Being a working mother is tough enough as it is, but when your child is on the autism spectrum it unlocks a new level of difficulty you couldn’t imagine. The stress it brings is unimaginable, but you are not alone. There are many working mothers who have autistic children and have to work daily. Here are some tips to managing life while working and parenting on the spectrum.
If your job offers FMLA, use it to your advantage. FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specified family and medical reasons, including the care of a child with a serious health condition such as autism. This means that you can take time off from work to care for your child without fear of losing your job. There are some employers that offer pay, and FMLA can be taken intermittently so you can take days at a time. Also, if your job offers sick time and PTO use it.
Mental health days are important. The stress and worry that comes with parenting on the spectrum is not to be ignored. If you can’t pour from an empty cup. So it’s imperative that your mental health is in order so you can efficiently and lovingly be there for your little ones. Taking a mental health day can give you the time you need to recharge your batteries and come back to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead.
Utilize your village and the resources available to you through your state. Family and friends can help out where they can. Resources like early childhood intervention will give you a break as well as getting home healthcare aids. Check your state resources and connect with other mothers to vent and blow off some steam.
The benefits of taking care of yourself extend far beyond just being able to handle the demands of work and motherhood. Taking care of yourself also means being a better mother to your child. When you are well-rested and mentally healthy, you are better equipped to handle the challenges that come with caring for an autistic child. You are able to be more patient, understanding, and compassionate. Your child will benefit greatly from having a mother who is emotionally and mentally healthy.
Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish; it is necessary for the well-being of both you and your child.
Article Written by: Khadijah Phillips| Khadijah Phillips is a highly driven woman who was born to break barriers. She proves that when powered by purpose, women are unstoppable. She’s built her storied life and career brick by brick, fighting fears, failures, and setbacks to have the success she’s always known was hers to claim. Today, she personifies what it means to ascend above adversity while inspiring countless others to do the same through her media company and strategic partnerships. You can follow her on Instagram @bestiesmedia and check out her website www.bestiesmedia.com.