Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Every mother of a child with different wiring will agree on one thing...you never know how the day will unfold. My 10-year-old only goes to school part-time at the moment due to his medical diagnoses. He's working up to full time gradually, but I tell you what, it's exhausting trying to fit everything in!
I've found that the best way for me to stay sane, has been to stick to a routine as much as possible. This way, you can at least slip back into whatever you were doing if (or when) there's a bad day at school or home.
With Master 10 being at school for 3 hours per day, it doesn't leave a lot of job options open. You have to get very creative with how to bring in the grocery money. Personally, I try to make sure that everything is set up for a good day and that Master 10 is happy before we walk to school. That way between 9 am & 12 pm I can focus on my digital solutions work. As my background is in office Admin with a strong focus on design, I have had to pivot into Virtual Contracting. Check out MMADigitalSolutions on Facebook if you want to know more about that.
I know that once I get Master 10 home from school, I won't get much opportunity to really focus on work again until the next day. With neurodiverse kids, when they're in a good place, then they're calm, loving, and joyful beings, who will happily do what they do without issue. If however, they're having a bad day, it's the total opposite. They can get really aggressive, anxious, depressed, sensitive, or shut down totally. My priority when I pick up Master 10 from school is to check-in and assess what state he's in so we can work the rest of the day around that.
If he's in a good frame of mind, then we'll head home, have lunch if hungry, and continue with the routine of housework, some downtime, cooking dinner, and normal family life.
If on the other hand, he's not in a good state, then all energy goes into handling the fallout. I handle this by putting the diffuser in his room and turning on my calming blend of essential oils, then leaving him to it. When Master 10 is in a bad state, there's nothing much more that I can do except give him alone time. With the combination of ADHD, APD, and ASD with hypersensitive hearing, the overload factor can be huge for him! If he's not in a good state by 3:30 pm when his brother gets home, it's a really tense, miserable afternoon as a mother.
The routine that I have found that helps us most as a family is:
Get up and meditate - crucial for sanity
Make lunches and prepare what's needed for the day
Turn on essential oil blend for calm and focus
Get kids up and into the shower
Nag kids until they actually get dressed, while making their breakfast
Allow a bit of tv time and exercise with the boys, before we all leave for school. This consists of watching building (Evan & Katelyn are particular favorites!) or animal clips on youtube for TV, with Bubble bounce (madly jumping around the living room, popping bubbles) for exercise
Medications are taken at 8 am before the walk to school. This allows time for the meds to get into Master 10's system and regulate before we hit the classroom.
Get home from school drop off and do my own exercise (no more than 30 minutes)
Jump online and deal with work for the day. This could be creating Facebook ads, documents, workshop materials, or promotional materials, so it's never boring.
Leave to pick up Master 10 from school
Lunchtime is home again! I'll check if Master 10's hungry but won't force the issue if he's not. Unfortunately, his meds affect his appetite so sometimes he won't even eat lunch. I'm not too worried about this because of the quality of food that he does get.
After lunch consists of housework, baking if needed, and working on our Skincare range, which you can check out here. Master 10 lately has been getting very restless, so normally it's off to the mall about 2 pm for some window shopping, before collecting Master 13 from school on the way home.
As you can see, time can be tight without the normal specialist appointments, etc so I have to work smarter, not harder. Especially because I have to minimize chemicals and processed ingredients to avoid outbursts or flareups!
What does your typical day look like with your child (neurodiverse or not, I would love to know)? I would love to hear some of your coping strategies in the comments...any tips you can give would be fantastic!