Life for working parents can be difficult enough with 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.
Take a Break
You might consider taking some additional time for yourself if the extra time required to manage your child’s needs interferes with your other responsibilities and down time. When looking for a caregiver, there are certain questions you should ask during the interview process to ensure your child is given the proper care.
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.
Enlist Your Child’s HelpTweak 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 take care of household tasks, enlist the aid of your child as a "helper" who can help with household chores such as passing you dishes from the dishwasher as you put them away. Not only will this give your child a sense of accomplishment and usefulness but it reduces screen time, which is beneficial for your child.
Other parents are valuable 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 child who struggles, 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.