I’ve had the great reward of being on “sabbatical” for the last six months from a fulltime professional corporate career. This has been such a blessing for our family as we work through Roan’s special needs and diagnosis.
Today we know he has SPD with auditory challenges but also we are working through acquiring special services and what other additional diagnosis and care he needs as well. It’s a journey and it’s been hard as you all know.
As I prepare to go back in the corporate workforce I have am trying to spend every last minute I can with both my boys. We have been having such a great time and it’s been wondering being a stay at home mom.
With Aidan’s Asthma and life threatening food allergies and Roan’s SPD it takes time and energy to balance both their needs and plan ahead for everything. We can’t even leave the house for a play date or the park without packing medicine, snacks, toys, lollypops, Ipods, balls, green items, epi-pen, etc…The list goes on. I often get the question…”How do you do it?”. “How will you this when you go back to work fulltime?”
Well I’ve done this for almost 8 years it just takes some pre-planning and extreme patience…:) I thought I’d share some the keys of my success to parenting two children that share “special needs” more then the average child. Also, this is a great reminder for me as I prepare to go back to work on what works well for my family.
Two parents with careers with children and balancing schedules, school, activities, appointments, homework, extended family and friendships certainly is an art. What we did is start off as a couple and prioritize what is important to us as a family and rank them. Some things just weren’t going to get done (i.e. messy house, play dates, all the many birthday party invites your oldest child receives..etc.). We highlighted one activity per children that felt “doable” and didn’t over commit the family schedule. Then we consistently used the four key success criteria’s below for our family to have everything work together smoothly.
For humor I like to highlight the business term mapped to the mommy term…;)
Keys to Success:
• Business Terms = “Outsource” & Mommy Terms = “It takes a village” – Where/if you can have like gardening, house cleaning done by an affordable person or college student. Have a friend or Grandparent help out or fill in if you can’t make the drop off in the afternoon for the kids or need to take one kid to a class and the other can’t make it because it’s sensory overload. We have a rule that we try to balance our schedule so we can take on as much as we can with the kids but were we need help then we ask for the support of our network.
• Business Terms = “Project Management” & Mommy Terms = “Pre-preparations of Food/Meals” – My oldest can’t have anything with dairy, casein, whey or by products . So food preparation is key. I use the weekends to prepare his special breakfast muffins, or go and get his special foods, cook things..etc. Shop and prepare as much as you can on the weekend so that frees up your week nights. Also, during the week prepare the lunches and snacks the night before for both kids.
• Business Terms = “Time Management” & Mommy Terms = “The Family Schedule” - Have a “live” family schedule you both have access to at the click of the button. I do this on Google and it populates our IPhone and Droid. Also, be text ready during the day with your hubby if needed for the kids.
• Business Terms = “Engagement Model” & Mommy Terms = “Quality Time with the kids” – When we are at home we are not working. We are “engaged” with the kids and focused on quality time with them. Not work. If we need to work then we get up at the crack of dawn or stay up late. It’s their time and they deserve to not have to share it with other priorities. It’s quality not quantity.
So as I prepare to go back to work I remember how much work it is to plan my family and I’m enjoying every last hour I have at home with these wondering little people.