Within the family unit, disability affects everyone, but an interesting dynamic becomes evident in the difference between the mother’s disability or the father’s disability. Rarely are both parents disabled, but it gives an opportunity to examine who suffers most, and who is indispensable; the father or mother.
Be clear, this is a tragedy either way one looks at it. Whether by accident, war or disease, disability is tough, especially when the person is chair bound and needs assistance several times a day. A person, mother or father, who is mobile/able bodied is not the focus here. Rather, the focus is on the dynamic of the wheel bound parent and who has the greater difficulty in raising their children with their disability.
Certainly, a young mother with toddlers would be at a distinct disadvantage. Their mothering, the ability to chase their toddlers to protect them, would be severely hindered. A disabled father might not be able to run to prevent danger, but the able mother would. Assuming the able father is working, we have a problem in watching over the young kids. If the socio-economic situation is secure, the family can hire childcare and an aide for the disabled spouse.
Unfortunately, this is not the norm in a majority of cases. One has to be so poor that welfare takes over for care, and the children suffer. There seems to be no middle ground for the middle class disabled. Veterans have some limited resources, but they have wait many months for care. It may be better to contact the private agencies, like Paralyzed Veterans or Wounded Warrior, etc.
For most, it comes down to stingy insurance companies, and woe to those who have disability from disease. Parkinson’s, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, etc. And think of the thousands who are injured and disabled from auto accidents!
My point is again, depending on age of the children, the mother is the more essential in caring for babies and toddlers. If she is disabled, the father would have to remain at home and care for the infants and her. If the children are over five or six, she could manage part time by virtue of school and arranging transportation. But, anyway you size it, with young children, disability is very difficult on parents. Those who work full time for an employer with benefits, seem to have it a little better.
In other western countries, the government pays for care. For both the babies and the mother. It’s not socialism, it’s good logical sense. Once the family is sufficient, the children reach school age, the care narrows to aid to the disabled parent only. How positively civilized!