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Deaf parents and hearing children.
As a father, being hard of hearing person isn't easy. I am sure that my wife is having much harder time because she's profoundly deaf but I can tell you this : She's an awesome amazing mother. She have instincts that I don't even have! She knew when a child is sick, hurt, or even sad! She communicates to the children through sign language and damn, they sign better than me! Even our son, Isaac can do some hand gestures at nine months old! They can communicate through their minds like telepathy or like some aliens on SyFi shows. They amazed me everyday!
Anyway, back to writing about being parents who are limited because of hearing loss or deafness, there are always some pros and cons. I am sure in every parenthood, there are always challenges that we all have to face one time or another.
One of the challenges that my wife and I had was "what do we look for since we cannot hear?". When we first had our firstborn child, our biggest fear was not being able to hear the different type of cries or hearing the dangers. Or if this child soiled her diapers or constipated! We were worried and scared! But we as parents, rolled up our sleeves and said to ourselves that it was time to be parents and do what we can do to make sure that this child is happy, healthy, and full of laughter.
One of the things that we did best was staying up and lots of coffee!! We were learning as we go and loving every minute of it! We learned to change diapers, burp the baby, feed the baby, rock the baby to sleep, hum to the baby even though we couldn't hear but to the baby, it was music to her ears (I HOPE SO!) Heck, we learned to make formula milk without looking at the bottles! We even prayed every day making sure that we are being good parents. Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. I am far from perfect! The only con was not being able to hear the burp after the feeding but we could feel the burp on our shoulder or our hand as we patted gently on the baby's back. That's the blessings we have, is that we can feel.
The second challenge as a deaf parent is when Mandy became a toddler! Oh man.. I started having grey hair! My heart and mind were full of anxiety and always on the panic mode! Once she started to walk, I was always making sure "DO NOT FALL!". When she fell, I ran like an Olympic runner with one leg (mind you, I am an amputatee, LOL) and picked her up to make sure that she wasn't hurt. Even though we cannot hear, we have a better sense of alertness. Because I am deaf or have hearing loss, my sense of attentive surroundings and details have heightened. So the con was not being able to hear the cries of her being hurt or needing me, but my observations and awareness of what's going on around me have increased.
When my firstborn was around 15 or 16 months old, we welcomed a new child. Now, mind you, 2 children, both in diapers, and more responsibilities. And twice the stress and rewards. My wife and I had to learn how to juggle between work, house cleaning, taking care of our children, etc. And we succeeded! One thing I must say: I am blessed to have family and friends helping us out when needed. There was and always will be no shame for help. We can only do so much and sometimes a little break can help us refuel our energy and take the stress off of us a bit.
In our 11 years of marriage , we have four daughters and one son! Our daughters have really stepped up and helped us a lot. They become our ears since they can hear and they can communicate through sign language which helped a lot in our relationships. We are very close knitted family and I am thankful to God that He gave me the wisdom, patience, and lots of strength!
What are the pros and cons of being a deaf parent? I can only tell you from my experiences and perspectives. The pros would be: awareness, being attentive to surroundings, and communicating through sign language. The cons would be not being able to hear the voices, the dangers, and communicate verbally.
One of the blessings that my children have is that they have the ability to experience the positive and the negative sides of both worlds. As a father, I want them to be educated and have self respect for the others and also to respect others, no matter what or who they are. Faith, Education, and Respect will get them far in life.
As a deaf father, I wouldn't want my kids to be deaf and having to suffer the hardship as a deaf person. Being deaf is very challenging and can be very difficult in the hearing world. But I am glad that my children are hearing that I pray that they will have a great life and a wonderful future. I hope they will know that I am doing the best I can as a deaf parent!