As of 2014, there were 11.2 million special needs children in the United States. If you’re a parent of a child with special needs, you probably know what it’s like to try to balance work and childcare. It’s never easy, but that’s something that you’ll have to do as both a parent and a caretaker. From business schedules on both sides of the aisle to stresses from emergencies or unexpected turns, you know it takes a lot to care for your child.
5 Helpful Tips For Parents On Balancing Work And Life With Special Needs Children
Now, that’s not to say that no one can take on this lifestyle. In contrast, families can care for their children with special needs while working. This article will show you how to improve your work-life balance when caring for special needs children.
Is A Work-Life Balance Possible?
“How you balance work with special needs childcare will be based on the following merits: commitment, patience, and experience,” says Kayla Jetson, a parenting writer at Homework writing service. “According to The Mom Kind, they suggest consistency when caring for a child with special needs. This is to say that work-life balance is possible regardless of your family, background, etc. When you consider commitment, patience, experience, and consistency, you’ll provide your child with the best care possible while maintaining a job.”
So, is having a balance between special needs childcare and work possible? Yes.
And to make things easier for you and your family, here are a few tips for achieving this balance:
First, consider what you and your family use and need the most. It can be:
- Medications (especially if your child needs them)
- Doctor visits (another thing your child may need), etc.
Be sure to invest in the right areas, and don’t feel the need to save up for things that can wait.
Bring Up Work Flexibility To Your Boss
Don’t be afraid to ask your boss for more flexibility. Let them know that you’re caring for a special needs child, and see if you can get work benefits from it. Your company should understand your situation and do everything possible to help you.
Remember: Work flexibility can come in various forms:
- Requesting a few days off to care for your child
- Arranging remote-working days
- Taking half-days off, etc.
If you’re having trouble managing your work/life balance in your current career, you may consider exploring a career change. You can use a recruiting agency near you to explore new jobs and find supplemental part-time employment in various industries. This can be especially helpful when trying to apply for new jobs you have never applied to. A staffing agency can give you the resources to teach you how to become more competitive in your desired industry.
According to Action Group Staffing, one of the Tulsa temp job recruiters available to moms nationwide,
“We match skilled, dependable job seekers in light industrial manufacturing, construction & skilled trade as well as call center, hospitality, and administrative support positions with exceptional employers.”
Plan For Emergencies
Sometimes, an emergency might spring up. Whether your child suddenly gets panic attacks or needs medical attention, it’s essential to have an emergency plan in place.
Your emergency plan should come with the following components:
- Phone numbers (e.g., family members, doctors, pharmacists, etc.)
- Emergency phone numbers (e.g., police, ambulance, etc.)
Having a plan helps you be ready whenever a crisis erupts, and you must take your child out of a situation quickly.
Don’t Forget Your “Me Time.”
“While it’s important to focus on your child, don’t ever neglect yourself entirely,” says Aurora Jones, a blogger at Draft Beyond. “In other words, have some ‘me time’ every once in a while so that you can take a break from childcare every so often. You last want to feel burnt out from caring for your child around the clock.”
Now, even if you can’t set aside time to take breaks, do the following to keep you focused:
- Eat and drink
- Sit down
- Wake up, etc.
Ask For Help
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Caring for a special needs child can be very draining for you. However, you won’t feel alone in the struggle when you surround yourself with friends and family.
Maybe a friend can mow your lawn while making dinner for your child? Or can a relative do dishes or laundry while you help your child with homework? Your friends and family can be of good help. You can even consult counseling for additional help on mental health.
Having work-life balance when caring for special needs children
As you can see, caring for a special needs child and having a job can be tedious at most. However, with preparation, organization, and consistency, you can be both a caretaker and an employee. Take these tips into account, and you’ll be able to balance work with life and vice versa.