Disabled Parenting Project Message Boards › future dad, present questions
November 24, 2018 at 4:39 pm #2035wheelieryderParticipant
My. Name is David N Massey. I have Cerebral Palsy, I can’t wait to be a dad–expecting, june 8th. I’m 98% excited,2% scared
1.”Will I be a good daddy?”
2.how will I explain my challenge, to my baby girl??
3. How will I deal with the looks; we get?
I know they’re your questions as well.
Thanks for listeningDecember 14, 2018 at 10:35 am #2283TjrsmomParticipant
Hi David, yes, you’re going to be a great dad. Don’t let your disability hold you back from thinking that. When your daughter gets older, there are some children’s books that explain disabilities like Mama Zooms. Ignore the looks. Let them stare. It’s their ignorance showing through, especially if they make comments. Congrats on your baby girl!- Jessica, TJRSMom (Spinal cord injured (t6-t8 since 1999).December 14, 2018 at 12:08 pm #2287JacquelineRParticipant
Hi David! 🙂 You’ll be a great parent because you’re already looking out for your child by asking questions. My husband and I are both legally blind, and we have 7 kids!!! They’re all over the age of 8 now, and we’ve survived very well so far.
1. Will I be a good daddy? No reason you can’t be a great daddy! Do your research on the stages of child development (that really helps). Think about the families you know or have known–which families inspire you the most? Why? Think of things that you like about their family and consider how you can bring those things into your own family. Talk to your partner! Parenting is definitely a partnership, and you both will need to be clear about expectations. Also, think of things you don’t like in families–that’s almost as important. Personally, I had a pretty dysfunctional upbringing, so my own upbringing showed me plenty of things I didn’t want to repeat. But always remember, nothing is carved in stone. Your parenting style will evolve as your child grows. Your child will be one of YOUR teachers, believe it or not!
2. How will I explain my challenge to my baby girl? Ah, this is easy, my friend. Your challenges will be normal to her because that’s what she will know. It will be part of her everyday life. As she grows older and asks questions, you’ll answer them honestly. You’ll answer them unapologetically. You’ll answer them with confidence. Her understanding of Cerebral Palsy will grow as she does.
3. How will I deal with the looks we’ll get. You’ll just look back or you’ll ignore them. That’s all you can do. If they ask questions in a respectful way, then you can answer them if you feel comfortable. But remember, you are not responsible for educating anyone about your condition IF you don’t want to. Sometimes, as folks with disabilities, it feels like we’re forced into this position of educating everyone about what’s “wrong” with us. Forget that. You can educate anyone you want to, but you don’t HAVE to educate anyone if you don’t want to. We’re not little robots put on this earth to be someone’s educational opportunity. Back to the looks–I’m sure you probably get a certain number of looks now; I know I do–you honestly have to respond in whatever way is comfortable for you. Ignore them. Smile back. Whatever works for YOU. But don’t let other people make you feel uncomfortable. You will be a perfectly NORMAL parent. You are not an abnormal parent simply because you have Cerebral Palsy. Parenting is something you can do quite naturally, don’t let the people who are considered “normal” make you think otherwise.
You’re going to be a great dad!
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