Being a working parent isn’t easy, especially when your kid has special needs.
The pros and cons of being a working parent
The biggest reason why I continue to work outside the home is money. Kids cost money. And a kid with autism? You don’t even want to know how expensive it can be.
Con: Finding Appropriate Child Care
Probably the biggest con of being a working parent when your kid has special needs: child care – especially during the summer months.
Pro: Social Interaction
I may not always enjoy my job, but I love the people I work with and I like the social interaction. I like getting dressed and going someplace. I like being able to go out for lunch or shopping on my lunch hour. I like – dare I say it? – having time without my child. I like talking about things other than my kid. I like having an identity other than being “Norrin’s mom.”
Con: Sick Time
Since I don’t have the flexibility to work from home, I have to either take a sick day or a vacation day when Norrin’s sick. Which is tough because I don’t want to abuse the sick day policy and I like to save my days for, you know, vacation. Sometimes I stay home and sometimes my mom comes to help. So what happens when I’m sick? I usually suck it up and go into work anyway.
Pro: Health Insurance
I have amazing health care benefits, which come in handy when you have a kid with special needs. There are times when I think I should make the sacrifice to become a stay-at-home mom, but the thought of giving up my benefits – I’m not ready for that.
Con: Having To Pick & Choose What Events to Attend
I have missed so much over the years. I’ve missed school trips, class shows and information seminars. And I’ve never attended a PTA meeting. I just can’t take a vacation day to attend them all. So I have to pick and choose.
Con: Being a working parent, there is never enough time in the day, week or month to get it all done. It takes a lot of juggling. I am always tired and feel like the work day never ends. I feel like my time is always split and there are times when I have to choose between my kid and my job. That’s when mom guilt kicks in.
Pro: Because my time is limited, I appreciate the moments when I get to just be a mom. And I know that Norrin enjoys our time together too. Our time together is special and it’s a reminder of why I work so hard. I make the most out of the few minutes before the bus arrives and the hour before it’s time for bed. I always find to time in our day to connect. Our time together gives me the fuel I need to keep going.