Friday, March 4, 2011

Working Mom’s of Children with Autism: Juggling it all

Just having a child with autism is a full time job and overwhelming in and of itself.  So, those of you who don't work.....I am in NO WAY downplaying your job!  But for working moms, it can be even more challenging.   

I stayed home with my kids until about three years ago.  The thought of going back to work was crushing at the time, but let’s face it.  Autism is expensive, and insurance is necessary!  So, I was very blessed to get a job with flexibility and that allows me to work my schedule (most of the time) around that of my kids.  But it is still crazy busy, every day of the week!  For me, it is helpful as well, to at least through the day have my mind on other things.  We eat, breath and sleep (well…..sometimes we sleep… autism.  When I am working, my mind is focused on something else, which for me is a good thing.  I think we never feel like we can do enough.  Here are some ideas that may help you busy working moms be a little more organized and save some time throughout the school/work week.  

           MAKE LISTS!

  • Grocery lists so that you don’t have to make 4 trips to the store in a week!
  • List and prioritize things that need to be done every week
  • Create a dinner menu – this will help you with your grocery list and hopefully stave off trying to decide what to make at the last minute
  • Cook ahead – especially for those of you dealing with special diets, this can be a life saver.  On Sunday I make a large batch of GF/CF pancakes or waffles and put them in the freezer.  They can be warmed and served on the spot.  Same with many other dishes.
  • Make lunches the night before (I am SO guilty of not doing this……but I have great intentions!)  Mornings are crazy and if you are like me and want to sleep until the very last second get kids lunches ready the night before.  One less thing to do in the morning!
  • Create a monthly calendar – go to almost any store and purchase a large marker/erase calendar.  This will allow you to visualize your week at a glance.  You can schedule all of your therapies, work appointments, Dr. Appointments, etc. so that nothing gets missed and you are not blindsided with forgetting something.
  • Keeping the house clean during the week is a challenge at our house.  Give kids chores, and assign a task to a certain day so that you are not spending your entire weekend cleaning.  Monday = 1 load of laundry, Tuesday  = clean the bathrooms, Wednesday = dust, Thursday = evening off, Friday = more laundry, etc…
Like I said…..I’m no expert……just flying by the seat of my pants!  If you have any suggestions as to how to better juggle the load…..leave a comment!

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