How To Juggle A Career While Having A Child With A Disability or Chronic Medical Condition

Trying to have a career in freelance work while also caring for a child with special needs can feel like a juggling act.

You might find yourself struggling to focus on work when your child needs extra attention, or feeling like you’re neglecting your child when you have deadlines to meet.

It’s not always easy but it can be extremely satisfying.

Here are some ways to make it work!

Set realistic expectations

It’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself. Understand that your availability and schedule may be more limited than other freelancers, and adjust your workload accordingly, especially in the beginning if you’re working on figuring it all out.

A while back, I heard the term “leaving space in the margins,” and it’s been something that I’ve had top of mind ever since. Don’t fill up your schedule so much that there’s no space for what may come up unexpectedly.

Create a routine

As much as possible, create little routines that work.

For example, I have found that I work best in the morning, so I try to wake up before the rest of my family does so that I can get some important things done. This sets me up for success the rest of the day and allows me a bit of flexibility the rest of the day.

Communicate with clients

Communicate with your clients about your situation and the limitations of your availability. Be transparent about your schedule, and try to find a balance that works for you and your clients. Remember, you likely chose this career path due to the flexibility so that it could work for you and your life and family. Don’t get caught in a situation where you lose that flexibility.

Prioritize your tasks

This may seem obvious, but prioritize your tasks and focus on the most important ones first. This will help you manage your workload more efficiently and reduce stress. This is important for anyone, but especially when you’re in a situation where things could quickly change and be out of your control, like when you have a child with epilepsy or who may struggle with sensory issues, etc. Get the critical things out of the way first, and alleviate stress.

Front Load

Sometimes things happen that affect my ability to get as much work done that are out of my control. So when I know I have a big project coming up, I try as much as possible to front load. I go full-force trying to get as much done so that if sh*t hits the fan, I can be more nimble and adjust.

be gentle with yourself if things don’t always go smoothly

Evaluate what went wrong, how to improve it in the future, and move on.

Remember Your Why

Know your why.

Get Sleep

There are times when II work my butt off, but I always prioritize sleep.

Know That You Got This

If this is what you want, know that you’re capable of doing this.

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