I started my blog in October of 2014, and I have been slowly adding different baskets to increase my work at home income ever since. What started me on this crazy journey? Well, primarily, it was my youngest children’s special needs. I worked full time when my older boys were young, and I became a stay at home mom while I was pregnant with Baby M. I planned to stay home for a while and then find another traditional 9-5 office job after a maternity leave, but that just didn’t happen.
Around the time that I would have been starting the traditional job search, we started learning about A-Man and Baby M’s special needs. Thank goodness the timing of it all worked perfectly or I may have started a job that I couldn’t give adequate time and effort to.
How Special Needs Lead to Working at Home
Baby M Didn’t Eat
The first hint we had that a traditional job wouldn’t be a great fit for me and our family was that Baby M simply didn’t eat. Because of his severe sensory processing disorder, he didn’t tolerate any solids besides skin in his mouth until he was roughly 14 months old. That meant no binkies, no bottles, no sippy cups, no nothing. If I wasn’t around to nurse him, Chris had to feed him expressed breastmilk through a syringe like the ones that come with infant tylenol bottles. It was time consuming, tedious, and just impractical. We definitely couldn’t have done it regularly or long term. Beyond that, we could never really trust a daycare or babysitter to feed him properly. If someone managed to give him a cheerio or a goldfish cracker, he would choke, vomit, and go into a hysteria. Basically, until very recently I couldn’t leave Baby M for more than a few hours at a time. That kind of negates any work schedule outside the home. Working at home allowed me to work while nursing Baby M every few hours and making sure he was getting the nutrition that he needed without resorting to a feeding tube.
A-Man Could Not Do Day Care
A-Man has (so far) autism, dyspraxia, sensory processing disorder, and an expressive language delay. At the time, we only knew that he had a language delay and suspected sensory issues, but we knew that a traditional day care or preschool was simply not an option for him. For one thing, I will not leave my children with strangers until they can effectively tell me what happened while I was gone. For A-Man, that may take years. Beyond that, the day cares in our area are not prepared to handle a child with special needs. We have always been spoiled in that my mother-in-law has always been available and willing to babysit Mr. C and A-Man whenever we’ve needed her to since they were born. In fact, she has even watched Baby M for us when we’re in a pinch. That said, if I was working full time, the boys would all likely need to start at a day care or preschool, and none of them would thrive in that environment. Working at home means that I can work during nap times and after bedtimes, so there is no need for day care or babysitters.
Special Needs Children Have a Lot of Appointments
At one point this year, we were at the local therapy clinic three days a week, and one other day a week was reserved for appointments at the children’s hospital about an hour away. If I was working a traditional 9-5 job, there is no way that I would get enough time off to take my kids to all of their various appointments. Chris works full time during (mostly) business hours, and Mr. C and A-Man’s biological dad works retail, so his hours are inconsistent. As is true in most families, the bulk of getting the kids to and from appointments falls on my shoulders as the mom. Working at home allows me to schedule my days around their therapies and appointments with specialists. My kids are always able to get the help that they need because I am able to put work aside when they need it.
Finding out that two of my children have special needs has made for quite the interesting year, and working from home as a result has made our family run smoother in all aspects. Why did you start working at home?
This concludes our five day series for work at home moms! Don’t forget to read the first post here which has each of the posts listed out. You can also check out some more five day hopscotch posts from the iHomeschool Network bloggers by clicking the picture below!