Life for working parents can be difficult enough with typical kids. When you add to the mix a neuro-developmental disorder like ADHD or Asperger’s Syndrome (ASD), what is ordinarily hectic becomes overwhelming and seemingly unmanageable. There is little down time between work, school meetings, specialist appointments and most significantly the extra time dealing with behaviors caused by these disorders. If this sounds like your life, there are steps you can take to tip the scales back towards a better work-life balance.
The phrase “respite care” brings to mind those with significant challenges and it might not be something you think of as the parent of an able-bodied and energetic young person. Respite simply means a break for the care giver. You might consider respite if your child with behavioral issues can’t participate independently in regular extra-curricular activities, or if the extra time required to manage your child’s high needs interferes with your other responsibilities and down time.
Even if your child’s academic struggles are in subjects that you can easily teach, hiring someone else to do it frees up time for you. Catch up on some work of your own, watch a favorite TV show, or meet a friend for coffee. Hiring a tutor has the added benefit of reducing the opportunity for homework related conflict between you and your child.
Plan Your Breaks
Tweak your tried and true strategy of entertaining your child with a preferred activity such as iPad time. Instead of using the iPad to keep your child occupied while you work, enlist the aid of your junior helper who can pass you dishes from the dishwasher as you put them away.
Other parents of high needs children are one of your greatest resources. Not only can you share insight and strategies, you can also take turns watching each other’s kids. This adds the benefit of socialization particularly if the children involved are close in age. You can make your plans spur of the moment or schedule a regular trade off.
Creating a work life balance is possible when you have a high needs child but it requires planning. Be proactive with your schedule and prioritize time for self-care such as rest, exercise and leisure. Never feel guilty about wanting a more balanced life. Having healthy, recharged parents benefits all kids, especially those with atypical needs.
To learn more about Brain Balance Center of Midlothian, visit its website at https://www.brainbalancecenters.com/locations/midlothian/