial insurance policy will cover the exorbitant cost of a funeral and burial arrangements Burial insurance typically provides a much smaller benefit amount than life insurance, since it’s designed for the specific application.
Prepare you home for you child’s arrival.
Once you are financially ready, you can start to prepare your home for the arrival of your baby. However, you should first make sure that your home is comfortable and accessible for you and your partner. If there are home projects you need addressed, like broken steps or faulty doors, either hire a contractor to take care of them or take on the projects yourself.
You may also wan to consider accessibility options. For instance, if you are in a wheelchair, you may want to add a ramp up to the front door and expandable hinges on the door itself to make entering or exiting your home easier. There are plenty of options available, so depending on your skill level, you can put a ramp together using a premade kit or build one from scratch. Skid resistant flooring will protect you and your child once they start to crawl and walk. Finally, if you have certain areas of the home you prefer to spend your time, consider installing play areas in those spots so that you can keep an eye on your child without testing your mobility.
While the list of things to do before baby arrives is seemingly endless, you can make it easier on yourself and feel secure in your finances. Preparing for the present and the future ensures your family will be taken care of, and adding accessibility upgrades to your home will make it possible for everyone to navigate your home comfortably and safely.