Guest Post on Disability and Parenting by Lacie Martin

http://raisethemwell.org/

Home Modifications That Will Ensure Safety for Parents with Disabilities

Parenting is the toughest job anyone can undertake. It requires equal parts devotion, patience, and wisdom, qualities that members of the disabled community possess in abundance. The skills needed to make one’s way through a differently enabled world have direct application to raising children. Of course, being a parent presents many challenges. One of these is overcoming the limitations posed by physical disabilities.

Accessibility and Child Safety

Making your home as accessible, and as safe, as possible takes on added importance when children come into the picture. It’s important to consider all the possible risks to your child, both the obvious and the less apparent. The National Safety Council and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend the following guidelines:● Keep small objects out of your child’s reach. Seemingly harmless items such as watch batteries, coins, and even cooking spices can become deadly in children’s hands. If you’re unable to reach high shelves, then consider installing locking cabinets or other safeguards.● Control access to areas of the home such as stairways, workshops, bathrooms, and kitchens by using safety gates or similar measures.● Install slip-resistant flooring such as cork, linoleum, or tile. Avoid stone, ceramic, or porcelain materials, which pose slip hazards. If new flooring is beyond your budget, then consider using rubber-backed anti-fatigue mats around sinks and cooking areas. Another option, suggested by DIY Network, is to apply anti-slip coatings to your existing floors.● Consider using offset hinges, also known as expandable hinges, for interior doorways. These can free up as much as two to three inches in a typical hallway, which is a boon for both rambunctious children and disabled adults.● Wheelchair-accessible cribs are available in a range of colors and styles. Whatever crib you use, never add blankets, toys, pillows, or other objects that can impair the child’s breathing.

Making Stairs Safer

Stair-related accidents cost up to $12 billion a year in medical bills and lost work time, according to the Los Angeles Times. Making stairways as safe as possible for children and adults is crucial for parenting preparation. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:● Adding ramps if feasible. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines specify a maximum of one inch of rise for each foot of ramp. ● Using rubber mats for each step to add extra slip resistance.● Using handrails. There are many options for making rails both attractive and easy to use.● Keeping stairs free of objects that can cause slipping or trip hazards.

Other Options to Consider

These ideas may require special equipment or the services of a remodeler. However, they’re worth considering as part of an overall home safety plan:● Using the ground floor as much as possible for sleeping, cooking, and other daily activities.● Installing closed-circuit television cameras to monitor activities inside and outside your home.● Replacing conventional bathtubs with walk-in models.

Financial or Other Assistance

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for financial aid for some of these modifications. This is especially true if you’re buying a home, as you may qualify as a first-time homebuyer.

Possible sources include:● Federal, state, or city grants.● Aid from private foundations.● Home improvement loans from commercial lenders.

When applying for these programs, focus on the practical rather than the aesthetic advantages of the renovations. Also, be aware that the grantor may have stringent requirements for the choice of contractor. Review any offer of aid thoroughly before accepting.

It takes a big person to take on the job of parenting. Your willingness to assume this role says far more about your character and abilities that any physical challenge ever could.

Guest Post on Parenting and Business by Laura Pearson

How to Launch a Thriving Business as a Stay at Home Parent. A guest Post by Laura Pearson.

Image from Pexels

Just a couple of decades ago, parents had to choose between work and staying home with their children. Today, stay-at-home parents have countless opportunities to earn income and pursue their professional passions. Launching a business has never been easier! 

If you’ve always wanted to become an entrepreneur, consider starting a business while you’re at home with the little ones. This quick guide will walk you through the steps involved in launching a home-based business and how to make it work as a busy stay-at-home parent. 

Choose a Fitting Business Idea

Your business idea can make or break your business. Before going into this major undertaking, make sure your business idea is right for you. The best business ideas are born from one’s own skills and experience, so start by looking inward and thinking about what you do best — as well as what you love! Passion is a key ingredient when it comes to business success, but that’s not all. It’s just as important to find a need for your product or service in the real world.

Stay at home parents are in a unique position to identify the key issues plaguing other parents, so consider building your business idea around challenges you experience in your own life. For example, running an at-home daycare could be a great way to help out other working parents in your community. Business Idea Insight recommends several other business ideas for stay at home parents, including dog walking, toddler education, and virtual parenting guidance. You could even launch a school meal prep subscription service. Your options are endless!

Establish Your Business

Once you’re set on a business idea, the real work starts. Your first task is to establish the legal framework for your business. Choose a business name, register your business with your state, and call your local permit department to find out which laws and regulations apply to your business. This is also a good time to find out if you will need to apply for a business license. Certain professionals, including mechanics, accountants, and cosmetologists, must be licensed to operate legally. 

As you get established, consider forming an LLC to protect yourself from personal liabilities and gain access to special tax advantages. As ZenBusiness explains, the process of forming an LLC differs from state to state, so make sure you read up on the requirements that apply to you before moving forward. 

Find Your Balance

Running a business and raising kids is a delicate juggling act, but it’s not impossible. Your success in this department will depend on your ability to manage your time effectively. Think about all of the things that are going to demand your time throughout the day, whether it’s preparing meals, cleaning the house, or dropping off and picking up kids. Establish a regular schedule that accounts for all of these time constraints and include certain hours of the day when you can direct 100% of your focus to your business. 

Know When to Hire Help

One of the most important skills you can have as a home-based entrepreneur is knowing when to hire help. There will come a time when the demands of your business exceed your availability. When you reach this point, trying to do everything yourself just isn’t realistic. 

Consider hiring freelancers to handle lower-level tasks so you can focus on other aspects of your business. Hiring professional contractors is also a great way to access expertise that you may lack, whether it’s web development, copywriting, or marketing. If you do decide to hire freelancers, make sure they sign an independent contractor agreement so you can avoid issues with employment laws. 

If you want to start a business, you might be wondering just how you’re going to juggle the demands of parenting and business ownership at the same time. Make sure you have all the tools you need to rise to the challenge! Choose a business idea that you’re passionate about, plan ahead, practice effective time management, and hire help when it’s needed. 

Are you looking for more relatable content about the joys and struggles of stay-at-home parenting? Look to Andi Webb for fun blog posts and advice from one parent to another.