Working from home is the best option if you're a mom with a disabled child at home, but balancing work and family life is not easy. Your priority should be to care for your child throughout the day. At the same time you have to earn an income, either as a single mom or as a contributor to the family finances as a spouse. Daily life can wear you down if you're not proactive about implementing strategies to get everything done with the least amount of problems and stress. Here are some ways to be a mom first, but also to get work done:
Manage Your Time Well
Maintaining a calendar, planning a daily schedule and establishing routines is not optional when you're balancing work and a disabled child. Other moms may be able to get way with not being organized, but you can't. You have to keep up with many appointments for your child, such as doctor visits, physical therapist and speech pathologist appointments. On top of that, you may have other kids' appointments and your own appointments. There are also client appointments and phone calls to make to vendors and suppliers. Trying to keep it all in your head can only lead to disaster. If you hate to keep a schedule, at least write down your scheduled appointments. You can also keep a brief to-do list for each day, without assigning a specific time slot for getting it done.
Get Help during Busy Times
You may not have to go outside of your family to get the help you need during the busy times of your business. Let your older children help care for your disabled child, especially when your business or work gets busy. Your spouse can also help, and it may mean using vacation or personal time if he works outside the home. Reach out to extended family members if possible and close friends who you trust to come into your home and provide care. Many may be willing to help you out for free, but you should be prepared to pay for help just in case.
Get a Laptop with Wireless Internet Access
Most laptops come with wireless Internet access, but your model may be older. The ability to work from anywhere in your home and access the Internet is key to balancing work from home. You can get work done on the couch next to your child, as he watches his favorite DVD. You can get work done in his bedroom while you're waiting for him to fall asleep, if he needs you close by. You can work outside while you watch him play or as he enjoys the outdoors. If you live in an area where you can take advantage of wireless Internet service, then you should pay for it. The expense is well worth it.
Don't mistake balancing work with finding more time for work and not your disabled child. You may have to get work done in spurts throughout the day, but your priority is still to be a mom.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.