Dads are the essential part of a family. If the family has a child with a disability, the dad sometimes is not willing to take care of the child. Sometimes they are scared of helping the child for one reason or another. I think it is scary for anyone but you just have to learn how to do it. I am going to give you some ways to help your husband to overcome this fear.
Having a new child is really stressful because the parents have to learn everything on the spot, and if the child has a disability, it is more stressful. I think that men often-associate disability with fragile. This is true with a few types of disabilities but for the most part, the child is usually fine with somebody handling them like any other child. I have noticed this with my own male caregivers, and sometimes I have to tell them that I am not fragile.
The wife is often the one who handles the child the most so she knows the child’s body the best. The only way that the dad can overcome this fear is by handling the child. It might be just holding the child while the wife is nearby. As the time goes by, the dad should get more comfortable in handling the child. In time, he should be helping more.
Sometimes dads get excited about having a son, but when they find out that their son has a disability, they think they won’t be able to do sports with their son. This is not always true. There are adapted sports that the child can do with their dad. If they think their son will make the pros someday, this is just a dream for all dads. Less than 1% of all kids make it to the pros so it is not like having a disability will have a huge impact in hurting the son from becoming a pro. Besides a person with a disability can go to the Paralympics. If I made the Paralympics with Baccia, I know that my dad would be really proud of me.
Sometimes some dads want no part of their child with a disability at all. In my mind, this is so sad, and you cannot change their minds. All you can do is to keep showing them what the child is doing and one day they might change their minds. I am not saying that will happen, but you never know. The parents have to be credited for doing everything in their power to give their child a good life. I heard many times from parents that the child with disability enriches the whole family. They see it as a blessing and not a burden.
I know a couple who has two boys with a disability and the wife is the breadwinner and the husband is the stay at home dad. There were a couple of reasons why they decided this way – he was a flight attendant” so he would be gone for a few days and besides the wife could make more money. Both parents are really involved in their boys’ lives.
When I was young, which was many years ago, my parents had a system that worked really well. My mom handled me while he was at work, but when he came home; he took over in helping me. My dad as a truck driver so he came home at all kinds of hours. He was tired but he knew that mom was tired too.
No Right Way
There is no right way of dividing the care of your child with a disability. There has to be some balance of care between the wife and the husband. It might mean that the wife takes care of the child on the days that the husband works, and on the days that he is off, he has to take care of the child. I know that life is very different from 40+ years ago. Although, taking care of a child with a disability does not change that much. I am not saying that all disabilities are alike. What I am saying is that if a child who is similar to me might require similar care.
Parenting is not easy for everybody and kids to make their parents’ life stressful and that is what they do. With a child with a disability, parenting is time-consuming. Dads sometimes aren’t opened to help with the child. If you are a mom of a child with a disability and had to work with the dad to help you, what did you do to encourage him to help with the child? Please leave a comment below. We help each other here at Disability Awareness.