Ah yes, being a stay-at-home Mom of an exceptional child is challenging. It is also equally challenging being a working away from home Mom of an exceptional child. Then there is the new breed of Mom of which I am a part of; the working-at-home- Mom of an exceptional child. (WAHM). We hear things like, “why is the house messy?” “why do you still need to work after I go to bed?” “why are you on your phone answering email?” Yep. All of us Moms have our work cut out for us. The stay-at-home Mom has her challenges with helping her child and most likely other children, and running her home alone with no income coming in. The working away from home Mom has a steady income, but has her challenges with her exceptional child as she has to find suitable before and after school child care arrangements for her child. The working from home Mom, well, we bring in some money, but our workday has to temporarily end somewhere between 3:00-3:30 pm when our kid comes home. Then it’s rush into Mom mode till 9:00 pm, when we’re back in working Mom mode after they’ve gone to bed. It’s challenging, and there are some days when we need to juggle work when the kids are home. That’s reality too and it’s not always smooth.
Still, there are ways to handle it, tools or strategies like there are for our exceptional children. As our kids get older it may even get easier to explain, but that depends on the day, theirs and yours. Then there are the PED DAYS. Michae loves PED DAYS. He says he loves being home with me and away from school. Ahh, that’s sweet. It’s also a little bit stressful sometimes finding ways to keep him busy, and squeeze a tad bit of work in, though it’s usually just a tad that gets in there. Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have my own business in large part due to wanting to have flexibility for Michael, as much as it fills me with joy. And I do enjoy spending time with him. It is just finding the right formula for a balance of Michael, me and work time. How do you I do it? Well, I’m still figuring it all out, but here are some ways that I am finding work for me:
5 Ways To Thrive At Home As a SAHM of a Special Needs Child:
- Get up super early: , I mean crack of dawn if you can. Ok, this would actually work if you have older ones who sleep in. If you have little ones, try to stay up a little later. That’s when you’ll get things done.
- Take care of yourself: As hard as it is, make a point to stretch, do yoga, go for a walk. Recharge your own Mama batteries.
- Have a set schedule that you follow 7 days a week for home and work: This is hard, and it will fluctuate according to sickness, holidays and kids and other family members’ health situation, but try as much as possible to have a set wake up and sleep time and stick to it if nothing else to keep your own sanity as a parent.
- Allow for PED DAYS and structure, structure, structure the day: I can’t say enough about structuring the day with your child. Make it fun. Plan ahead with them what you are going to do, and make sure to allow extra work time around that day (either early am, late pm, or if you can, take the whole day off and make up the time another day).
- When you are tired, take a break a REAL break: I used to have a hard time with this. My “break” would be throwing in a load of laundry or cleaning the kitchen floor. When your child is at school and you are home at work, you are working. It took me along time to stop feeling guilty about the mess. Now the whole family is starting to learn to help.
Exceptional Parents, do you need help balancing life with your Exceptional Child? Remember, your child will sense when you are out of balance and start to act up with behavior issues or testing. They also will feel when you are not listening to them or are distracted. Try as best as you can to be in the moment with them when you are with them. That is the only way to truly survive in whatever parenting situation you are in. Until next time.
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