As a new mother, finding time for myself has been quite difficult thus far. When the baby is napping, I am washing bottles, doing laundry, stocking the changing areas with diapers/wipes/clothing, and tidying up the house as much as possible. As soon as I sit down, there is a cry from his bedroom. I swear, this kid is a mind reader and knows exactly when the chores are done and when the relaxation begins. “Not on my watch mommy.” There are so many tips, tricks, do’s/don’ts and ideas that I plan to share with those reading these blogs. Stick with me as I will be writing periodically and sharing as much as I can to either assist someone who is blind with children or someone who is planning on having children. My husband might also throw in some of his ideas or experiences as well. My husband is sighted and I am blind, seeing mostly light and dark with very minimal movement. Let’s just say, I pretty much have no usable vision. Becoming a mother has been one of the most rewarding and definitely one of the most challenging events in my life. Yes, every new parent experiences various challenges but not being able to see, wow, what an adventure. To put the Corona Virus into play on top of being on maternity leave has been quite interesting as well. If only kids came out talking, walking, feeding themselves and understanding their needs and wants. Instead, my husband and I play the guessing game, as all parents do. Is the diaper wet, change it, is there a piece of hair between their toes, are they hungry, are they tired, does their belly hurt, are they bored, are they over stimulated, do they want to cuddle, do they want to be put down to play, and the list goes on and on and on. As a blind parent, who has never really been around children, let alone changed a dirty diaper, let me tell you, there are some things that I wish I had known ahead of time or some things that I have learned along the journey. To name a few: • You will get poop on things, it is going to happen, just accept it. Somehow today, we found poop in the wipe warmer container. Not quite sure how that happened but it was a treat for sure. • As a parent, or a mother, you are the most important person in your child’s life. Keep this in mind when they are crying or fussy. • Patience is key. As stated above, we are not mind readers and therefore need to constantly play the guessing game. Stick with it, follow your intuition and go down the list of possibilities. • Ask for help. If you know other blind parents or parents in general, bounce ideas off of them and ask questions, lots of questions. Educate the hell out of yourself. I find myself googling or asking friends on a daily basis. • Once you figure something out with your child and feel comfortable with it, it will change. Thus the adventure continues and keeps you guessing. • Pacifiers are great and I hate them at the same time. My husband and I always play a game we call “swipe the paci.” As soon as our son falls asleep in his crib, we grab the pacifier so that he is not looking for it in the night when he wakes up. At this point he is swaddled and wouldn’t be able to put it back in his mouth anyways but these things are the devil at times. • Swaddles are amazing if your child allows them. The blankets are impossible to swaddle with, for us at least. Our son has been strong since day one and would bust out of the those. The velcrow swaddles have been incredible and assist with the startle reflex that kids experience for the first few months of life. • Beer or a glass of wine is your friend. I am not condoning over drinking, especially if you are breast feeding, but to unwind with a glass of wine or a beer is like heaven. My husband and I will share a beer and still won’t finish it. It is the thought that counts right? • You will never sleep again. Just kidding. Accept that things are completely out of your control for a bit and that it is ok. In an upcoming post, I will share some of the techniques as well as some of the products that have saved my life or that have been a waste of time or money. Stay tuned and thank you for reading.
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